01 January 2010

Dhaulagiri Circuit Oct 2006, Days 1-4


Shiva Temple, Pokhara Lake, Nepal
Shiva Temple on the banks of Pokhara Lake.
We were here for quite a while waiting for our bus from Kathmandu, which had got caught behind a bus crash earlier that morning, and was delayed by five hours.

Our bus lost its headlights about an hour before we got into Beni. This was very capably dealt with by one of the guides, who climbed onto the roof of the bus and lit the way with his headlamp. It was slow going, and we finally got into Beni around midnight. We were very tired by then.

Police Line Up, Beni, Nepal

Myagdi Khola valley near Beni

Rice paddies on the Myagdi Khola just upstream from Beni

Ram Babhu, one of our kitchen hands, carrying everything including the kitchen sink.

Have kitchen, will travel


Maize is a big staple in this area. It is often used for popcorn, but also pounded into cornmeal. At the time of our trek (September/October), lots of maize was being harvested and dried.
Near Ratodhunga

The first bit of white we'd seen from the ground (since Macchupuchare seen from Pokhara). After two and a half days of walking, we finally saw some of our destination range as the Myagdi Khola valley took a right turn and headed north.

First glimpse

High point
Yes. It's a long way down to the Myagdi Khola. The track had a nasty habit of climbing up and down, rather than sticking with the river. In the heat of the afternoon, this got pretty hard.
Siobhan, Glen, Jose, Helen, Thakur (guide) and Galgeon (sherpa), having a break after a particularly taxing climb.
Near Chibang.

We pressed on this long day and made it to Jugapani (lit. "leech water"), where we waited and waited for our tents. Fortunately, the kitchen was with us, and we bought some ingredients from the locals and had a delicious dinner. The porters had been very slow on this long day, and most didn't make camp that night, but the tents eventually arrived and we put them up in the rain. The locals made us welcome and let us eat our dinner one of their huts.
Jugapani (often indicated as Naura Bhir)
Romantic dinner for leeches?

More climbing...
Whilst our sleeping places weren't gaining much altitude, we could still go up and down up to 800 metres in one day. Thakur told us that last time he was through here, they had just burnt all the grass. It was a beautiful though exhausting climb up through the meadows this time. That is still the Myagdi Khola in the background.
Near Bagara (Bhogara).

Local women pounding grain (probably maize or millet).
Bagara (Boghara)
Grinding grain

Happy Dashain

Dashain is culturally a bit like Christmas, in that all over Nepal, families get together and feast. Though religiously, it's a fifteen day Hindu festival celebrating the goddess Durga. On the tenth day, tikka is applied to the forehead by the elders. These kids have white tikkas (more commonly you will see red ones) with lots of rice (for prosperity).
We celebrated Dashimi (tenth day of Dashain) in Bagara in the morning with a big donation to the local school fund, and aiding an older woman who had a very nasty infection on her leg (bathing it in Betadine, and administering erythromycin). Up in these regions, people die from infections like this, so it was a really good feeling to see her so markedly improved the next morning. I just hope she finished the full course of antibiotics that we gave her.
Bagara (Boghara).

So after four days of walking from Beni, we were now at Bagara, at 2080m, which brought to an end our "lowland" section of the walk. Whilst each night saw little gain in height as we followed the Myagdi Khola, we often had to climb high over steep ridges to avoid landslips or cliffs. Often hot and sticky, as we were post-monsoon, the area was rich with market gardens.

As seen on Andrew Purdam's Bushwalking Treasure Box blog.

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