October 6, 2008:
Tukuche (2,590 m) to Dana (1,400 m) ..... Long Day!
Woke up with a view of the
sunrise on Dhaulagiri out of
my room. We had breakfast
around 7:30 am. I had my oat
porridge with apples,
scrambled eggs and a
chocolate croissant (!). Lots
of calories for a long day. We
left Tukuche close to 8:30 am.
The last few days between Jomsom and Larjung there is hardly an
altitude difference. Today, we were leaving the higher altitude and
descending the Kali Gandaki Gorge. At Larjung, Bharat and Suzi went
to visit the Monastery while Som and I continued towards Ghasa. A little
past Larjung, we crossed the Kali Gandaki River to the east side. We
were in Kokhethanti at around 10:30 am. Through the village of
Dhampu we went and right before Kalopani crossed the river again to
its western banks.
We strolled through Kalopani and then through Lete. At Lete there was a police checkpoint. I did not have
my permit with me and told the officer that my guide would have the paperwork and he was behind me.
That was fine with him. At the outskirts of Lete, it started to rain. We had to cross a sidestream via a
hanging bridge. The valley was a lot steeper here and everywhere are the remnants of landslides. A little
further down, a landslide had swept away our trail. The going was a little difficult here and it was pouring
rain by now. Som and I continued our hike slipping and sliding and we finally arrived in Ghasa at around
1:15 pm.
We went inside the New Florida Lodge. Bharat and Suzi arrived about 15 minutes after us literally running
down the trail as Suzi had her raingear in the backpack which Som was carrying. Bharat had given her a
second rainjacket he had. At the lodge there were a couple of older Danish guys and two Germans who
also had lunch there. We left Ghasa at 2:30 pm.
Just outside of Ghasa, we had to cross the river
again to its east side. We had to hike up the trail
for quite a while and then it was steeply downhill.
It was still raining and the trail was slippery and
muddy. There were lots of mule caravans which
take this trail, so added to the mix were lots of
donkey crap and donkey piss covering the path.
Hiking this trail in the opposite direction of us were
many Hindu pilgrims on their way to Muktinath. As
this road in this part of the Kali Gandaki is still
under construction (and probably will be for quite a
while due to the steepness of the terrain), pilgrims
and trekkers alike have to hike as there are no
jeeps or bikes which can navigate this rugged
terrain. Some of those Hindus are age challenged
(i.e. old) and are moving extremely slow and I am
wondering how long it will take them to get there.
After almost a couple of hours of this and shortly before Rupse Chhahara we crossed a bridge again to
the west side of the river. From here it was another hour in the rain and mud until we finally arrived in
Dana. Som and I arrived there around 5:30 pm and got rooms at the Kabin Lodge, a basic lodge. Bharat
and Suzi arrived shortly before it was dark. Poor Suzi had to really rush the last hour or so as Bharat was
determined to get to Dana with her before dark. The Didi of the Lodge was great. She had that matrimonial
aura around her and everybody was ollowing her orders. We talked for quite a while to each other and got
along great.
During the entire day and especially during the afternoon, my so-called porter got on my nerves.
Continuously he wanted to take breaks, asked me how much longer, told me he is tired and that his feet
hurt. I don't think he is made for this job. So I had a talk with Bharat. He told me that this was his first
job......ever....
We had a delicious dinner. I had veggie noodle soup and a tomato pizza. One of the Germans we saw at
lunch in Ghasa stayed in the Lodge as well and we had a nice conversation. Went to bed finally around 9
pm and slept really good as it was really quiet there.
Lete
Landslide washed away the trail
Muddy Trail
Signs of Landslides everywhere