07 January 2010

Dhaulagiri Circuit Oct 2006, Days 15-16

Scampering down the Kali Gandaki

We hadn't planned on this. Our plane had been cancelled, and in Nepal, they put you to the back of the queue when this happens. So there was nothing left for it but to try and get back to Pokhara by land before that plane left, otherwise Glen and Siobhan would miss there flights back to England. So we decided we'd try and get down the Kali Gandaki valley in two days, a trip that normally takes four...

On the doubleSo we had to get from Jomosom to Pokhara in two days, and it was already noon. And the walk normally takes three (for Nepalis) or four days.
We managed to convince a tractor driver and trailer to cart us to Lete. It travelled at about three times walking pace. Pretty good considering the condition of the road. We were tossed about in the trailer like salad ingredients.
Below Tukuche

Rupse Chhahara, Kali Gandaki Valley, Dhawalagiri Zone, Nepal.
I think Helen took these.
The Sweeping Man

Kali Gandaki valley (below Rupse Chhahara)

An example of the incredible force of erosion created by the Kali Gandaki plunging some thousand metres through the Himalaya.Kali Gandaki valley

WHERE did you want your fridge?Where did you want your fridge?
I thought it cute that this porter was advertising his food source.
Porters in Nepal generally work as labour-for-hire, as there are many "roads" that are for foot-traffic (including mules and yaks) only.

But there are places on the track down the Kali Gandaki valley (tunnels, low overhangs, that sort of thing) where this fridge won't go.
I wish him luck, and I'm somehow certain that he'll find a way.


Donkeys are the pack animal of choice in the Dhawalagiri area.
Helen took nearly all of these pics.
Kali Gandaki Donkey

There were 17 in the bed and the little one said...There were 17 in the bed and the little one said...
From Tiplyang (Tipling), we were able to catch a 4WD to Ghaleshwar, where we could then catch a 4WD bus to Pokhara.
Imagine the surprise of our sherpas and kitchen crew, who left (entirely by foot) a day and a half before us, to be caught up by us at Tiplyang just as they were to get on this 4WD to head home. Imagine the anguish on the driver's face when he realised this meant 17 people were to be somehow crammed into his 4WD (there were others who wanted to travel as well). With two on top, four in the front, five in the middle and seven in the back, we managed. Tahnkfully the trip wasn't very far before we changed jeeps (to walk around a rockfall that was not navigable by motor transport).

And so we made it at last to Pokhara airport.
In that time, the odds of us making it onto a Jomosom-Pokhara resheduled flight were pretty small. Even though we were scheduled on the first flight of the day on the day our flight was cancelled, rescheduled flights move to the end of the subsequent day (about flight five or six). This minimises rescheduling other flights. The first day after the cancelled flights, we counted only three flights overhead. The next day we were in Pokhara anyway. And now we were off back to Kathmandu.

Pokhara Airport
A plane at last!

Family Photo #512Andrew, Helen, Jose and Glen in front of Dhaulagiri I (8167m). Taken at French Pass (5300m).
This was taken by our guide, Thakur, whom Helen and Andrew look forward to joining again in 2010 for a trek around Manaslu...

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

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