This is a continuation of Trekking in Nepal in April 2011 – Part 7: Baudha Himal Glacier to Nyak.
Our departure from Nyak for Lakuwa meant dropping from 2340m. to the river 700m. below and then climbing back up to 2240m. on the far side. For those who don’t speak metric system, that’s a drop of over 2,200 ft. followed by a climb of 2100 ft., all in the space of a few miles of actual walking. It would be three continuous hours of workout on ‘Nepali StairMaster’.
It was amazing how close our destination village appeared on the other side of the valley, yet how much work it would take to get there. This was coming at the end of a long day, and our legs were already tired before we started.
The first segment meant walking an ancient stone and dirt path that traveled down a mountain side that included a nearly sheer rock face. It was reassuring to see elderly people and children on the trail, but it was a challenge when we met the goat herd and quickly learned to stay on mountain side of the trail or risk being pushed into oblivion by the goats. The views were amazing, but hard to take in as we placed our focus squarely on descending the steep trail safely.
It was a relief to reach the main trail along the side of the Budhi Gandaki. We were deep in a river canyon and the crossing was made possible by a large suspension bridge that was necessary with such a wild river below us. As we reached the Budhi Gandaki, we were at a junction of a side canyon that emptied from the valley we had just walked from the Rupina La, and it was amazing to consider that the glacier we crossed was the main source of this flow.
We had little time to rest in the accomplishment of our descent from Nyak, as crossing the bridge immediately put us on a trail to the village of Lakuwa, our destination for the day.
There were few more welcome sites on our trek than the village of Lakuwa. It meant we had completed the Rupina La section of our trek and were about to enter the Tsum Valley. This valley has only been open to trekking for a few years and is inhabited mainly by Tibetan-ancestry Nepalis who have lived in isolation from from the rest of the country. We were also now seeing many other trekking groups, and the pastures of Lakuwa were a veritable international campground. The general store was our first opportunity to buy any food or drinks, and we took advantage quickly by picking up beer for ourselves and our Nepali team (but not too many…we had miles to go). Up next: Part 7: Tsum Valley.