Day 13,14,15 : Yak Kharka - Pisang - Tal - Pokhara
Trip Start Dec 25, 2008
15Trip End Jan 18, 2009
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Day 13 we headed down from Yak Kharka. We reached Manang by afternoon had some tea and decided to continue on faster. I thought of an alternative to take horse ride for a change - so Dawa went on look out for someone who could give 3 horses - one for me and one for Dawa and third one for another person to bring back all the horses once we finish our trip. We found one person little further up Manang who was okay on a deal of 3000 NPR for two horse, but Dawa had to go and help round of horses. After two hrs Dawa returned back with no horses and sore on his backside. They couldnt round up any of the horses - finally they struck a deal with one guy. However w had only two horses - one white, 35 yrs old, toothless horse and one young black wild horse. The idea was for us to ride the horses ourselves and two young kids would follow us on foot and bring back the horses later. Hmmm...i signed up to that offer - i took the white horse and Dawa took the black.
We continued on and my white horse was too old to carry me. It would stop and pant for a while and remembered me of my hike from Yak Kharkha to Thorung Phedi. While Dawa's horse was real wild bronco and crazy going around and difficult to control. Dawa aksed me to swap horses with him and i declined as i was sure i would not be able to control the black horse. I had to get down few times at climbs and it was faster for me to walk rather than be on the white horse :) ! I decided to abandon the horses mid way and go ahead walking. In fact Heath and Lorie also decided to head back down and they were quite ahead of us :) ! I was okay to forego 3000 NPR rather than loose time.
We reached Pisang in the evening and stayed at the sam Hill Top hotel. We had covered almost 22kms in one day. All going down but had to climb up twice or thrice. We were exhausted. There was a group of spanish tourists going on the way up and they were staying in the same hotel. I had a long chat with them and wished them luck in their coming days ahead. Had dinner with them and around 8:30pm after dinner i suddenly started feeling not well. I was feeling breathless and choking ! I was still having symptoms of AMS even at 3250mts. Dawa was very scared and he took me down for a walk.. I was having continous burps and was feeling that my larynx was blocked and was feeling breathless. I was getting paranoid and asked Dawa if there is a phone or doctor nearby, unfortunately there was nothing. I decided to head down futher overnight as it would help me. Dawa said it would be best to get a horse and he engaged a local person to help with his horse. We decided to take the horse from Pisang to Chame 20kms (3250mts to 2710mts) at 8pm and that would cost me 14000 NPR (200 USD)...i was okay to spend that money rather than choke myself up :) ! So the horse owner and Dawa walked as I remnained on the horse ...burping and feeling choked. I didnt know how i made it, but was feeling much better when we reached Bhratang. We reached Bhratang (2850mts) around 10:30pm and woke up folks at a teahouse (cousin of the horse owner). I was feeling much better and decided to abandon the trip further and stay overnight at Bhratang. After having some warm water and tea and i went to sleep in freezing cold.
Day 14 Bharatang to Tal. Next day was feeling much better, had my morning tea and breakfast, took some picture for the horse that brought me overnight from Pisang to Bhratang (12kms) and as well the owners of the teahouse who helped by waking by late night ! I couldnt thank them much - I found out that the folks along the trek were pretty helpful always. The horseowner looked little concerned if I would give him the entire money as i called the trip half way off stopping at Bhratang. I gave him all the money (14000 NPR) and he was happy - i think it was worth for the trouble he agreed to overnight and walking all the way in snow.
Saying good bye to everyone in Bhratang, we did the longest march back in one day. With little stops on the way, we covered 30kms in one day. From Bhratang (2850mts) in morning we were at Tal (1700mnts) in the evening. We had walked very fast and descending had taken a toll on our knees. We stayed overnight at Tal and enjoyed had a good night sleep and change in clothes.
Day 15 Tal to Pokhara. Early morning around 7am we started off from Tal for our long hike to Sangye. We made through 12kms of descend and reached Sangye by afternoon. We had stopped at Jagat for lunch. Descending down is not easy - i would rather prefer climbing :) ! It was very difficult descending with a heavy backpack and the all gravel and stone trail from Jagat to Sangye. The patch for Jagat to Sangye is very hostile and will never forget that. I was barely staying on my legs and had to take stops and sit as my left knee was in lot of pain. Towards end of reaching Sangye i was walking slowly and in pain - but somehow of the joy of getting back kept me moving :) ! Reached Sangye around 2pm and from there we took a 4 Wheel drive to Besisahar. The drive from Sangye to Besisahar took us 2hrs and 15 minutes. A drive that I cannot forget - it is the most offroad drive i have ever been. They use modified Mahindra jeeps or Halus Mustang (never heard before) to ferry people through. We were in a Halus Mustang and it did its job very well. The driver was excellent as he navigated through the narrow landslide filled road. We rached Besisahar around 5pm and were just in time to catch a van to Dumre (nearest big town) and than we were luck enough to catch another van just about to leave for Pokhara. We ended up in Pokhara around 7:30pm ! It was unbelievable to have cover some much distance in one day i.e. from Tal to Pokhara. Next to me in the Van was a guy who runs a hotel on lakeside - he just opened it 20 days back and we decided to stay there atleast for one night. The hotel is called Hotel Hyatt Pokhara (trademark infringement) - its a decent hotel with 12$ per night. Went for Nepali dinner with the owner yesterday night and withdrawed some money as I had no cash remaining. Dawa was supposed to leave this morning, so I gave him his much awaited tip (13000 NPR) and he was happy to have recieved that. I think he deserved it for all the help he provided to me. I bid goodbye to Dawa and went for a good night sleep.........Zz.zzz....
I recollected my last 15 days of hiking and feel glad of the hiking experience...had mixed emotions as i recollected eveyday of the 200km journey from 830mts to 4450mts and back. The varied local cutlure, the AMS, the landscape, the decision to abandon the last climb over the pass and all of it....and most of it having taken no shower since 9 days...have a beard now...covered in dust and looking wild now :) ! I slept on with a view to get up to a good morning tomorrow and check-in to the best hotel in town (Fish Tail lodge) and spend a great tow three days relaxing there and yes have a good two hour shower in a bath tub full of warm water....:) !