A Trek in
P. Lyon, M. Tippins, M. Keeting & G. Egginton.
The end of October saw four lads from Brum winging their way
After meeting the group we were to trek with, we deposited our luggage in a hotel and decided to eat out in the town. (Despite warnings of catching the Kathmandu Kraps.) The town itself is splendid, containing 300 year old temples, shops & houses, many covered in wood carvings. The buildings crowd narrow, smelly streets which throng with pedestrian and bell ringing cyclists. One could buy most things there “You like to buy lucky charms,Sir”. ”No!”, ”You want to buy heroin?!!”. The offer was declined. We eventually found a likely Nepalese cuisine restaurant, the meal having no detrimental effect on our guts.
The next day saw us rolling along to Dumre in a coach, which looked like a truck discarded by Billy Smarts circus after failing the M.0.T. We arrived at lunchtime, ate, and then started walking. The Ace Pathfinders from Brum, not 300 yards from the village, promptly took the wrong turning and had to be redirected by a Sherpa. Then yours truly, not to be thwarted by the Sherpas efficiency, managed to wander off unnoticed in the wrong direction again. After a few miles of blissful ignorance, I was stopped by a group of young children who after enquiring to my destination, burst into fits of laughter. After informing me of my error, they kindly took me by the hand and led me back to the correct path. Eventually I arrived at the camp which gave a splendid view of the Lamjung Himal range of mountains, which when the sun set turned a fantastic pink colour.
The next day we walked
through paddy fields following a river, with a view of Manaslu (26,700ft.) on the right. It was
discovered by a young lady in the party, much to her consternation, as she
squatted with her backside exposed to the elements, that the paddy fields were
infested with leeches. Needless to say, there was no shortage of volunteers to
perform the de-leeching operation. The following day took us through maize
fields to the
Pete, the following day started acting strangely, by walking in a zig-zag line on the track, into the woods, on the track, into the woods. No, he was not on a Fungus Foray, but had developed bowel trouble which plagued him for the next four days. I reckon he caught it by unwisely drinking at a tea shop which has the dubious honour of being called the worst teashop this side of
The Marsyandi Gorge started to narrow, the path, about 200 feet above the river, being cut out of the vertical sides in places. The scenery continued like this for a couple of days, the gorge opening out as we approached Pisang revealing fantastic views of Annapurna 2 & 4. The whole of the
An early & tired start
the following day saw us moving imperceptibly up towards the
The next day being a rest day, gave the opportunity to explore Muktinath, which because of it’s temples & gompas draw both Hindu & Buddhist pilgrims. One particularly revered temple encloses a natural gas jet and a spring. The woman caretaker, looking and acting like one of the witches in Macbeth. The trail then swings southward descending into the Kali Gandaki Gorge taking us through Jomoson to our camp at Morpha. An attractive little village, the narrow paved streets being enclosed by stone-built buildings, which revealed numerous courtyards containing animals and provisions for the coming winter.
That evening, Pete jokingly complained to the cook about the lack of protein in his diet. This brought the reaction the following day of the cook purchasing a sheep, killing it, skinning it, cooking it and serving it as a curry in the evening. Pete being taken aback at this unprecedented concern for his stomach, promptly ate his way through four enormous helpings. This he maintained ruefully, two days later, was the reason for him once again getting the galloping trots. This condition, known as the Ring of Fire, was to stay with him for the rest of the holiday and several weeks after returning home. One redeeming outcome is that he lost three stones in weight and from being called a fat white man by a Nepalese, now has a sylph-like figure.
An easy walk in the gorge
through Tukuche led us to the foot of
A short walk from camp took
us to Tatopani, where
The next couple of days saw
us making a long but easy, gradual descent towards Suiket, where we made our
last camp in a paddy field by the side of the Mardi Khola river. After rising
early we made speed towards Pokhara, aiming to catch a bus our only stop being
to photograph a splendid view of Machapuchare. We missed the express bus and
had to be content with a ten hour, dusty, animal smelling, cramped, bone
jarring ride on the local bus back to