Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
Friday, 29 July 2022
Thursday, 28 July 2022
Friday 19 November
Last tea call of the trip at 6 am - hot water follows shortly after.
Porridge and omelette
for breakfast, then a leisurely time before we strolled for 15 minutes through
A bus had been hired and all kit, etc and crew were being installed. They all got off for a group photo, then we embarked on the road to Pokhara. The driver of the Tata bus was careful and the first hour along dirt roads wasn't scary despite views of the gorge, far below under unprotected drops from the track.
Then we joined a tarmac
road at Baglung. 8:45 start from Beni to ~11am pee stop, then a photo stop for views
We passed through
various police/army checkpoints and later discovered that someone was murdered
today in Pokhara. (Probably people were also murdered in
So by 1 pm we had
arrived at Shangri-La Village Hotel**** to the south of Pokhara, and were soon
installed in rooms with a bit more character than those of the Radisson in
Andrew, Mark and Sanjeev stayed at the hotel for lunch whilst the rest of us took a taxi to Boomerang restaurant at Lakeside, where we enjoyed a leisurely lunch in the shade and watched boaters on the lake, and women washing clothes, beyond the restaurant's green lawns.
Unfortunately it was quite hazy so there were only occasional brief glimpses of the high mountains beyond the nearby wooded hills.
We walked back to
the hotel (half an hour) partly beside a canal, passing
Then a few hours' R&R before meeting with Sanjeev for a good buffet meal at the hotel. By 10 pm we were all (except maybe Sanjeev) ready for bed and we adjourned for a good night's sleep in real beds.
Wednesday, 27 July 2022
Tuesday, 26 July 2022
Thursday 18 November
Last day on the circuit. Usual 6 am start. The morning is hazy but warm enough to get dressed in shorts. No down jackets to be seen this morning!
On sitting down to breakfast, Andrew got a shock when checking the contents of the cornflakes packet. A large grasshopper stared out at him! It was shaken free of the packet, but with a leg missing, which we presumed was in with the cornflakes. Someone made the witty comment about the novelty of free gifts in cereals these days! Suffice to say, nobody ate any.
We were off at 7:30, on a fairly long day for our last one. The path was fairly wide and in places was hewn into the hillside above the river. In several places, steps were cut into the rock in the narrow gorges. The vegetation was lush, with orange trees, bamboo, a few rice fields being harvested, and banana palms. Small settlements were frequent.
Despite the route being generally downhill, there seemed to be quite a lot of ascent. The true circuit goes to Ghorepani, and at the first junction below Tatopani, (by the bridge shown above) another trail led upwards in that direction. The river was crossed by suspension bridges several times. There were numerous mules that caused us to stop so that they could pass. In one area, the path was cut into the hillside, and men with enormous packs had to bend right down to get through. Drips fell from above, and these men were barefoot in the mud and stone.
The steep hillsides produced some fine waterfalls, often long ribbons of water. A lemon tea stop was welcome - it wasn't too sunny but was quite humid. Energy levels were restored with crystallized ginger mountain mix and jelly babies.
The trail was wide enough for a couple of jeeps to plough up and down between villages as a bus service. Apart from motorbikes and tractors these are the first vehicles seen in a couple of weeks.
Another pleasant lunch, during which the local small kids played with our trekking poles and got to look at their pictures on the back of Mark's digital camera. We munched on chips, spinach, cheese chapatis, pumpkin fritters and sausages, and a fresh orange. During lunch, a tractor and trailer drove past, amusingly with our porters and loads on board!
We descended further after lunch, soon stopping for more lemon tea after a river crossing guarded in several places by the army, with guns. Apparently a meeting was going on in town. Our kitchen crew came past here. Whilst Deepak was on the bridge a mule raced up behind him, only raising a smirk from the very shy cook.
Toyota Corollas were
parked at the end of the village, and on the last stretch to
The trek ended at the Yeti Hotel, where we waited for a while in the garden whilst rooms were sorted. Couples have attached bathrooms, but singles must use a communal bathroom. Rooms, ours on the top floor, are basic but fine.
Washing water is really hot, then we have tea downstairs and play Uno until dinner. As it is the last night, a 'feast' is prepared. It's soup and poppadoms, then crispy noodles and fried eggs, chicken, salad, rice, roast potatoes, beans and cauliflower. A chocolate cake, iced 'Happy Trek End', was a good pudding, with the remainder shared amongst the crew. Mugs of rum punch were served from the large kettle.
After dinner, the whole crew assembled around the dining room. We'd contributed 5000 rupees (~£40) each for their tip, and these had been distributed into the following envelopes:
Sherpas - Hosta and Navraj
Kitchen staff (x4)
Nike and Surya
Further distribution occurs amongst themselves. Each of us made a presentation of an envelope to one of these people. Andrew made a short 'speech' to the effect that usually he loses weight on these trips, but with Deepak's excellent cooking this was the first time he had not done so!
From a bucket, the porters were served Rakshi in tall glasses. Until 10:45 pm, most people danced, including our one-eyed table man, who looked as if he was enjoying things immensely. Only Deepak refused to dance! Sagar proved a very graceful dancer. We did not have the chance to sing 'On Ilkley Moor' that Lindy had written out. We retired much later than normal, but with the usual 6 am start in prospect.
Today's route was pretty much 'Nepali Flat' - Sanjeev's description of a gently undulating path.
Start: 1350 metres
Ascent: 50 metres
Descent: -395 metres
Finish: 1005 metres
Time: 8.6 hours
Stops: 2.6 hours
Walking time: 6 hours
Monday, 25 July 2022
14 May 1977 - and I'm following Pete Morley up the Garburn Road in the Lake District, with the summits of High Street ahead. I'll continue by way of captions, as I've found no diary for this period. If you click on a picture you might find a slideshow of better images, but the captions won't appear.
It looks as if this trip's participants were Pete Morley, Dave Scruby, Gary Beighton, Roger Freeman and myself.
Sunday, 24 July 2022
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