We have now started to really to get into high mountains and on que the weather has changed. The humid murky conditions of the first two days have been replaced by clear skies with a crisp light illuminating huge mountains covered by fresh snow. An amazing setting for a fantastic days walking.
|Great day's walking
Climbing gently out of Dharapani and looking east along a side valley you get to see the perfectly shaped Manaslu Peak, the first 8,000 metre plus peak seen on the trail and the 8th highest in the world. To south, and much closer, is Peak 39 and after a short climb, and at the top of the trail, the panorama opens up with Annapurna 2 in the distance and Langtang Himal in the foreground. These huge mountains dominate the views for the rest of the morning and as we climb through trees start to form a near 360 degree white panorama.
|Manaslu (I hope!)
|Annapurna II (I think)
As if the scenery wasn't enough we are entertained by a series of mountain bikers on the Yak Attack Race around the Annapurna circuit - mix of Nepalese and western cyclists on what must be one of the world's toughest bike rides.
Went for the Dal Bat again for lunch and really liked it. Food is not the reason anyone comes to Nepal and on the trail you choose from a standard menu which covers breakfast and dinner. For breakfast it's a choice of egg, bread and porridge variations whereas lunch/dinner it's rice, potato, noodle, curry and more egg variations. Everything is prepared on a gas ring or fire so is either boiled, fried, stir fried or deep fat fried. So far virtually no meat.
Dal Bat is the standard food and I'm pretty sure that the porters eat it two times a day. It consists of vegetable curry, a lentil/bean source, stir fried greens and rice. With Dal Bat you seem to enter a food supply contract with the tea house and as soon as you have finished a item they put some more on your plate. It was really good.
After lunch some more climbing and we are soon walking in shadow along a narrow but flat bottomed valley with enormous cliffs on either side. It's then a easy walk into the little town of Chame. As the afternoon wears on clouds cover the tops of the mountains and at times it tries to snow. We are now at 2,900 metres and once you loose the sun it's cold.
|Tea House at Chame
Nice tea house with a heater in the main room. We are treated to one of the two rooms with a primitive en suite and this turns into a mixed blessing. Can't get the toilet to work so I attempt to turn a rusty looking stock cock, it explodes and water jets across the room. I shut the door and seek help from the guides. No 24 hour plumbers available but tying it up with a bit of string at least sends the jet of water in a more convenient direction. The sound of rushing water actually helps us sleep.
Screwed up with a toilet on my E4 travels - if you're interested follow the link.