Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Day 03 (Tal to Chame)
I woke up shortly past 06:00, got ready, paid my bill, and began hiking at 06:50. I walked through the rest of Tal and then ascended on a trail carved out of the towering rock cliffs; I crossed a suspension bridge over to the west side of the Marsyangdi River and hiked on a dirt road for a while. Eventually, I reached the town of Dharapani where I registered at the ACAP checkpoint. Then, after leaving Dharapani, I took an alternate trail up to the town of Odar, a bucolic town with rustic stone homes, gardens, and cattle; then I followed the trail back down to the Annapurna Circuit trail, in the town of Bagarchhap. From here, I was mostly on the dirt road again, passing through the towns of Danakyu, Timang, Thanchowk, and Koto. Around and after Timang, I was treated to views of many Autumn leaves along the road. Near Thanchowk, I met two Americans (father and son) who were also hiking the Annapurna, heading up to Manang (this was a nice change since most hikers I have met have been hiking in the other direction, back to Besisahar, after having been turned away in Manang due to the recent disaster; though, the American (father) told me they expect it to reopen by Friday, which will work out nicely with my schedule); we stopped at a small restaurant by the trail that had apple slices drying out in the sun; the American (son) bought some and shared then with me (they were a welcome treat); then we walked on to Koto (where we had to stop at another ACAP checkpoint) and then finally made it to Chame (our end point for the day); I would’ve stayed in the same hotel as the American father-son team, but they had no more rooms available; so I walked to the end of town and found a place near some hot springs. At this point, I was completely exhausted and could not wait to drop my pack off. I then ordered some much needed sustenance; I had vegetable fried potatoes, fried vegetable momos, and a Tibetan tea (which evidently has milk in it). I then relaxed in my room before gathering the strength to walk to the center of town to fill up on safe drinking water (I was going to use the tap water at the hotel, but there were rather large bits of matter floating around when I filled up my one liter bottle; I used the Steripen to disinfect the water before dumping it out since I didn’t want contaminated droplets lingering inside). After returning back to my room, I used two iodine tablets to treat the water in my one liter bottle as an extra precautionary measure; I then rested and enjoyed the view of the mountains as evening turned to night before going to sleep.