Distance covered: 20.1km
We were woken by the sound of cockerels cock-a-doodling at 5:30am. Amazingly I wasn’t annoyed by this, and fell back asleep for another hour. We had ordered breakfast for 07:00 so we could start walking. Ideally, we would like to be in Pokhara for Thursday, catching a Friday bus back to Kathmandu.
We left Besi Sahar following the road. There is a massive hydro plant project funded by the Chinese, which was dominating the area at the moment. Trucks and diggers driving up and down the road, busy, busy workers working away on this red concrete structure. It was quite interesting to see how this new structure was growing amidst the old tatty but charming Nepali villages.
The road seemed to go on for hours. Westerners in their jeep transport whizzing past us on to Bhulebule, the starting point for many trekjers. This was the first place where you would need to show your ACAP permit. As they passed us, with their guides, and their sherpas, with their huge backpacks that they wouldn’t need to carry and their cheesy smiles, smiling at us walking up the road and not catching a lift, I reassured myself that this hike began in Besi Sahar and they were cheating.
The road did put a dampener on the joy of this first day of hiking. We were moving out of the way for oncoming and upcoming vehicles all the time. When an opportunity to take an alternative but somewhat steeper path through Bhulebule, so we crossed the river and got away from the road for a while. The lush green countryside began to emerge before us, paddy fields, mango trees, banana trees, rhododendrons, banyan trees and a beautiful jade green river below.
We got chatting to a Dutch girl who we kept bumping into along the trail. She was walking alone with no guide and a hiking book from 2010, there have been massive changes to the country since then, there was an earthquake! A little naive if you ask me however she was doing ok and the trail was pretty clearly marked with red arrows and red and white stripes painted onto rocks. I was expecting it to be a lot busier at this time of year but it was no more crowded than EBC in winter. Perhaps this will change.
We settled on Germu as our stopping point for today. We were both excited at the thought of a shower and a massive plate of dal baht. We had walked 22km so far, and my body was yearning for rest and food.