Final stage of our walk in the hills
30.09.1966 - 01.10.1966
We spent all next day in Putlikhet, which gave me a chance to rest up my ankle. We didn’t rise until 11.30 am and then went and had breakfast at the place where we had eaten the previous night. Later we walked back to the river to take a photo of the point where we had crossed in the dark, and discovered that there was a much easier ford a little further up - if only we had known. Generally we did very little all day, except relax, soak up the village atmosphere and write up our journals.
Ade recreating our 'dramatic' river crossing to reach Putlikhet the night before - it gets deeper
We never saw T.T. again, but a porter named Ujiri, who seemed a cheerful fellow, turned up as promised and we left Putlikhet at about 8 am for the final day’s walk to Pokhara. For the first 45 minutes we walked up a series of easy rises, crisscrossing a rocky stream a number of times, and then for the next 45 minutes had a very hefty climb up to the small village of Nawakot. From there we had a glimpse of the snows, but the view was very grey and hazy. The few peaks which were clearly defined were too shrouded by cloud for decent photos. From Nawakot there was a further short climb and then we began to track along the ridge for about three kilometres, which was fairly easy walking. This was followed by yet another climb, which brought us to a high point from where we had our first view of the Pokhara Valley, a long way below. The temperature had dropped considerably and we could not see the snows at all by this time as the cloud was very heavy and a storm was coming across the valley. From there it was downhill all the way, but it was a long, long descent and it started to rain heavily just after we set off. There was no shelter and we did not feel like climbing back up again, so we kept on going, being extra careful, as our plimsolls were very slippery in the mud and on the wet rocks. Ujiri was sure footed and was soon well ahead of us and out of sight. The rain had eased by the time we reached the valley floor, but then we had to ford a river which looked very pale green and limey. We had arranged to meet Ujiri at the Himalaya Tibetan Hotel, which had been recommended to us by Charlie and Lyn as a good place to stay. It was opposite the Pokhara airfield and would mark the end point of our walk. Shortly after passing a large Tibetan refugee settlement, a stationary DC3 standing in an open paddock came into view and sure enough, there was Ujiri, squatting on the verandah of a plain looking two storey building nearby - the Himalaya Tibetan, identified as such by a crudely painted sign. He was having a smoke and chatting to a couple of other porters. We checked into the hotel, and after giving Ujiri his tip and making our farewells had a real meal of noodles, egg and meat. Towards evening the clouds cleared a bit and we could see some of the mountains, including Annapurna, which seemed very close and was awe inspiring in its cold majestic silence. Some mountains further away were lit up golden in the last rays of the sun – a magnificent sight.
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We go in that direction - a chautara break with Ujiri, porter number 3, after leaving Putlikhet
Nawakot, with the snow peaks just visible among the clouds
We must be here
No, I think here
The storm approaches
From the Pokhara Valley, looking back to the range we had descended in a downpour
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