Today all four of us descended 800 metres to a land of bananas and oranges. The first half of the day we walked on extraordinary trails cut into the sidehill above the river, or rising or falling on stone staircases. I frequently imagined that we were walking on an Inca road. The second half of the day was more of a trudge, with the noise of construction and traffic on the road on the other bank of the river.
Our destination today was Tatopani, which means “hot water” in Nepali. True to the name, there is an abundance of natural hot spring water at an outdoor facility. It was a treat to soak for an hour in the 37 degree water. It’s a shame there weren’t hot springs at altitude, when we were more desperate for warmth.
Tomorrow sees a parting of the ways of our group of four. Rick and Don have decided to take transport to Chitwan, a UNESCO designated national park near the border with India. There is the possibility of seeing rhinos, elephants, tigers, and myriad other animals.
In response to my query as to what he wanted to do, Matthews said “This is a trekking trip, let’s trek”. With eight more days that we can trek, we are going to go as far as we can into the Annapurna Sanctuary. This is a separate trek that we can access from Tatopani.