I headed out around 5 AM to try to get early light on the Annapurna range before it hazed over, the colorful boats on Phewa Tal, and the early activity in town before tourists arrived. I did get some early light on Annapurna South (center) and Annapurna I (far right) in the dawn photo to the right. The boats on the lake were quiet and colorful.
It took a lot of work in Photoshop to increase contrast and pull the mountains out of the haze in the panorama below shot at 6:17 AM. The main peaks, left to right, follow with altitude in feet. To the left of the foreground hill: Annapurna South (23,684), Baraha Shikhar (25,088), and just a piece of the almost hidden Annapurna I (26,545). To the right of the foreground hill: Machhapuchhre (22,956), Annapurna III (24,787), Annapurna IV (24,688), and at the far right Annapurna II (26,040).
Women were on the shore of Phewa Tal doing their laundry, a young boy was trying—seemingly in vain—to sell a loaf of bread, cattle egrets were busy building nests, women swept the street in front of their shops, and children took a martial arts class with the lake as the backdrop.
Chhongba left on an earlier flight for Kathmandu to make some preparations for Carolyn, Milt, and Lisa, who planned to carry on for a short trek in the Khumbu region. Mingmar Dorji and Pasang took us by bus to a Hindu Temple, which for me served as a good vantage point for another panoramic photo of the Annapurna Range. This one also took considerable work in Photoshop to bring out the mountains.
We visited the Seti River Gorge of mostly ducted water, a deep gorge with a lot of trash in the gorge. At the next stop some of us visited a British Gurkha museum. I skipped it in order to photograph people on the street. Chhongba had planned a full morning for us but soon after we boarded the bus Chhongba called and asked to speak to me. The basic message was that we should all hurry back to the hotel, pack quickly, and hustle to the airport since the 2 PM plane was actually leaving at 11:40 AM. So we did another hurry-up-and-wait routine, but eventually we were on our way back to Kathmandu.
Chhongba greeted us at the airport when we arrived back in Kathmandu. After checking back into our hotel we walked to Mike’s Breakfast, our traditional end-of-the-trek lunch spot. I had a delicious chicken breast with garlic bread. More photos of the people and sites of Kathmandu, a celebratory dinner in Thamel featuring Gyacok Soup seen here, and the trek was over—well, only sort of. There was still a full two days before our evening plane would depart for the 36 hour trip home. So there are more chapters left in this epic tale.
Please enjoy the slide show that follows and then click “NEXT” to continue with the culmination of the trip and many more photos of the friendly people of Nepal.