Wednesday 3 November
Itinerary: DAY 3 Drive to Khudi and trek to Bhulbhule (846m) As we drive out of the Kathmandu valley we get panoramic views of the Annapurna, Manaslu and Ganesh mountain ranges. We then descend the scenic winding road and drive along the
Up at the crack of dawn. Two alarms - 5:55 and 6:00. A quick shower, final packing, and down to breakfast.
We left our valuables, including passports and tickets, in the safe, and our excess gear (thermarests etc) stored at the hotel.
We left in the
minibus at 7:30 and spent a good hour fighting our way to the outskirts of
In the foreground,
green hills with high cultivated terraces, lots of forest. Pretty lorries,
fruit trees, with the brilliant white mountains as a backdrop. Below, a ribbon
of vehicles on the road - mainly buses and lorries heading west. Frequent hold
ups on this busy road, due to numerous broken down vehicles unable to manage
the 1000 metre climb to
Urchins line the roadside at times. Sparrows and starling like birds scrabble in the dirt whilst a Dark Kite wheels above.
"Slow Drive, Long Life" proclaims one lorry. Others were adorned with similar sentiments.
Through Toll Gates (road
tax), passing heavily laden women with grassy burdens. Gajuri (460 metres) was
reached by 10 am, and we continued down to
During the morning we stopped at an excellent spot overlooking the valley, with a mountain backdrop, for a half-hour tea break.
The road split at Mugli (11:30) and we continued on towards Pokhara. A 'Wild West' town with lots of traffic, shortly beyond which we reached Dumra, 12:15, and headed off the Pokhara road towards Khudi. A fertile valley with more women heaving heavy loads. The road took us to Besi Sahar, 14:30. On the way, just after Dumra, we had lunch on a nice meadow above the road. Splendid mountain views as we consumed a very heavy and comprehensive 'Radisson' packed lunch, including chicken rissoles and a choice of sauces wrapped skilfully in foil. A lovely spot under the shade of a tree on a hot afternoon.
The road beyond Besi
Sahar wasn't fit for our
Once off the bus (16:15) we shouldered our day packs and walked a short distance up to Bhulbhule (846 metres), to our first camp. Porters took our excellent huge Awesome Travel bags, and by 5 pm we had all crossed our second suspension bridge (one metal, one wooden) to reach the nice campsite shortly before dusk.
Hot water for washing (not really needed) was soon provided, then we had tea and wrote diaries etc, followed at 7 pm by a convivial meal, Sanjeev eating with us, of chicken, salad, noodles, spinach, sauce, momo, following spinach soup, and followed by apple pie.
It was a sociable session, with stories of trekking and dreams. (Last night I enjoyed a dramatic glissade down mud, through trees, to a wall jump to join some people I knew - very exhilarating!)
Then the team was
introduced. Apart from Sanjeev, our leader, we have:
Mahesh - Sirdar
Deepak - Chef
Hosta and Nabrash - Sherpas
Surye - Porter Guide
Kachi, Urgin and Sagar - Kitchen Staff
Plus 18 porters, not introduced, including the 'Egg Man' and a one-eyed man who carries our dining table.
And so by 9 pm all work for the day was done and we drifted off to bed on huge mattresses.