Round Manaslu travelogue day 4:
On this day we started from our camp near Jagad, passed Jagad and had lunch in Phillim. We continued in the afternoun on a trail through a dens forest just to realise that we will not reach the planned camping side. Finally we were lucky to find a bivouac cave just before night fall down.
To enlarge the pictures click in the corners!
Knowing that we always need a lot of time for our daal bhat I waked up everybody a 6 o clock in the morning . The result was a general mumbling and slight swearing but when my friends came out of their tents the day was already coming and we had an excellent breakfast in the tea shop.
The trail continued through the narrow gorge
Well for some bridges it was worth to be wide awake.
Most bridges were normal suspension bridges.
But unlike the Annapurna or Everest area the lack the side bracing so the do still nicely swing when you pass them.
May friend Stups is about 2 m tall, so have a look to the poinsettias!
In Jagat you can find a perfectly paved avenue.
You are entering Manaslu Conservation Area MCAP
On the map the governmental checkpoint was marked in Jagat. We did not expect it here anymore, as Ghorka is Maoist country but instead al thought to meet the Maoist themselves.
So we were very pleased when we saw the greeting group
The checkpoint building has been blasted already three years ago and the Maoist had not been seen for the last two weeks.
Jagat is a small village with maybe 25 houses. You can find a shop and a camping site. if we would have known, that you find shops in the bigger villages, we would have brought less food with us.
In the shop my friends found some Bagpiper Whiskey. It will be the companion for all the next evenings and you can buy it all along the way.
This was surprising, as normally Maoist prohibit alcohol
From time to time the gorge was so narrow that one had the feeling to be able to touch both sides just with the fingertips.
And we were not the only trekking group. We met families from the upper villages who were coming down to Arughat Bazar and maybe then Kathmandu.
Here they make just their Daal Bhat lunch.
Spinach will make you very strong!
The first mountain view
Well we had the impression, that we will never see the mountains but in the afternoon we had the first view on the Shringi Himal. This 7187m mountain is on the border to Tibet.
Slowly we also had the feeling to gain in height. The lush green of the lower parts changed to more wintery brown and ochre and the gras was dry.
This is also the season when the sheep come down from the higher pastures.
The valley broadened a little bit. On the other side of the valley in the background one can see the field of Philim, a village which is supposed to be the stronghold of the Maoists.
Every little possible spot is used for little handkerchief fields
not every “Hotel” in the Manaslu Area can rival with the ones from Annapurna Trek.
Over the river
On the fourth day we first crossed again the river. From now n we will do it frequently.
After crossing, we had to climb many meters in the burning sun till we reached Philim . We were all so tired, that no one took a picture
In Philim we cooked our lunch (24 ! packets RaRA noodles!) on a camping site, There was no obvious Lodge or shop but we could buy coke. Fortunately we did not met an Maobadi only hundreds and hundreds of red flags. People told us, that they had left about two weeks ago, going to some warmer places. So that was really great luck!
Soon the valley narrowed again and we entered a dens pine forest.
Our porters complained that we were moving to fast. And that normally groups always stop in Philim!
We promised to have a shorter day tomorrow
The long way in the forest
In the beginning we walked pretty happy in this forest. The trail was nearly flat and the trees beautiful. But after three hours there was still nothing like a camping site to see and the hill was so steep, that the only place to sleep would have been right on the path.
It was already 5 PM when we crossed again on a little bridge. Just here there was some place for about 5 people, but we were many more! We did not knew what to do. Stups who is a marathon runner tried to find a place running forwards, but he came back saying the the next half hours there was no spot to camp at all. And it started to get dark soon! So we continued.
After 20 min Raj suddenly shouted and pointed to the rock wall on the right side, We could see a huge overhanging rock providing a roof of at least 4 m.
And we could see the black of soot al over the rock wall which is a clear sign that nepaly people use this place to sleep.
We just had to climb about two meters to find a perfect area with flat spots where at least 20 people could sleep.
We were saved! And no need to use the tents as the overhanging rock would protect us perfectly from any rain
Quickly we took the camping mats and looked for cooking stuff. Meanwhile our Nepali friends looked for some firewood and found enough before darkness to make a wonderful camp fire.
I must admit, that I was a bit anxious in the night. Every time that I awake I listened into the dark fearing to hear some wild animals or Maoists.
But now one appeared and the next morning we were all well rested and had a great breakfast under rocks.
Photos: the pictures of the Manaslu pages are from me and my friends. You can see the respective photographer in the filename of the photo: HH = Hans Henninger, HPS = Hans-Peter Stupp, MJ = Manfred Jeckel and AdR = Andrées de Ruiter
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