Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Thursday, 9 June 2022

November 2004 - The Annapurna Circuit - Day 6

Saturday 6 November
Tal to Kodo
Itinerary: DAY 6 Kodo (2,629m) Walk at the foot of the towering rocky peak to cross the Marsyangdi again to its west bank to Dharapani (1,943m). So far we have been heading north but from Dharapani we turn west. The vegetation changes into tall trees of fir and pine. We are now in the mid-alpine zone. A little further we reach the village of Bagarchhap (2,164m) where you may see firewood stacked on the roof of the houses, a preparation for the long winter. Up the valley from here we get an excellent view of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II and Annapurna IV, and looking down the valley to the west, Manaslu and Peak 29 dominates the skyline. Then we ascend gradually along the south bank of the Marsyangdi to Kodo. (7 - 8 hours walk). 

[Diarist: Sue]
Usual routine before setting out from Tal.

The trail was level to start, on the left bank of the river, entering more narrow gorges after the relative openness of Tal. 

Fewer people on the trail, but still quite a number. The trees have thinned out now, and pine trees have started to appear. As the sun arrives from over the mountains, shorts etc go on. 

A break at a small restaurant allows suntan cream to be applied. This morning the sky is cloudless and deep blue. We cross three suspension bridges, all well constructed, over the roaring and foaming river. High waterfalls tumble either side of the trail, some cascading over rock.

Porters descend from the Manaslu Circuit

View to teashop

Above and below: Bridge before Karte

Where the valley splits, near Thonche, after Dharapani, Manaslu comes into sight at the end of a pine-lined valley. It stays in view whilst we drink lemon tea and snack on Radisson apples and yoghurt coated bananas at a rooftop restaurant, in hot sun.

Manaslu from near Thonche

The trail continues through pines and rhododendron, then we round a corner and get our first view of Annapurna II, 7900 metres. Shortly after, we reach the gateway to the village of Bagarchhap, with three chortens on top. In the village was a large white chorten. On top are 13 yellow rings which signify the 13 levels to Nirvana.

Annapurna II from Bagarchhap

In 1995, a landslide at night had taken much of the village into the river. Many locals and several trekkers were killed. It was 10 November, a similar time to our trek.

Another gateway similar to the first indicates we are leaving the village. More undulations and some more of today's overall height gain of 900 metres.

Chorten in Bagarchhap

Gateway leaving Bagarchhap

View to Annapurna II

Flour grinder

Water Mill

At the village of Danaqye is a stone hut, inside which is a huge prayer wheel, and around the walls, paintings. The prayer wheel is surprisingly heavy when I turn it, using wire handles on the bottom. A bell rings at the top. Adjacent to the hut is a wall of prayer wheels with colourful prayer flags along the top. The Buddhist influence is becoming greater. This morning has also seen mani walls, stones covered in prayers. 

Lunch is in a memorable setting. The sun blazes onto a courtyard where we sit around the table. The air is now cooler. Looking back, we see the snowy peaks of Manaslu and Peak 29, behind towering rocky ridges. Lunch is rolls, sardines, curried potato and coleslaw, with an apple to follow. The courtyard is surrounded by marigolds.

Buddhist prayer wheels at Danaqye

Soon after lunch, we go into the shade caused by the steep-sided and wooded hillside, crossing a bridge over a tributary. Soon afterwards, a superb torrent crashing down a wonderfully carved gorge, with a wooden bridge from which we looked down on the rushing water. 

The path undulated above the river, and in several places it narrowed where there had been landslips. Some of these narrowed sections plunged straight down to the river. Martin and Sanjeev watched a Himalayan rat (pica) going to and fro from its burrow beneath the path, eating leaves. 

Through binoculars, we watched 6-8 langur monkeys across the river. 

The last hour or so was spent in pinewoods where the autumn colours became more obvious. A furry animal hanging outside a wooden house was identified as a mongoose.

Manaslu and Peak 29 from above Danaqye

Goats by the river near Kodo

Camp at a tea house in the village of Kodo was reached at 5 pm. The location is stunning. Back down the valley, Manaslu shines in sun which down here is long gone. Ahead, there's a shapely snow covered mountain, whose tops send plumes of spindrift into the sun.

Manaslu, from camp at Kodo

The cold drives us into tents, still in shorts. The washing water is really hot and arrives at 5:30, just as it gets dark. Tea is in the dining tent at 6 pm. All of us are wearing more clothes than last night. Dinner at 7 pm starts with vegetable soup and prawn crackers, then a Nepalese meal of rice, dhal, potatoes and cauliflower, salad of cucumber and carrot, and buffalo and cashew curry. Mango to finish. We feel warmer after dinner, but it still feels colder than the 9C shown on the altimeter.

More Uno from 8:15 to 9:00. Mary won.

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