My lower back pain did not show any signs of improvement in the night. I was clear that it was not due to walking as I used to walk for hours every day without any issue but was due to the backpack I carried. Unfortunately 10-12 kg of load could not be handled by my back. Lower back pain is not new to me. I had exercised my back to cope up with bad roads of Bengaluru but that seemed to be ineffective for carrying weight. I was sure that I cannot continue trekking for long in this state.
|Route to Jagat|
First thing I did in the morning was to check with the lady managing the lodge for porters. She managed to find one which relieved me (in fact my back) a big burden!! Suman would help me in carrying my luggage for rest of our journey.
The Marsyandi valley that was wide until Syange begins to narrow. The road climbs through series of switchbacks to the village of Jagat. Marsyandi river now flows somewhere deep in the valley. The road has been blasted to make it a Jeep track. In one or two years, the entire Marsyandi valley till Manang will be motorable. We are glad to be here before the great Annapurna circuit trek is reduced to 2-3 days!!
Waterfalls continue to accompany us even today. There are plenty and few of them are huge.
Some fall in multiple steps.
Few of them are on the road itself.
Road construction would have been extremely tough in this section. But dynamites have helped to tame nature temporarily.
And we reach Chamje where Suman decides to have lunch. It was still 10AM and we were not yet ready to consume food.
After sometime, it starts raining. We enter into a lone shop and have some tea and wait for the rain to subside.
After Chamje, the road climbs again. Landslides make it scary at few places. At one place, stones fall as we cross the landslide. Our pace increases.
It takes us nearly two hours to reach near the next village Tal. It looks beautiful from the road. Situated on a plateau and next to a waterfall, it looks like a heaven from nowhere. We have our lunch at a restaurant overlooking the village.
|Waterfall near Tal village|
The great thing about the restaurants in this trek is that the food is prepared fresh after we order. It does take time but who is in a hurry? We need some rest after these long walks.
After lunch we proceed towards Dharapani, still 2.5 km away. Tal village fades as we move further. There is no major climbing but the road that has been recently blasted has weakened the slopes. That scares me as rocks on the top look unstable.
|Trekkers crossing over Marsyandi river near Tal|
There is couple of waterfalls on the route. One sheds its water to the river and the second one is on the road.
There is one high on the valley.
We pass though the areas where marijuana is grown. They are next to the road. I smell them but do not feel any effect :-)
At about 4PM we reach Dharapani. We cross the village to register ourselves in the check post and then settle at Kingfisher lodge nearby. Dharapani is the also the place where Manaslu (Eight highest mountain) circuit joins Annapurna trail.
Dharapani was at the height of 6,400 feet and we had gained 3,000 feet from Syange on that day. It was time to open jackets from our backpack!!