25 April 2014
We get up with blue sky and for the first time we really see the mountains. However, Tal is surrounded by steep walls, so there is no real unobstructed view. Heavily packed (me) and unpacked (my wife) we leave in good spirits towards Timang, further up in the high mountains.
We see snow-capped mountains and huge vultures flying around. We estimate the wingspan at about 2 meters as they make huge shadows on the ground.
In Bagarchap we have lunch. I eat a small but well filled and tasty pizza. My wife eats spaghetti. Not really culinary or local, but tasty. There is also a checkpoint for our permits in Bagarchap. While my wife has it checked, I gaze at the Manaslu (8,156m) in the distance. The first eight-thousander I see in my life, although it is still far away.
In the meantime, we also have our eye on the map. It’s early in the day, we feel good and the weather is nice. We decide to spend the night in the village of Timang, which according to our map must be at an altitude of 2225m. First we climb to a hamlet at 2300m altitude and then descend a bit. Sounds good.
However, it is not the first time that the competences of the Nepalese mapmakers have misled us. Instead of a descent after this village, it turns out to be a brutal climb. Terribly steep stairs, forest trails and almost perpendicular slopes.
My heavy backpack means that for the first time in my life I can’t keep up with my wife uphill. I’m exhausted. We are on the road for 8 hours and have climbed 900m – with my backpack which isn’t 20kg anymore, but about 35kg. Timang turns out not to be at 2225m at all, but at 2552m (and on other maps at 2625). When I look at the map and think a little longer, I see what went wrong: in Sanskrit the 2 and 5 are very similar. These are swapped in the middle.
Our guesthouse, on the other hand, is beautiful and the food delicious. Unfortunately, there is also a large group of Korean school children (read: teenagers), which means that the peace and quiet is hard to find, but that should not spoil the fun.
‘At night I have to pee and so go to the toilet block outside. There is no electricity here and therefore no stray light. There are no clouds and we are at almost 2600m altitude. The starry sky is spectacular like I’ve never seen before. The Milky Way is visible as a white band across the sky, the bright starlight provides just enough light to see the snowy mountains around me. I stay outside for at least 20 minutes in the freezing cold, but I can’t get enough of it.
Read more about my Annapurna Circuit trek:
Annapurna Circuit day 4: Tal – Timang