Today we plan to trek to Tadapani. It was little disappointing this morning as we couldn't make it to Poon Hill due to heavy rain. It's been raining heavily through out the night and it was also cold enough that the tap water was almost freezing!
We started our day at 6 am with a quick power wash, had our breakfast, and started our trek amidst heavy rain. To start with we had to gain an elevation of 3100 m. The first one hour was a steep climb to gain 300 m starting at 2800 m. After yesterday's endurance test, we were feeling very reluctant during the climb. With heavy breathing and lot of cramps in our legs we finally made it to Deorali Dada (Nepalese meaning - Gateway) 3100 m. This is the point where we were hoping to see the Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchere and Annapurna Mountain ranges. But unfortunately due to heavy rain and fog we were not able to see anything. That was a big disappointment! We waited there for 15 minutes and took some pictures as the weather cleared up a little bit. The latter part of the trek was descending to Tadapani at 2600 m. We stopped at Deorali pass at 10 am for a tea break, had some protein energy bar and dry fruits for snacks before we started our further descend. The path winding down the forest trails was filled with the soothing sound of the waterfalls and the melody of the birds around. It almost felt like experiencing a natural therapeutic session as we trekked in the heavy rain. We stopped at Banthanti, Gandhruk for lunch. Although we had taken all the precautions to avoid Leech and insect bites, Mukund Mulay and Amit Kothari contracted Leech bites. We are lucky to have Dr. Vinayak Mane with us as we get all the medical advice and help 24x7! Not to worry about the Leech bites as both Mukund and Amit are doing fine now. I guess everyone is getting used to it as leech bites are very common in the mountain region especially during monsoon season. Also with little bit of education from Dr Vinayak Mane we are not too worried about the leach bites now but are definitely taking precautionary measures. As usual we had the Dal-Bhath for lunch which is considered as a power meal. Post lunch the trek was ascending for about 90 minutes. We reached Tadapani at 3:30 pm and checked in to our hotel Fish Tail. The hotel is located right infront of Machhapuchere and Annapurna South mountain range and the view is fantastic! Most of us are sitting with our cameras focused as every moment is worth capturing and enjoying as it's time for sunset. There are lot of hikers from Israel, USA, Australia, China and Korea around us taking pictures. This is the best moment of the day as we were able to view the glaciers of Annapurna, Himcholi and the holy mountain Machhapuchere (AKA fish tail). The sight was heavenly! This was the best part of the day and I think it was worth all the efforts trekking up all the way to this place. The sky was so beautiful in the night and we were fortunate to view the milky way with the Annapurna and Machhapuchere glaciers in the pitch dark sky! We continued our photography session in the night post dinner in the cold weather with temperature around 6 degrees. Dr Vinayak Mane and Maniji shot some excellent pictures with their SLR cameras. We called off for the day at 10 pm and set our alarm clocks to wake up at 5:30 am to see the sunrise. I was up at 5:30 am sharp and pulled aside my window curtain and was over joyed to see the Machhapuchere fish tail peak very clearly. It was very cold outside (4 degrees Celsius), so we pulled over our winter jackets and money caps to watch the sunrise from 5:45 am to 6:30 am. I don't have any words to describe the sight at both sunset and sunrise! I am sure you will enjoy the photographs! Everyone is so overjoyed with the amazing view of the mountains that we didn't even sense the fatigue that we had for the last three days! Looks like we are now aclamatized to the weather here and hopefully will be able to scale the elevation in the next three days.
The next three days are very exciting! I am not sure if I will be able to get the mobile signal. So hang on until the next blog for some of the best pictures.