Wednesday 17 November
Lete to Tatopani
Itinerary: DAY 17 Tatopani (1,189m) Crossing Lete Khola on a suspension bridge we follow the valley through pine forest down to Ghasa (2,013m) where we cross the Kali Gandaki and descend along the east bank. Descending further south we again cross the same river before reaching a huge waterfall at Rupse Chhahara (1,631m). By now we have descended almost 4000m since the
Usual 6 am tea. The nights are drawing in so it is now still dark at 6 am. But by the time washing water arrives a few minutes later it's light enough to wash and to pack our duffel bags and day sacs for the day ahead.
For the first time
for ages there is no frost, so last night was probably the last for the winter
sleeping bags on this trip. There is a view of
An indoor breakfast of porridge and omelette - in the tea house with pollarded trees that we camped outside - preceded a 7:40 am start. Suria led us away - he has been invisible to date, leading the porters to the correct place. We started across a long bridge with poorly tensioned cables, so the handrail flopped to the side and would not be available unless one fell over.
The path is busy today with trains of ponies, the pantechnicons of the path, carrying cement and building materials and provisions up the valley and perhaps to as far as Higher Mustang, but not as far as Tibet. We descend into a warm fertile climate and soon reach Ghasa, where tomato like fruits - red and green - dangle from shrubs. They are used for making pickle. We pass vegetable gardens, still seeing occasional chortens (pass to the left).
Cherry trees are in blossom here. We see the sun at 9 am, fleeces come off, there is a huge waterfall up to the right. Views (glimpses) of high peaks through the cloud. Luxuriant cabbages, nicely paved path (motorway), poinsettia and marigolds line the track, and the noisy buzz of Cicadas and the rush of the river below, make it a less than quiet section.
11:00 to 11:30 - tea at Kopchepani - and we now have left Lower Mustang and entered the Myagdi district - we had sped through the police checkpoint in Ghasa.
Lunch is taken at
We set off past the ubiquitous sleeping dogs, passing huge rocks and a big slab of a rock face. The vegetation changes as we pass through areas of bamboo, oranges, sugar cane, aloes, bananas etc.
Old men by the path
side are flattening, seeding and ploughing the land, using ancient tools,
buffalo and a lot of strength. We rest by a huge bouganvillia tree. Past a
hydro plant capturing the energy of water coming off
There are many people
ascending today, few seen going down. Well swept stone paths through villages.
Eventually at 4 pm we arrive in the nice
After that we enjoy
the highlight of the day - a trip to the nearby
And so, to another nice meal - vegetarian - pasta and additions, potato cake, pumpkin, pizza etc, preceded by delicious pumpkin soup. Hot custard for dessert.
Then we headed downtown and found a bar which promptly emptied then closed, so we took the rest of our beer back to the dining tent, evicted some porters who were just about to go to sleep in it, and downed the rest of the beer whilst enjoying a game of knockout whist (Mark won).
Start: 2390 metres
Ascent: 55 metres
Descent: -1095 metres
Finish: 1350 metres
Time: 8.5 hours
Stops: 2.5 hours
Walking time: 6 hours