Wanting to make distance today, we wanted to leave at 7am, but problem was our porter was still nowhere to be seen. A bit upset at the lack of commitment, we left about 45mins past our scheduled departure.
Despite the early morning, the trails were already full of people. Today was an uphill climb, and the trails have turned into a dusty, rocky road. As the tourism industry continues to grow, that also increases the facilities and goods needed and the infrastructure must follow suit. Before long, roads will probably be connected around the Annapurna Circuit, relegating trekking to a less popular alternative than the 2-day scenic Jeep ride. Why would anyone want to walk 6hrs a day for 12days to see some you can see in 2 days?
We stopped at 10am for a rest and some tea and biscuits (how English, I must say!), while being harassed by clucking chickens and a drunk man. Again, this was 10am. Right now, it is the biggest festival of the year in Nepal, Dasain, which is equivalent to CNY or Christmas, but getting drunk at 10am is just too crazy for any standard.
Lunch was eaten at a shack next to the dusty road atop the city of Tal, which was built next to the river and a towering waterfall. The meal was simple to the point of hilariousness, but nobody was laughing when we paid the bill as it was soooo overpriced. Oh well, our bellies were full and we pushed on to the next village, about 2hrs away.
Finally arriving in Dharapani at around 3:30pm, the first lodge was a German bakery, the second was a Tibetan guest house, the third was a eco-conscious motel, and the fourth was a bland motel with a view of a rock pit. They claimed to have hot water showers, while others only had solar, so we picked the fourth. The water was hot, but the water came at a painfully slow trickle similar to a dripping tap. It didn’t help that you also stood about a foot deep in other people’s dirty water as the drainage was probably slower than the dripping tap.
It didn’t matter, because today is a big day…. It’s Jiajia’s birthday! Without much to celebrate with (there were no cakes/desserts in the whole town), we celebrated her birthday with a birthday croissant!!! Yay!!! And then we topped it off with some birthday chicken curry with rice, and a bottle of coke.
It’s pretty late now at 8:30pm, so we’re off to bed!