Annapurna Circuit - Day 2 - Intro to Home-brew
Trip Start Feb 12, 2008
45Trip End Apr 13, 2008
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Where I stayed
Sonam Tibetan Guest Lodge
Let the first real day of trekking begin. Up just before 7... a little too chilly for a cold shower so straight to breakfast... ordered around 7.20 in the hope of being on our way by 8... an hour or so later we're still waiting. Welcome our first lesson in gaining some Nepali patience.
Finally fed we load up and get on our way, following a track along the river and over a suspension bridge. Over the next 4 hours the path leads us through villages straight out of medieval times - mud huts with thatched roofs - dogs, chickens, cows, goats all wondering around or lazily grazing in their straw barns. Terraced fields occupy the landscape and occasionally you catch them being ploughed by beasts of burden or having garlic, onions, potatos and wheat swen by hand
Children run around with dirty little faces smiling brightly. Some head off to school, others return often walking miles at a time.
We're passed by Nepalese carrying huge loads of firewood, straw or other random supplies on their backs piled high above their heads. How they manage such loads is beyond me yet they always manage a friendly Hello/Namaste and smile.
The tinkering of bells in the distance warns you of an approaching mule/donkey train. The lumbering animals weighed down with goods and dressed beautifully in feathered, mirrored or colourfully tassled bridles. Many carry packs of concrete or explosives which are being used in the construction of the Manang Road... something that is to surely destroy the Annapurna Circuit in the coming years.
We stopped for lunch at the ridge top settlement of Bahundanda which offered beautiful views of far off mountains. From there the trail dropped steeply back through terraced fields and along the river passing a massive waterfall. After crossing another huge suspension bridge we arrived at Syanje just after 2.
By the end of the day our washing is drying out on the suspensin bridge over the river and I'm trying my first glass of home brew beer (Chhang) which looks pretty dodgy.... kinda like the colour of weak milky tea with bits floating in it. It's made from rice or barley, tastes kinda like cider and has what smells and tastes like a generous portion of alcohol in it. Nice.
So with the second day complete we're still (a) happy and (b) sporting no blisters. Lets hope it continues.
Tip of the Day: Try the Chhang. It's good and about a fifth of the price of normal beer. Bargain.