Nepal-Trekking round Manaslu
1 th. Day: from Arughat Bazar to the little village of Armala
To enlarge the picture click in the upper left or in the bottom right corner
on our first trekking day we started to go along the Buddhi Gandaki river, which we will follow the next 10 days. unfortunately the weather was rather misty.
In Arughat bazar you can find many shops selling daily goods. Being the last village on the road it is the spot for whole- and retail salers. Families from the upper valley will come a few times in the year to Arughat to buy what ever they can not get in their village. A shopping tour which can take up to 10 days! After crossing the bridge we were on the western side of Buddhi Gandaki.
But we were not the only on, crossing this bridge.
The west part is the older part of Arughat, and at the end there was the first Nepali staircase. No wonder that the road did not continue here.
So after Arughat we were walking in luxurious green on a large trail. Lining on the trail many little huts offer atea, drinks or some goods. But progress is obvious as you can see on the picture every hut has its own solar panel and in most of them a little television was showing Hindi films.
The valley is in the beginning still large, but whis every houre we walked it was getting more narrow.
A tipical litte village on the way with the “chautari” . There porters can deposit their load for a little break or people can sit in the shadow of the big pipal and banjan tree to have a little chat.
Many of the houses were decorated with little pictures.
Sometimes we passed bigger villages which were nearly shopping malls.
One could buy clothes , musik and all household goods. So people can spare a half day walking to Arughat on their shopping tour.
Even at the end of November temperatures reached 25-27°C and we were sweating a lot. My friends went down to the river for a little swim.
As soon that they were on the river, children came down to look what they are doing so they did not dare to take out their clothes
In the afternoon we arrived at the first very long suspension bridge. While we al run to it the porters complained to Bachan that they were tied and that we have been walking already longer than organised tours do.
We did not mind, as it was also our first day and so we decided to stop in Armala
The little village of Armala is build on top of a huge rock wall, surely higher than 100 m. So it is pretty dangerous to go out in the night
At the first glance, the lodge was just a normal private house with no sign at all. But they use to feed travellers and in the first floor they had a room with a few beds in it. This kind of private, very basic tee house remembered me very much of my first trek in 1981 on the Manang side and i must admitted that these nostalgic thoughts were rather pleasant. .
The kitchen is situated in the little annex. This did not hep much, as in the next morning all the smoke directly found it’s way right into our sleeping room
Ghopal was mainly carrying the kitchen goods like a big stove pots, a 5 litre teapot and the Kerosine.
The diddy had brewed a very tasty chang (local beer) which is a little bit fruity and sweet. It tastes a little bit like English ale.
In the kitchen
On the first day we are still pretty clean and well shaved.
After having a tasty daal bhat we started to joke and sing some songs.
The diddy asked us, if we would like to have hear some local music, the village woman group would like to come sing in the evening expecting a little donation. Sure that we agreed on the spot, as Hans had it’s birthday the very day.
this was around 5 PM and then nothing happened. My friends quickly drunk al the beer from Armala so a child was send to an other village to get more while I was drinking chang with the porters.
Hans’s birthday party
Soon after sunset more and more people from the other villagers were coming an they had a little drum with them. Beer, Chang and Roksi flowed like water and soon the first songs started.
in the beginning just the children danced but then young girls and our porters joined them. At the end even the old mothers danced like in younger days. The party went on till 11 PM which is really late for rural Nepal. But we also added hour per hour some rupees on the donation.
Happy birthday for Hans
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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