JB. Again awake pretty early(5.00am) but a really good nights sleep. The others varied from Chris with very little sleep to Mark and Harm who slept ok. The river roared all night which Mark said competed well with Harms snoring. Bumped into Harm leaving the toilet (squat) before dawn after he discovered he's anatomically challenged (legs too long) when it comes to using these (no more detail required, this is a family show)!!
Views out the bedroom window up the valley this morning where of Manaslu (8160m) which disappeared being cloud pretty quickly unfortunately.
Breakfast of lemon tea, naan bread, omelette and curried potatoes. We are currently running no risk of becoming emaciated based upon the day one diet.
Left the tea house at about 8.20 with about five hours walking required today.
After about half an hour arrived at the site for a hydro power dam that is being constructed in the river. Not exactly the tranquil walk in the Himalayas but interesting nevertheless. Left the dam construction behind us and the road slowly petered out and we were on narrow tracks above the river.
Came across a young guy cutting a tree up using an axe. Chris then Harm jumped in and helped him cutting it in half. They then feed him some scroggin (presumably as reward for having lent them his axe and standing quietly while they worked). All in all a good day for this young chap, some one else did his work then feed him!
Stopped for lunch at Bahundanda (Superb View Hotel), 1310m, which did live up to its name and had a superb view, superb food and much to everyone's delight a superb toilet.
MI: After lunch the environment improved with no trucks or roads. Step downhill for 15 mins and then the track just meandered, 'Himalayan Flat' as Gobinda describes anything less than steep.
Quote of the day came from JB 'it's in the bottom of my pack'!
Even though the surroundings are relatively bland in colour the people are quite colourful, bright coloured butterflies, one tree in particular has large orange flowers. The rice fields are only just starting to be prepared for planting so not much going on there. Some fields have other crops but mostly it just looks like terraced grassy areas. There are as many Water Buffalo in pens as are working which means we get the odd close up walking through villages. Piles of wood cut for next winter and piles of rice stalks for animal feed are scattered around the fields.
Harm is on kitty for the first week. Last night cost us US$60 for our accom and three meals and beers ($.60 each). Doing a sterling job.
Arrived at Ghermu village (1130m) mid afternoon and have nice views of a massive waterfall on the other side of the river. Rainbow Lodge has a hot shower and non squat toilet (no seat), softer mattresses than last night so luxury. The terrace sits above the river so we enjoyed beers and momo's (probably 2 hours between these) just hanging out. John noticed the Everest Beers come in Kingfisher and Tuborg bottles!
Gobinda has said that we won't be able cross the Chang La pass due to deep snow and ice. This was the last part of the Nar-Phu side trek so a shame not to do the 5000m pass. So we are going to head up to Phu and Nar but then backtrack to the Annapurna Circuit and carry on. That means we'll be one extra day making it 22days from yesterday in total on the track.