April 23, 2014:
We wake up in our wooden hut in Bhulbule and have a hearty breakfast: an omelette, fried potatoes and some kind of wrap. Also some coffee, tea and a fruit juice and then we left. The tension is in the legs. We are excited. It’s a bit hazy here, but still beautiful. A child’s hand is quickly filled, isn’t it?
The first part towards Ghermu is quite flat and runs along and through small hamlets and over the road. In the hamlets you will encounter all kinds of things: goats, chickens and cattle. Corrugated iron houses. It makes a poor impression.
Near Ngadi we arrive at major works. Nowadays, the work is finished: a hydro-dam in the Marsyangdi river, built by the Chinese.
We climb further, around the dam. It is warm, we estimate around 30°C. We are only at 1000m altitude here, but with an occasional break to have a drink, we are doing quite well.
All the villagers we encounter speak to us, wanting to know where we come from and where we are going. They kindly show us the way. In Bahundana we have to show our papers at a police post. Bahundana is on top of a hill, about an hour from our destination for the day. The men are extremely friendly and interested and offer us local berries to taste (tasteful!).
We walk out of the village and take a picture of the valley. A little boy climbed up and says “I’m very hot, give water”. He came from Ghermu and was grateful for the drink of water. At least we hope so. We put disinfection droplets in the bottle, making the water dirty, but safe. Not sure if he liked the taste though…
Our first day is long. The heat is not helping and we have gained little altitude. Grassland is burned here and there along the route to make room for subsequent harvests. This also causes the gloom in the valley. You can see this well in the photo above, with even some smoke rising up to the left of the large green tree to the left of the trail.
We arrive in Ghermu. We take the first guesthouse and take a hot shower under a corrugated iron shed. A strong wind picks up and the guesthouse shakes at the seams.
A boy who lives in Bahundana works in the guesthouse. He works 29 days a month, for 1 EUR per day. He pays the rent of his parents’ house (10 EUR per month) and also asks us plainly what our tickets cost and how much we earn. Our answers are slightly different from reality. The next day, he said houses were blown over in his village by last night’s storm. He also explains to us that the first villages are extinct, thanks to the road that is now taken by the majority of tourists.
Read more about my Annapurna Circuit trek:
Annapurna-Circuit day 2: Bhulbule – Ghermu