Finish: Jagat (walked from Syange to Jagat)
Distance: 5 KM
Elevation: 1240 M (walked 160 meters)
The 6:36 A.M. Mini-Express from Pokhara to Besihara was neither mini nor express. With seating for 35 passengers the bus left nearly full. By 7:15 A.M. we had made half a dozen stops and added at least 20 more passengers. Now you may be wondering, where did these people sit, if all the seats were taken at the outset of the journey? They sat anywhere they could. The lucky ones were given small stools to place in the aisle. Once the aisle was full, passengers stood in the doorwell or other space they could squeeze themselves into. In fact, one guy squeezed himself between me and the seat in front of me. At one point he fell asleep with his arm resting on my leg. But, what the heck, we could all be friends, it was only a four-hour ride on rough, but paved roads.
|A moderately full Nepali bus|
|My leg serving as a pillow and arm-rest for a Nepali man.|
Around 10:30 A.M. we arrived in Besi Shara, took lunch, and then boarded a large jeep with seats for 11. Surprisingly, we left with only 13 people. The three-hour ride would take us along the newly constructed "road" (or an extremely rough jeep trail) from the original trailhead to Syange. We opted to drive because the passing jeeps create giant dust clouds, shoot rock projectiles from their tires, and above all else, are driven by maniacs who could easily run a hiker off the road.
|Sarah with our Remix Mustang Savari, the choice of any discerning traveller on the Besi Shara - Syrang route.|
Charles, on the rear bumper, still looks pleased with his choice in the way-way back.
Once our driver finished eating, we piled back into the jeep. Only this time we were 16 (4 up front, including two men in the driver’s seat, 4 in the back, and 8 in the way-back, including Charles, 3 very large German dudes, 4 Nepalese people and a giant propane tank). Packed in like sardines we bounced, rocked, and rolled our way up to Syrange. Lucky for us, the roads were in good condition and it only took us two hours. We piled out to hear Charles's declaration that that was “the worst car ride of my life.” The back must have been really bad.
|The middle row was me (not pictured), a Nepali woman (half pictured), Sarah, and Ted.|
Both Ted and I had to sit on the door as there was no space on the seat for all of our butts.
|Introducing our porters (from left to right): Sundar, with the Martens's bag, Krishna with |
Charles & Kate's bag, and Mila opting for backpack-mode of the Meshkov's Osprey convertible luggage.
|The trek was beautiful right from the get-go|
|The first supertrekker group photo.|
Look at all that high-performance gear. Can you spot the Pohkara-Face from the North-Face?
|Sadly, I cannot say the same for the accommodations or facilities on the trek....|
|They were decidedly not beautiful.|
And this was actually one of the nicer bathrooms, what with the half-tiled walls and all.