May 6, 2014:
The hope that buses would be running today is quickly dashed by the owner of the guesthouse. But he does make delicious french toast and omelette. So we’re just going to walk, we’ll see where we end up. It does not matter. In the village of Tukuche we come across something called Dutch Bakery. There are no cakes, pies or bread available so it is a mystery what “Dutch” is. The owner does not speak a word of Dutch either. So we just keep going.
It’s overcast, but not cold. Today would be the day when we could see the Dhaulagiri (8167m), but the clouds throw a spanner in the works. It’s a gray mess.
We will have an early lunch in the village of Kalepani. I order French Fries (which always taste different here) and a Mars spring roll. Sounds good to me. But it turns out to be terribly nasty and I don’t eat it. Meanwhile, our eye falls on the riverbed, which is hundreds of meters wide here. A man with a dead vulture is scurrying through the riverbed, watched by 4 cops. No idea what the point of this is.
Today we walk about 16 km before we stop a truck and ask if we can drive down in its cargo box. This is allowed. Together with 8 locals we are bouncing and sloshing in the back. Someone even manages to fall asleep, which is indeed a great achievement. I can’t, but I don’t want to either.
A little further on, it turns out that the buses are running again! Due to the strike, they are immediately packed and with a top-heavy bus with bad dampers and a driver who does not agree that the strike should be over, we rumble down the unprecedented bad road. A horrible situation where the sweat of fear is always in our hands. There are also no photos of the bus trip. Not a hair on our heads that thought of recording this for posterity…
The worst point is reached just before the town of Beni. A bulldozer has broken down and is standing on the road. We have to pass. A number of people have to get off the bus, the rest have to hang (on the abyss side) to make sure we just pass. All nice and nice, until you know that the abyss is hundreds of meters deep. The Kali Ghandaki gorge is one of the deepest in the world. We regularly see buses and cars down in the river.
Finally we arrive in Beni. This adventure is over, we have completed the Annapurna Circuit. And it was fantastic!
Read all about trekking the Annapurna:
Annapurna Circuit dag 14: Marpha – Beni