The main goal of this trip, was to walk the trail along the tourist trail around Manaslu. It is one of the most beautiful, and still not too walked tourist routes of Nepal.
The trail climbs the gorge of the river of the Buri Gandaki over the pass of Larkya La, at the height of 5135 meters, and then goes down along the Marsyandi river.
This region of Nepal is located on the border with Tibet, and for a long time it was closed for foreigners.
The trail around Manaslu was opened only in 1992. Rather to say, conditionally open. You can only come here accompanied by a certified guide, working with foreigners.
Tracking around Manaslu is not conventional pedestrian tourism, it's not what we are used too. It is a long foot walk with light baggage.
It is not permitted to go on the trail without a guide. You can resent and protest. But it is better to relax and enjoy the process.
Our travel begins in Pokhara, on the bank of the picturesque Bava Lake.
From here we will continue to the town of Arungat Bazar, located at the altitude of 500 meters above sea level.
The road passes across the plains, among rice fields and vegetable gardens.
It is warm and humid. Real tropics. It is already October, and butterflies are still flitting around. There is a lot of water everywhere.
The rivers and rivulets flow into Buri Gandaki, from left and right.
The small ones can easily be crossed by water. Across the larger ones— by narrow suspension bridges.
On the way, we pass through small villages. Majestic entrance gate.
And two-three houses made of raw stones. There is not a lot of fertile soil here. Farmers have to work, tirelessly, in order to provide food to their families.
The progress hasn't reached here. The technology of farming, practically hasn't changed for the last several hundred years. It is all because there is no actual roads. And how much can be carried on a donkey's back.
The village of Namrung, located at the altitude of 2540 meters, is almost a city by local standards. They even have side streets, not just the central. There are both stupas, and monasteries here.
In the rocky Nepalese village, the tallest and the most majestic construction — the entrance gate. They are usually made out of stones, similar to the rest of the houses. However, they have several floors clustered and decorated with multi-colored flags, with Buddist mantras on them.
The village of Sama Ro or Samagaon, lies at the foot of Manaslu Mountain.
We are already at the height of 3390 meters above sea level. It is known that at the altitudes over three kilometers, the symptoms of mountain sickness may occur.
It is fairly cold in the mornings. The water in the puddle freezes. Hoarfrost covers the ground. As soon as the sun rises over the surrounding mountains, it quickly gets warmer.
We pass several kilometers to the village of Samdo. We climbed 300 meters higher. The sun is not high yet. But we won't continue farther today. Acclimatization continues. We won't hurry.
The village of Samdo — the last settlement on the way to the pass of Larkya La. They live poorly here. The houses are still black, smocked by the fire. The smoke doesn't exit through a pipe, but through a hole in a roof.
Daramsala — a typical mountaineering camp. Usually hikers spend the night here. To conquer the top in the early morning. We are only going to have breakfast, and a short halt here.
We not only have to pass over the Larkya La, but also need to reach the next village, on the other side of the mountain, before it gets dark.
No climbing equipment at all. And the footwear is obviously not intended for walking on ice and snow. We have to step very carefully.
The sun has melted the snow. Then it got colder. The thawed snow has frozen and has turned into ice. It would be possible to skate. But the trail is very narrow and goes along the very edge of the cliff. Good thing we are lucky with the weather. In the cloud you can't see further than 10-15 meters. The cliff doesn't seem so terrible any more. Though it actually stretches down for 600 meters.
In the village of Darapani, the Marsjyandi River merges with the Dudkh Khola River. And the trail around Manaslu, crosses with another more popular and busier trail, around Annapurna.
The campaign on the Manaslu Trail is compleated. But before returning home, it is worth examining Khatmandu and several nearby ancient towns. Without it, the idea of Nepal would be unilateral. Nepal is not only mountains and small villages. It is a country with an ancient culture and a centuries-old history.
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