Tatopani to Ghorepani (March 2019):
Discovered remedy for sore upper front thighs after 5 days of long descents. Just walk up 1,700 meters/5,577 feet from Tatopani to Ghorepani and the pain goes away. Or perhaps it just moved. These are ancient trading routes and people are still carrying goods up and down the mountain. Consequently, the route is stone steps about 90% of the path. This makes it a bit easier.
Taking a lunch break, had a nice conversation with some American school kids and some fun joking with a guy teaching locals Cooking. The weather seemed to be changing so I bid the kids goodbye for the last 500 meters up. Before long there was a mix of rain, hail and snow.
Made it to Mountain View Lodge but unfortunately it was cloudy so no scenic view. They had a nice stove though so stayed downstairs in the dining room until late before retiring to my cold bedroom.
Day 15 Ghorepani to Tadapani:
Leaving Ghorepani with the sun breaking through, enjoyed walking along the ridge through the forests filled with red and pink rhododendrons and the white capped Himalayas in the distance. A bit surprised to find there is still snow on parts of the trail but made for some beautiful photos with the mix of red, green, and white. And yesterday’s ascent was 1,700 meters.
Leaving the ridge there was a long descent to a river and then up to Tadapani, which means “far water” as the water source is a good hike from the village. I remembered the Panorama View Hotel from a previous trip and made my home there for the night. Talked with friendly owner manager Rahul who spoke great English and attended Idaho State University. He later served up a nice veggie burger for dinner. An English couple sitting with me had spinach lasagna which they said was good. The food on this part of Annapurna can be quite varied and tasty on the Annapurna Trek. More so than on any of the other treks.
Unfortunately cloudy skies hid the view all evening. However, the morning skies were clear and I headed to the dining room at 5:30 seeing a half moon over the white peaked mountains and enjoyed the sun rising brightening the snow and red rhododendrons in the foreground. What a view it was with Machapuchare (6,993 meters) and a couple of the Annapurna and Annapurna South Mountains in sight, enhanced by the steaming hot Masala Tea provided by Rahul.
Day 16 Tadapani to Chhomrong:
The clear skies made for a chilly but pleasant walk down the mountain on a true mountain trail with few steps. Heading down the valley the rays of the sun reached us the day grew increasingly warm. After crossing a bridge and climbing again reached a relatively flat section and meandered down a trail high above the Modi Khola River. The trail slowly rose and eventually made it to Chhomrong which is the start of the Annapurna Base Camp(ABC) Trek. The views from Excellent View Hotel were, well “Excellent”.
Talking with the owner manager here, Mikas, I learned the single Hotel at ABC is damaged from an avalanche and closed. Supposedly two Koreans were killed in an avalanche as well. Also after tomorrow there is rain and snow forecasted for a week. Mikas explained that the Valley is narrow and prone to avalanches so not sure if I want to get the crampons back on and walk into the rain and snow at high altitude.