Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Trekking Day #1
7:30 am – On the Nepali New Years Day we left Pokhara by taxi for Nayapul. The cost was 2000 NR, and if you look at the last half of the drive on the map you will see it is constant switchbacks, and over very rough dirt roads.
9:05 am – The driver dropped us off at Nayapul and immediately we were confused as to where the route was – we expected some sort of marker or arrow. Not the best start, but we just started walking, asked “Birethanti?” a couple times, people pointed, and we were off!
9:25 am – The ACAP and TIMS checkpoint is in Birethanti, and we were there 20 minutes getting that done.
9:45 am – Left Birethanti and continued toward Tikhedhunga.
11:35 am – Tikhedhunga.
12:10-12:25 pm – Had lunch along the trail, sitting on a small rock bench. This was the final approach to Ulleri, via the well known “3000 steps.” I’ve seen various postings about the actual number of step, 3300, etc., but the point is that they are steep, and continuous! We were glad to get to Ulleri, and we were also glad to test our stamina on the first day and find out that we were up to it.
1:30 pm – We arrived at Ulleri, well sweated up and ready for a rest. We checked into a guesthouse’s upstairs room, which had quite a view. The room was 300 NR (reduced from 400), and we split a 450 NR spaghetti dinner, and had breakfast the next day for 200 NR each for omelettes.
[Yes, we (I) cheaped out on the food expenditures… We had expected things to be cheaper down low and more expensive as we got higher in the mountains, but this first experience was higher than expected and as we (I) calculated the rest of the trip it appeared it we would run short of money. I hadn’t intended to cut it that tight, but was afraid I might have seriously miscalculated – so I was rationing. After a couple more days I determined that costs would not rise dramatically and we were able to relax about it and spend more for food. Nora had been pretty stressed about it, and thus was very relieved. (We talked about this again recently and she said she still hadn’t forgiven me. Ha! It’s funny now, sorta…) Obviously food is a necessity and it could have caused us to alter our plans. As it turned out my estimations were right on the mark, but lesson learned, also bring a little extra, beyond the extra.]