Besi Shar to Bahundanda

Our first day of actual trekking took us from Besi Shar at 2490 ft along the Marsyangdi River— which we followed to Manang— to Bahundande at 4295 ft with many ups and downs along the way. Nothing is level in Nepal—at least not in the parts I have visited. We saw 200+ year old terraces, twin goats just born, and a bit of light rain in the late afternoon. Throughout the day we got some nice views of Manaslu to the east at 26,759 ft, the 8th highest mountain in the world.

My big mistake for the day happened right at the start. I got behind taking photos and to try to catch up rushed down the steep hill out of Besi Shar. My calf paid for this soon after. The sherpas helped me survive the day by carrying my pack. After lunch Keg wrapped my leg and later I took some Motrin-like pills. Gradually the pain subsided a bit.

Along the way we crossed two “interesting” bridges. The first, before the village of Khudi, was a broken-down suspension bridge with many holes in the boards where your feet should not go. The second was spotted as we approached our lunch spot in Bhulbhule. I though, wow, look at that bamboo contraption that the locals must navigate. After lunch I learned we too must cross it. At least there were no yaks around at this elevation to share the bridge with us. You can see the bamboo bridge to the right below and in the slide show that follows.

Below is the kitchen window where a combination of our shepras and the local folks who ran the restaurant prepared our lunch with Chhongba supervising the operation.

Bhulbhule was named after the “bhul, bhul” babble that a natural spring murmurs higher up the slope at the original site of the village. People moved down to the more accessible location near the river 150 years ago as the Tibetan salt trade in the valley grew significant.

The day was quite warm and local kids took advantage of the river to play and swim. Couples plowed there fields with animals, parts of the trail were heavily fortified with gabions against landslides, and monkeys played not too far off the trail in the brush.

The porters had a full load (bottled water, canned goods, etc) and had trouble with the steep hills. They were 1-1/2 hours late arriving at our hotel for the night. Chhongba sent some sherpas back down to help them.

The owner of the Panoramic Mountain View Hotel is the third generation there. He says the new road, which is on the other side of the river, is hurting business. From the hotel we had beautiful views of the heavily terraced fields below where they plant two crops per year: corn, millet, and /or beans in the spring then rice for the monsoon season.

Dinner was garlic soup, garlic momos, and French fries with cheese. We tried some emailing under trying conditions. Over Room No.1 a sign read “Some Extra Charge for Snoring Person”. Bed late, at 8:30PM, up a marginal “stairway”. Toilet and shower were in the “Bhath Room” in a detached building with an amazing view of the valley and terraces below.