Thursday 14th December 2017
It was rather late when we arrived at our start location in Kathmandu – we’d been ‘bumped’ off the Delhi to Nepal flight and our seats sold to strangers due to a ‘computer error’ by Jet Airways… Seven hours (and compensation) later we were allowed on the next flight so arrived to greet our guide, Bikash, when the streets were quiet, the roads clear and Kathmandu was quietly sleeping.
Needless to say we didn’t get much sleep that night before we had a scenic drive to Besisahar with our group, our guides and our porters to begin the circuit.
Goats tied to the tops of minibuses kept us amused.
The bus drive was utter madness but also very fascinating – Nepal’s roads are dusty, bumpy and… just utter madness if you’re not used to them and how to drive them. We soon learned that the Nepalese use their horns often and mainly to either alert pedestrians or other vehicles of their presence or to request to overtake. Motorbikes weave in and out of the traffic and pedestrians aren’t afraid to step out into the madness and cross the road!
After a quick lunch at a small restaurant where we admired the beautiful view before us we were back on our bus to finish the eight hour journey…
At our destination of Besisahar we begun our trek to Bhulebule with an air of excitement within the group – I for one was still in belief that I was there, in Nepal, starting the circuit!
We followed the river on an undulating route northwards up the Marsyangdi Valley, passing small shops, houses, rice paddies and villages on route. Small children, walking home from school, greeted us with “Namaste” (A Nepalese welcoming greeting meaning: “I bow to the divine in you“) with a slight bow and hands pressed together then quickly demanded “chocolate” “sweets” “pencils” – at one point Terry was surrounded with their out stretched begging hands demanding confectionary calling him a “Liar!” when he said he didn’t have anything (I found this hilarious!).
As the sun was slowly setting we had a lovely view of Himalchuli (second highest mountain in the Mansiri Himal at 7893m/25,896 ft and 18th highest mountain in the world) and Peak 29 (also known as Ngadi Chuli, Dakura, Dakum, or Dunapurna. 7,871 m/25,823 ft in height) – a starting glimpse in the beauty of these magnificent mountains. A pink sunset! I’ve never seen pink mountains before!!
Ngadi Chuli (center)
Our guesthouse for the night was our first adventure in to basic Nepalese trekking accommodation – no fancy mod-cons, toilets outside, sterilising the water from the taps but oh, we loved it!
Not going to lie, the first night was cold, really cold, but we were tired and once we were snuggled into our sleeping bags we fell asleep to dreams of towering mountains and pink sunsets.