Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Day 14 (Tukuche to Kalopani)
I woke up today with a slight headache from the bottle of apple brandy I drank last night; I then had breakfast (Tsampa porridge with apples and apple pancakes) and packed my bag for today’s hike; I said goodbye to the Englishman from Ice Lake, left the hotel, and walked down the dirt road (avoiding all the traffic, which was more than one would expect prior to eight o’clock). I hiked past Kobang and entered in to the town of Larjung; here I took a side trail up to the quaint town of Naurikot, a traditional Thakali village, which was very nice and located high up on a ridge; I then hiked down to the Boksi Khola stream bed and crossed it on a suspension bridge; soon I was back on the dirt road and, just as soon, I was back on another side trail; this trail led up to two lakes; first, I passed by Butrich Lake (a lake the locals come to during a dry spell to pray for rain); then I climbed up to a large land slide that wasn’t entirely stable; I crossed the landslide and reached Sekung Lake (a lake that plays host to an annual nine-day yak blood drinking festival – it ’twas not the season, thus I did not partake), which offered a great photo opportunity with the surrounding Himalayans (unfortunately, rain clouds were gathering and obscuring some of the peaks); I continued on and soon reached the abandoned (and mostly destroyed) village of Sekung (it was abandoned after a large avalanche occurred in the town’s history); then I took the trail down to Kokhethanti. I reached the suspension bridge crossing the Kali Gandaki Nadi to Kokhethanti and met some Nepalese travelers who wanted several photographs with me; after posing with them, I crossed the bridge and walked to Kokhethanti; originally, I had planned to spend the night here, but the village wasn’t interesting enough to me; so I quickly formulated a new plan of action and continued on the stone highway down to Kalopani; after about an hour of walking, I reached another suspension bridge; I recrossed the Kali Gandaki Nadi and then walked south on the dirt road to Kalopani (it was now raining and I was moving quickly); I found a suitable lodge, put my bag in the room, and had lunch (a mushroom and vegetable pizza and a beer); I then relaxed in my room for a long time, even dozing off for about an hour, until it was time for dinner. For dinner I had potato and cheese momos with a cocktail dipping sauce, an excellent and well presented dal bhat, and beer. I then went back to my room and read for a few hours until my eyes could take no more and shut for the night.