Annapurna Circuit - Day 4 (Chamje - Bagarchap)

Bagarchap Travel Blog

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Views from a suspension bridge outside Chamje.

A day finally dawned relatively clear and haze free.   We started 30 minutes earlier than previous days, reaching mutual agreement the previous night to try to avoid the afternoon rainstorms that had been popping up the past few days.  Also we had been advised that the section up to Tal heated up quickly in the morning and was quite exposed so we determined that the earlier we could get through that section the better off we would be.  Leaving Chamje it was only a short walk before we began a steep ascent to the village of Tal.  In this section we had to ascend nearly 300 meters (1000 ft) in about 3 km.  The Marsyangdi gorge had closed in quite tightly at this point and the views were simply breathtaking.  The climb though was slow.

Switchbacks on the long, hot climb to Tal.
  With other trekkers, several mule trains, and porters using the trail, it was slow going even if everyone was feeling good on the constantly switchbacking trail.  But even here, although we weren't in danger of altitude sickness, most everyone was feeling some effect of the steep climb at the moderate altitude.

As we finally finished the ascent towards Tal, we crossed into the Manang District of Nepal from Lamjung District.  Most noticeable as we proceeded north was that the Manang District was much more heavily influenced by Buddhist culture as opposed to a more Hindu culture at the lower elevations in the south.  As we passed into Manang at the top of the climb the trail opened into the wide Tal Valley.

Approaching Tal the valley opens up considerably wider.
  This area had once been a lake and the village of Tal even sat in the old lakebed.  We took our mid-morning rest break in Tal at 1700 m (5580 ft) and then continued on to the north.  The climbing was less strenuous from here as we ascended another 150 m (500 ft) to the village of Karte (1850 m - 6070 ft) where we stopped for a late lunch around 2 PM.  Lunch here was quite slow but the weather was holding out for us today.  In fact it was quite beautiful for the entire day.

Our last leg took us from Karte to Bagarchap at 2160m (7085 ft).  Not as steep as the first section of the day, but another long hard slog.  As we ascended we slowly left the more temperate forest region that we had passed through the first 3 days and began to enter a more sub-alpine environment.

Looking up the valley towards Tal.
  When we arrived at Bagarchap we checked into our lodge and several of us went out to explore the village.  In 1995 most of Bagarchap (around 80%) was wiped out by a landslide.  Evidence of that landslide still exists today although it is slowly being erased as grass, plants, and trees begin covering the landscape.  But the rocks remain and the path of destruction is evident.  More evident was the fact that Bagarchap is much smaller than it was prior to the landslide.  Many villagers relocated to Danaque to the west, but those that remained and rebuilt have made Bagarchap a pleasant place to stay.

We also wandered over to the local monastery in the village.  Amazingly this was one of the structures unaffected by the landslide.

Diki Chopin Ghompa - Prayer Wheels
  This was my first look at the prayer wheels and prayer stones that form such a large part of the Buddhist tradition in this area.  As I would continue to see these monasteries and temples were exquisitely decorated and one could tell that special care was given even in these remote areas of Nepal.

After our visit we returned to our lodge for dinner, conversation, and games.  It had been a long day of trekking - 8:10 from start to finish (and 5:45 of actual trekking time - I did say that lunch was slow today).  Still a 700m climb in about 15km of trekking (thankfully it was dry) wore this bunch of trekkers out and it was soon time to hit our mattresses and sleep.

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Views from a suspension bridge out…
Views from a suspension bridge ou…
Switchbacks on the long, hot climb…
Switchbacks on the long, hot clim…
Approaching Tal the valley opens u…
Approaching Tal the valley opens …
Looking up the valley towards Tal.
Looking up the valley towards Tal.
Diki Chopin Ghompa - Prayer Wheels
Diki Chopin Ghompa - Prayer Wheels
Views from a suspension bridge out…
Views from a suspension bridge ou…
Views from a suspension bridge out…
Views from a suspension bridge ou…
View of a suspension bridge outsid…
View of a suspension bridge outsi…
Switchbacks on the long, hot climb…
Switchbacks on the long, hot clim…
A peak of the high peaks in the di…
A peak of the high peaks in the d…
Looking back downs towards Chamje …
Looking back downs towards Chamje…
Entrance to Manang District.
Entrance to Manang District.
The trail closes in tight to the c…
The trail closes in tight to the …
Entering Manang District
Entering Manang District
Entering Tal
Entering Tal
Walking on past Tal.
Walking on past Tal.
Lunch stop in Karte.
Lunch stop in Karte.
Our teahouse/lodge in Bagarchap
Our teahouse/lodge in Bagarchap
Diki Chopin Ghompa - Prayer Wheels
Diki Chopin Ghompa - Prayer Wheels
Diki Chopin Ghompa - Prayer Wheels
Diki Chopin Ghompa - Prayer Wheels
Landslide area in Bagarchap
Landslide area in Bagarchap
Bagarchap
photo by: Kramerdude