Friday, 28 September 2012

Sunrise to Sunset


Day 1
Behisahar to Jagat
25km
6.30am - 6pm 

Suspension bridge into Khudi
We had a good start to the day - up at 6am however for some reason it took till 6.40 to get ourselves on the move. Once we were on our way we only made it up the street before we had to stop in at the TIMMS office and register our details, so it was nearing 7am by the time we finally left Behisahar. 

We walked at a good pace, snacking at our delicious Jordanian dates (a parting gift from Ramsey) and muesli bars on the way since there turned out to be no breakfast options en route. We crossed over a fairly dodgy wooden suspension bridge and arrived at Khudi in 1.5 hours instead of the two quoted in our guidebook.  Since we'd made such good time we decided not to stop there but continued onto  the next town, Bhulebhule, which was actually the town we'd hoped to hike to the day before.

Morning coffee before officially
entering Annapurna
We registered for the second time that morning, this time with the ACAP office, which was great as it meant we were now officially entering the Annapurna reserve. We rewarded ourselves for such an achievement with a coffee and biscuits while we rested our legs staring out over the valley and river. It was surprisingly good coffee, but then with the amount of condensed milk that had been added, anything would've tasted good! 

Our aim was to reach Bahundanda for lunch and it took us a good 3 hours to get there, the final half hour being a hard, steep slog up the side of a mountain range and we were hot and starving by the time we arrived.  There were quite a few places to eat in the small town and with no other hikers in sight we were instantly popular. In order not to offend any of the restaurant owners we played paper, scissors, rock in order to chose our lunch destination and fortunately the place with a great view over the mountains won out.

There's a woman under all that hay!
We ordered our dhal and enjoyed the view while we waited for lunch to be cooked - and it was worth the wait unlike our dinner  the night before. It was so good in fact that we both took a second serving along with a super sweet masala tea which is a great accompaniment to any meal. 

At 2pm we decided we should start moving again since we still had three hours of hiking to go, however only an hour later, just before we reached Ghermu, the storm that had been brewing broke. We were lucky to be passing a house so we took shelter with four kids under their outdoor table area. Twenty minutes later, after entertaining ourselves with trying to communicate with the kids (who were enjoying playing some random game that we could make no sense of) we decided that it had eased up enough to be on our way again.  We continued through the lush valley, passing through Ghermu and Syange. Then we had a last hard uphill push before we finally arrive at Jagat, our destination for the night, and we were very grateful to arrive after 11 hours on the go!
Part of the beautiful track with an authentic
hay bale on the right

We chose to stay in the 'Mont Blanc Hotel' not just because the name reminded us of Switzerland, but also because it had clean rooms and an excellent view. After luke-warm showers we went straight to dinner where Sarah enjoyed a delicious curry whereas Dave's fried noodles were unfortunately bland and oily and our masala tea was overly spicy and sweet. C'est la vie. 

After dinner we washed our already smelly clothes at the outside tap and whilst doing so Dave must've looked a nearby chicken with hunger in his eyes... as it proceeded to attack him until he retreated a few steps! Afterward surviving the chicken attack and successfully finishing washing our clothes we settled in for an early night listening to the rain falling on our tin roof that thankfully didn't leak.  We were very glad we'd made it so far on our first day as we'd already managed to make up for our lost time due to the traffic jam the day before and we were eager to see what the next day would bring us.

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