Monday, 21 November 2011
Trekking Ghandruk to Dhampus
After nearly 9 hours of walking we reached Dhampus on a quiet hill overlooking a valley with views of the mountains. We arrived after walking the last few hours in the afternoon along a hilltop through what I described at the time as ancient enchanted forest. Really quiet apart from chirping birds, cool air with beams of sunlight peeping through between the trees, hardly any other trekkers just the occasional villagers passing by carrying baskets, elves meandering between the trees and druids collecting herbs for their potions.......ok so I made that last bit up but there's a unique magical atmosphere about the place, I really wouldnt be surprised to see a unicorn wander past.
Began the day in Ghandruk walking down to the bottom of the steep valley past several millet farms. We cross a river at the bottom then its a steep climb up the other side of the valley, its hard going and the hot sun has me sweating a lot and lagging behind a bit but Bec seems to finding it no problem. Eventually reaching the top I'm relieved to hear the next hour or so will be flat or as Ram describes it "Nepali flat" which means not too steep. Its a long winding ridge path across the side of a deep valley passing through stepped rice fields and traditional farms. When we stop for our dal bhat for dinner its blazing sunshine with a cool breeze blowing through the valley from the mountains, 8172m high Mount Dhaulagiri is watching us everywhere we go, its never out of sight.
More steep hills into a more wooded area, the going is tough again and kind of follows down, cross bridge, up, down, cross bridge, up. Its a bit more shaded though and around every corner is another amazing view so its not hard to keep motivated. Next we pass through the magical forest as previously mentioned and arrive at Dhampus. Last day of trek tomorrow but Ram has worked out an extended route for us so we can make the most of a good full day before heading back to Pokhara.