2019 Marpha to Tatopani :
Left Marpha at 7:15 walking through the interesting medieval streets.
Soon crossing a bridge to the east side of the Kali Gandaki River. Wonderful walking in a hilly pine forest and trail covered in pine needles and cones. The day is spectacular with deep blue cloudless skies, and a cool breeze with a warming sun rising over the white peaks.
A stray black dog, ‘Blackie’ joined me and we came to several forks and he would always surge ahead going the correct way so I stopped using GPS and let him lead.
Following a steep climb of 300 meters, we then came into the delightful small town of Sauru, just off the banks of the Kali Gandaki with one little restaurant and a single wooden table outside.
I rewarded Blackie by buying some left over rice and veggies which he wolfed down and then left. Smart dog.
After a pleasant lunch talking with some local kids, I continued on following the winding river. Around 3PM, arrived in Lete intending to get a bed but found myself past the last hotel (don’t like to backtrack especially uphill) so kept walking another 1 1/2 hours to Ghasa; weary but happily arriving at the Florida Guesthouse.
5 Nepali government workers invited me to join them outside for tea. They then invited me to join them for a very good dal bhat dinner with a first time for me in Nepal; fresh stinging nettles soup. The girls had picked the nettles in the nearby fields earlier. After dinner they wanted to dance with one guy playing the traditional double bongo and someone singing. Why not. Fun evening.
The following day I made it to Tatopani ( Tato means hot and pani means water in Nepali ) and it’s of course hot spring along the river. Wonderful soaking my aching legs and body in the steaming pools of water.
Again, while so many trekkers stop walking earlier on the Circuit these days, it can be rewarding to continue the journey on foot taking in spectacular views and engaging with friendly locals. And taking the trails on the side of the river across from the road it is quiet and gorgeous. So it is onward to Pokhara enjoying encounters with the locals, especially the friendly children.