Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nepal, Annapurna Circuit....Ghasa To Tatopani

We would get few views more impressive on the Annapurna Circuit than that which we had at first light just a short distance back up the road from our hotel in Ghasa. The Dhaulagiri, one of the 8000+ metre peaks and the seventh highest mountain in the world, bright and clear in the early morning.

After breakfast we made our way down through the village, which stretches some way down the narrow valley. Just past Ghasa we crossed over the river to avoid walking on the main road. The path was shady, passing through some tiny villages and areas of lush vegetation.

Over on the other side of the river gorge we could see just how precarious the "main" road is for the traffic that passes along it. Despite occasionally having to rejoin this road we were able to avoid it for much of the day by walking on the opposite side of the river.

By now I was mostly used to the bridges that we had to cross, especially as most of them were in very good condition. There are always exceptions, although I suppose we should be pleased that had to cross this one after it had been repaired rather than before. Over on the other side local villagers were working on the path too.

Soon we found that we were back in rice country again, as water had become more abundant and the altitude was lower. This was not the only change, we had also left behind the Tibetan and Buddhist influence, the people down here were mostly Hindus. We stopped in the village of Dana for lunch, surrounded by citrus trees and fields of rice, millet, maize and beans.

Back on the road the main obstacle we had to deal with was a buffalo who had decided the puddle in the middle of the road was a good, cool resting place. That and the occasional flock of sheep and goats being driven down the valley towards the towns. It was another day of relatively gentle walking and we followed the valley down to Tatopani.

Our guide had been telling us for a couple of days about the famous hot springs of Tatopani, and we had perhaps a bit of a romantic idea about the long, relaxing soak we were going to enjoy there. That idea soon disappeared in my case when I saw the unimpressive looking pair of concrete pools down near the river in Tatopani. I opted instead to sit in the shade with a beer and a book, although Silvia went into the water; only kept tolerably cool by the hosepipe pumping cold water into it.

You have to say the springs have all facilities. Apart from the bar there is a changing room.

And a massage room too!

Tatopani is an attractive village and a bit more luxurious than what we had been experiencing higher up the valley. The temperature at night was just warm enough for us to have dinner outside and the food was good. As it was getting dark we got another impressive view to finish the day. I think this is part of the Nilgiri range.

View Nepal - The Annapurna Circuit in a larger map

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