Annapurna Circuit - Day 15 (Kalopani - Tatopani)
Tatapani Travel Blog› entry 59 of 136 › view all entries
Today was a tough day. Mentally more than physically for the most part. The walk was pretty much all downhill as we left the wide open riverbed that we had walked fown from Kagbeni into the tighter region of the gorge. This also meant that we were entirely on the road, so it was dry, dusty, and accompanied by a good bit of traffic. At the same time, people were getting a little bit testy after the 2.5 weeks of constant companionship. We weren't the most cohesive of groups and it was starting to show just a little bit.
I was up early in the morning to try to catch any good views of the mountains. Annapurna I and Nilgiri were clouded in on the east side of the valley, but Dhaulaguri had cleared up and showed its towering, snowy peak to the west.
Even though we were on the road today, it was nice to see the scenery changing again. After being in the semi-arid landscape of the upper valley it was nice to get back into the forests again. Also as we moved south we were leaving the Buddhist culture behind and re-entering into the Hindu areas of Nepal again. So we left the mani walls, prayer stones, prayer wheels, and stupas behind for the smaller Hindu temples in the towns we trekked through. There were also some great views today as the gorge closed in around us. Depending on ones definition today we were walking through the deepest gorge in the world (at least theoretically - we were descending down to 1200m and between us were two 8000+ meter peaks (Annapurna I and Dhaulaguri) only about 25-30 km apart, even if most of the time we could not see the tops).
Once at Tatopani (the name means hot water in Nepali), Nikki, Roman, and I went to visit the hot springs for a welcome soak. Everyone else stayed behind to rest by themselves. The springs were interesting, with both foreign trekkers and local Nepalis partaking in the baths. The cultural differences were evident, even though "most" of the westerners had toned down any "fleshy" displays (unfortunately not all). After a while we headed back to the lodge for dinner and rest. Another long day tomorrow, back uphill to Ghorepani.