Two pleasant surprises awaited us in the morning. One was in the form of Vinod, an Indian. He was from Bengaluru and was the first Indian we saw in the trek. We saw only two Indians in the treks; strange considering we nearly met people from more than 25 countries.
|Annapurna II in the morning|
The other surprise was the improvement in weather. We could see Annapurna II from one window and Manaslu from another window of our room. For the first time, we felt that we were doing a Himalayan trek!! But weather would again turn gloomy by afternoon.
|Manaslu seem from Chame|
As we started with high spirits, a helicopter landed nearby and took off within few minutes. It might be an evacuation for a person suffering from AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). A reminder for us though we were still at 9000 feet. We will be climbing another 9K feet in the coming days!!
|Rescue helicopter near Chame|
As we walked, another snow mountain made an appearance. It was Lamjhung at 22,910 feet. Annapurna IV was barely visible but provided an overview of things to expect in the coming days.
With little gain in elevation we reached the village of Bharatang. Here we purchased Apples that was grown locally. It would have been wise if we asked Suman to purchase and then give money as locals were getting at lower rate!!
Waterfalls were fewer as we climb up. Here was one of the rare waterfalls near Bharatang.
The trail we follow now has been blasted out of the side of the hill. Here we have the first view of Swarga Dwar, a monstrous curved slab of rock rising more than 5000 feet. It looked awesome even though cloudy weather spoiled the great views of it.
The climb becomes steep after we cross the river and after what looks like a long journey we reach Dhukur Pokhari village filled with restaurant. We go to the one that is not yet taken by trekkers and order our regular “Dal bhaat”!!
|Swarga Dwar covered in clouds|
Our porter seemed to enjoying his time in the restaurant and was not ready to move. He promises us to catch up before we reach Pisang.
Walk till Pisang was refreshing. The trail was wide enough for a bus to go. But at present, only few two wheeler ply as the bridges are still not constructed. Things will change in the coming year.
|Road to Pisang!!|
Pisang is divided into two parts, lower and upper Pisang. We crossed the main entrance and then for the first time in the trek, we lost out way. There was a small path we missed and took the “bypass” to the next village!! After walking for 20 minutes, we wondered why we are not seeing the village though we crossed its entrance long back!! We met a local here who asked us to go back and take that small diversion.
|Marsyandi river near Pisang|
Our porter had suggested us to stay at “Uste” hotel in Pisang. We had reached there and seeing that we are not yet “in”, he had already started searching us in other lodges!!
By then our eating habits had become consistent. Breakfast consisted of Tea and Tibetan bread. It was compensated by ‘heavy’ lunch of Dal bhaat. We had an evening tea and had our dinner of shared fried rice!! But at ‘Utse’ we deviated from normal menu and had Pizza which was the speciality of the lodge!!
|A small pond at Pisang|