Annapurna Circuit - Day 14 (Marpha - Kalopani)
Kalopani Travel Blog› entry 58 of 136 › view all entries
A rough start for some people this morning after last night's refreshments and a hazy day down the Kali Gandaki valley obscured many of the views that we might have had of the higher mountains as we walked. Topography was still similar to the past few days with a bit more of an alpine setting as some furs, pines, spruces, and cedar or two appeared on the hillsides to add a bit of variety to the terrain. It was also another relatively flat day with only 120m (394 ft).
Our first stop was Tukuche for a tea/snack stop. Patrick had spotted some large birds clustering over the riverbed so while everyone else went for refreshment we headed back out to the river to explore. What we found was a large batch of Himalayan Griffon Vultures tearing apart a dead calf.
Returning to the group we headed a short distance down the road to the Tukuche Distillery where a local family produces a variety of apple, peach, apricot, and other flavored brandies (which we had sampled last night). I'll admit that I could never taste the actual flavor to this strong alcohol (40%). An acquired taste to be sure. We were given a tour of the grounds, shown the process for making the brandy, and allowed to sample a few varieties berfore heading back to the road.
An hour later we were in Larjung for lunch. All morning the sky had gotten more cloudy and hazy and as we ate lunch the rain finally started to fall.
Our lodge here in Kalopani (Kalopani Lodge - original name right) is the nicest place we have stayed at so far.
The rain finally stopped and the clouds cleared enough to get some great shots of Nilgiri and Annapurna I (8091m - 26545 ft) towering over the valley as the sun set to the west. Tomorrow its back to a downhill day dropping from our current elevation of 2500m (8200 ft) to 1200m (3937 ft) at Tatopani. It's also the longest day distance-wise at around 22km. Hopefully my quads have recovered to make it through the long day.