Friday, April 17, 2015

ABC Trek: Day 3 - to Chomorong

We woke up to find a bright sunny morning greeting us. After a cold and wet day of hiking and an equally cold and wet night, the sun cheered us all. We had a sumptuous breakfast, took some photos of the mountains and started walking towards Jhinu Danda at 7:30 am.

It was a tough climb - made tougher by the unrelenting sun and the resulting sweating & dehydration. Soon all of us were looking for shops to buy water - luckily we found one before any of us fainted due to heat. We  stopped for a tea break at about 9 am. 90 minutes of steep climb in hot and sunny weather had taken its toll on the porters as well. In addition we had a dog following us from Ghandruk and CD & IL were very concerned about him. So while the humans had tea, Shaggy was given butter biscuits as reward for his climbing efforts.

At 9:30 am we started the descent towards the river from where we had another steep climb waiting for us to Jhinu Danda. The weather stayed hot and now folks were worried about finding a water source for Shaggy. We  reached the river around 11:30 am where Shaggy had his fill of water and rest of us poured the cold refreshing water over our hot and bothered faces. 

Now it was back to another climb - short this time though. We stopped at Jhinu Danda for our usual chapati, dal and veg lunch. Shaggy was fed more biscuits and a chapati. After lunch we started for hot springs at about 1:30 pm (It costs NR 50 per head). It is about 20 min of descent towards the hot springs. There are basic shacks for you change into bathing suits, as clean as they can be near a natural water source. The small bathing pool had clean water and it felt very soothing to our tired muscles. Due to lack of time, we left the springs at 2:30 pm, climbed back 25 min to Jhinu Danda and stopped again for some tea this time.

Our porters had proceeded to Chomorong after lunch itself as it didnt make sense for them to come down to springs. Another group of backpackers told us that it would take 2-3 hours of steep climbing for us to reach our destination for the day. So with a heavy heart, tired muscles and sweating foreheads, we embarked on the last climb for the day. We started at 3:35 pm and surprisingly I was at Chomorong by 4:40 pm, IL reached by 5:10 pm and CD & PC also made it by 5:50 pm while climbing at an easy comfortable pace. 

It had been a long day but since our porters had managed to find us a lodge (Excellent View Top) with attached bathrooms, we could relax our weary muscles with long hot showers. While the lodge had clean linen and nice blankets, the food was a real let down. It was expensive and tasted "not so good". On return we stayed at the same lodge again but had our dinner at the German Bakery & Cafe near by and it was really good. 

Sunrise at Ghandruk
River crossing on way to Jhinu Danda

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