King's School Manaslu Trek - April 2011 - Part 4 - Larkya La to Kathmandu

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Sunday, 17th April - we start our trek over Larkya La pass at 4.30am in the dark.  It will take us twelve hours to reach our campsite at Bimtang on the other side Looking back down the valley... ...and up towards Larkya La Stunning scenery Frequent rest stops are essential
Sun, 17th April - Larkya La Larkya La Larkya La Larkya La Larkya La
The altitude makes us breathless We are lucky to have such a sunny day, as it can often be bitterly cold, with low visibility The climb to the top of the pass is gradual, but tiring It starts to get hot in the sun The group begins to spread out
Larkya La Larkya La Larkya La Larkya La Larkya La
It is still a long way to go It really is very hot and the layers need to come off The top at last  - Larkya La - 5,213 metres / 17,100 feet Larkya La - looking down the other side of the pass at the Annapurna range of mountains Going down is very steep and slippery and even more tiring than coming up
Larkya La Larkya La Larkya La Larkya La Larkya La
We still have a long way to go Poles are essential We reach the snowline at last and the Salpudanda Glacier, which emits the occasional creak and groan as it moves Monday, 18th April - Bimtang - 3,720 metres / 12,200 feet.  We  dropped nearly 5000 feet yesterday Bimtang - the day starts off sunny...
Larkya La Larkya La Larkya La Mon, 18th April - Bimtang Bimtang
...but turns to snow after breakfast We follow Bimtang Glacier as we continue our descent Crossing the glacier melt waters As we come down the snow turns to rain We are now back into forest.  Our camp equipment is getting rather wet
Bimtang Bimtang to Goa Bimtang to Goa Bimtang to Goa Bimtang to Goa
It has stopped raining.  Time to get out of our wet weather gear Bimtang to Goa - fellow travellers We are now back to the rhododendron level. On this western part of the Manaslu circuit there are all sorts of colours, not just red We are now following the Dudh Khola river The cooking crew bring welcome hot drinks up the trail to us
Bimtang to Goa Bimtang to Goa Bimtang to Goa Bimtang to Goa Bimtang to Goa
Our lunch break brings an opportunity to dry our wet gear Lunch break A bunch of flowers for John Goa - 2,510 metres / 8,230 feet - we wait for our bags and tents to arrive The kitchen crew set to work in the courtyard
Bimtang to Goa Bimtang to Goa Bimtang to Goa Goa Goa
The mules arrive at last The crew waste no time in setting up camp for us Relieved of his load, this mule has a good roll in the dust In no time at all our tents are up and ready for us A novel way of drying our sleeping mats.  Everything is still a bit damp
Goa Goa Goa Goa Goa
Bella finds a good vantage point to watch the proceedings Our evening meal is taken inside for a change... ...and is followed by a huge bonfire... celebrate getting over the pass safely
The crew sing and dance -
Goa Goa Goa Goa Goa
They drag us in to join them Hira and Bishnu Bishnu pulls Katrina out to dance What a fun evening Tuesday, 19th April - today, we walk from Goa to Tal
Goa Goa Goa Goa Tues, 19th April - Goa to Tal
We are back to having breakfast outside The mules have their breakfast too Goa to Tal - horse and foal at Tilche Offerings on the roof Crossing over the Dudh Khola from Tilche
Goa Goa Goa to Tal Tilche Tilche
Tilche Rest stop just before Dharapani Looking down towards Dharapani where we meet the Annapurna Trail We say goodbye to the Dhud Khola river It has started to rain heavily, but our lunch stop is just ahead
Goa to Tal Goa to Tal Goa to Tal Goa to Tal Goa to Tal
We all squeeze inside to escape the rain We spend a couple of hours here in the hope that the rain will stop It really is a bit cosy This waterfall is completely covering the path The only way is to go through it
Dharapani Dharapani Dharapani Dharapani to Tal Dharapani to Tal
We now follow the Marsyangdi River This soldier makes us wait for some time... ...whilst blasting for the new road takes place ahead Blasting is good entertainment Tal - 1,700 metres / 5,577 feet - is our campsite for Tuesday night
Dharapani to Tal Dharapani to Tal Dharapani to Tal Dharapani to Tal Tal
We try to dry out a bit whilst Hira arranges our accommodation A few of us stay in our tents, whilst others have rooms in this tea house Katrina and I decide to stay with our trusty tent Everything is very wet, but dries quickly in the wind Wednesday, 20th April - breakfast at Tal before setting off for Syange
Tal Tal Tal Tal Weds, 20th April - Tal
Bishnu, Hira and Tende Tal to Syange - a difficult load on a narrow, steep path The paths on the Annapurna Trail are very busy The water at this point is deafening Waterfall
Tal to Syange Tal to Syange Tal to Syange Tal to Syange Tal to Syange
Lunch break at Jagat - it is very hot Syange Syange - our campsite looks very welcoming Syange - crossing over the Marsyangdi River Syange - 1,100 metres / 3,608 feet
Jagat Syange Syange Syange Syange
Syange - the crew take the opportunity to wash some clothes I wash myself Tea time Everest time Wednesday, 20th April - Syange to Bhulebule - our last day on trek
Syange Syange Syange Syange Weds, 20th April - Syange to Bhulebule
Water buffalo taking their ease Bhulebule - our last campsite - it is very hot Bhulebule - a lovely setting by the river Everest - it is a fun afternoon Our last evening meal at Bhulebule is very special
Syange to Bhulebule Bhulebule Bhulebule Bhulebule Bhulebule
Food is laid out for us and we serve ourselves for a change What a lot of beer bottles... ..and what a feast - chicken, salad, vegetables The John cuts the cake
Bhulebule Bhulebule Bhulebule Bhulebule Bhulebule
A bonfire is a must... ...there is entertainment too Nepalina and Nepali - aka Rupert and Alasdair Nepalina helps Nepali to shave Nepalina acquires some lipstick and mascara...
Bhulebule Bhulebule Nepalina and Nepali Nepalina and Nepali Nepali and Nepalina
...they both clean their teeth The crew get ready to entertain us in return The dancing begins - Janet and Bishnu Friday, 22nd April - John thanks the porters who are leaving us today and gives them their tips
Nepali and Nepalina Bhulebule Bhulebule Bhulebule Fri, 22nd April - Bhulebule
This man was in charge of the mules before the pass and continued as a porter on the western part of the circuit Ramesh leaves us today to join another trek Our last trek breakfast On the bus to go back to Kathmandu Manakamana Cable Car - we stop here for lunch
Bhulebule Bhulebule Bhulebule Bhulebule Manakamana Cable Car
Manakamana Cable Car Delicious lunch Saturday, 23rd April - a few of us decide to take a flight to see Everest at close quarters The airport bus drives for miles round the perimeter of the airfield causing us much hilarity Our little aircraft
Manakamana Cable Car Manakamana Sat, 23rd April - Kathmandu Airport Kathmandu Airport Kathmandu Airport
The pilots get ready for take off We are all very eager to go Our very pretty air hostess We each go into the cockpit several times for the best view Gauri Shankar - 23,405 feet, Melungtse - 23,560 feet and Chugimago  - 20,660 feet
Flight to Everest Flight to Everest Flight to Everest Flight to Everest Flight to Everest
Gauri Shankar L to R - Pumoki - 23,494 feet, Everest - 29,028 feet and Lhotse - 27,950 feet Everest More Himalayan peaks Coming in to land at Kathmandu
Flight to Everest Flight to Everest Flight to Everest Flight to Everest Flight to Everest
Durbar Square - Durbar means place of palaces.  There are 50 temples in the area Durbar Square - Basantapur Durbar - built c1770, this was formerly a palace, but is now a museum Trailokya Mohan  Narayan Temple - c1690 Maju Dega Temple - late 17th Century Lady by the Maju Dega Temple
Durbar Square Durbar Square Durbar Square Durbar Square Durbar Square
Shiva Parvati Temple A ceremony is taking place at the Shiva Parvati Temple Durbar Square - Laxmi Narayan Temple with Kasthamandap behind it Durbar Square - Trailokya Mohan  Narayan Temple The Kumari-ghar  - the home of the living goddess, a young pre-pubescent Newari girl
Durbar Square Durbar Square Durbar Square Durbar Square Durbar Square
The Kumari appears at the windows from time to time, but no photos are allowed Durbar Square - Bhagwati Temple Durbar Square - King Pratap Malla's column with the Jagannath Temple behind it Durbar Square - Kal Bhairav and Indrapur Temple Kal Bhairav - this representation of Shiva is very popular
Durbar Square Durbar Square Durbar Square Durbar Square Durbar Square
Offerings for sale near Kal Bhairav It is often difficult to identify which temple is which in Durbar Square Durbar Square - Vishnu Temple, Indrapur Temple and Kal Bhairav Devotees?... ...or charletans?
Durbar Square Durbar Square Durbar Square Durbar Square Durbar Square
Taleju Temple, the tallest building in Durbar Square A small stupa in a quiet square just off Durbar Square.  What a contrast A final lunch at Rumdoodles We watch David do a bit of haggling Shopping in Thamel on our last afternoon
Durbar Square Durbar Square area Thamel Thamel Thamel
We say goodbye and thank you to Hira and the crew The team that made our trek so successful One of our favourite porters Our last evening.  Katrina is wearing the dress she bought in Thamel this afternoon Hira treats us to a traditional Nepalese meal, with dancing.  What a lovely end to our trek
Kathmandu Kathmandu Kathmandu Kathmandu Kathmandu
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