Our campsite in Tadapani was in a saddle along a ridge crest. It had a spectacular view looking over a deep river canyon. Across the canyon were steep, unstable slopes. In several places we could see where there had been major landslides during the past year. There were several farms perched on the side of the canyon. I would think those people would be nervous. Still, if they moved they would lose everything. Not a good spot to be in. So they stayed where they were.
Our hike would be straight down to the bottom of the canyon to a bridge over the Bhurungdi Khola. Then we would climb up the opposite side. From our camp we could see several spots where we had to climb high above recent landslides and then drop down to the normal trail. Looked like another day of big downs and ups. And ups and downs. Our goal for the day was Chomrong, a major village leading to the Annapurna Sanctuary.
We were heading down at a leisurely pace when a group of young trekkers passed by us. I recognized them as the Mexicans that I had talked to in Deurali the day before. "Buenos dios!" I yelled to them. "Buenos dios" they yelled back and waved as they zoomed down the trail. Ah the energy of youth.
Today was laundry day. We stopped for lunch at a lodge with a water source and I spent most of our lunch break doing laundry. But now I figured to be good for several days if I could just get my clothes to dry.
Late in the afternoon we reached the village of Chomrong. We camped in a small field just behind and below a trekking lodge. They did have phone connections and they were working. I took advantage of the opportunity and was able to make a call to Sandy. She was definitely surprised to hear from me, but I think it was a pleasant surprise. I could only talk for about three minutes as it was quite expensive, but at least I got to make contact. It was good to talk to Sandy even if only briefly. And at least she knew that I hadn't fallen off a mountain or been carried off by a yeti.
Tasi used the opportunity to call Mr. Tenzing in Kathmandu. I got to speak with him for a minute as well. I was impressed that he was checking up to make sure that everything was going well and that I was enjoying the trek. He was certainly on the ball.
Chomrong village was another major trekking center. Next to our lodge there was even a shop where I bought a tshirt. Why do laundry when you can just buy a new tshirt? I still wasn't buying souvenirs to haul the rest of the way though. I knew that I had several days in Pokhara and Kathmandu after the trek.
There were many trekking lodges in Chomrong. Tasi explained that many of the people from Chomrong were Gurkhas who had served in either the British Army or the Singapore Police force. Gurkhas are Nepalis who originally served in the British army during colonial times. They have an excellent reputation as soldiers. When India became independent after WWII there were several Gurkha units established in the British and Indian armies. There was also a special Gurkha unit set up in the Singapore police force as a SWAT team and anti-terrorist unit. Many of them came from the village of Chomrong. When they retired they returned to their village and invested the money they had earned overseas. So almost all of the business owners in Chomrong were either ex British Army soldiers or Singapore police officers. Connections everywhere. I remember that whenever I went to the Singapore American School which Shannon attended while she was in Singapore, there were always two Gurkhas on guard there. The threat of terrorism is taken very seriously in Singapore and the Gurkhas who serve here are highly respected.
We camped on a small terrace behind and below one of the lodges. Usually we were the only camping group but tonight there was a big group camped in the field next to us. When I looked closely I saw KE Adventures logos everywhere. That was one of the groups that I had been thinking about joining! But when I watched the large group of trekkers and compared it to my laid back trek, I was glad that I had made the choice that I did. I told Tasi that they were a group that I had almost gone with and he too said that he was pleased that I had made the choice that I did.
The group trek was a different experience. That night they had a big show at our lodge. The people from KE Adventures came over. A group of young Nepali girls sang folk songs and several Nepalis did folk dances. Wow - entertainment every night. Still I think my solo trek was the way to go. I got to watch their show and then could go back to my very own tent. Except that this was the one night when my tent was pitched on really uneven ground. No matter how much I shifted around it just wasn't comfortable. This was my only really bad night on the whole trek. But morning always comes around eventually.