DAY 5: Chame to Pisang
The start of day 5 was another late one. Are you noticing a trend, here? Unfortunately, I have a habit of being late, quite often. The day was "short" relative to the day before, at only around 14 to 15 kilometers. Before I left the Manaslu View, I gave another set of crayons and a memo pad to the owners' little one. My right shoulder was, by this point, blistered and very sore. Trying to find a good way to carry my pack without it really digging into my shoulder became pretty hard. This would eventually not be a bother, but at the moment? It was not fun!
The day ended up quite good, as I was able to take in some excellent views of Lamjung, Annapurna II, and Pisang Peak. A little ways into the day, trekkers are treated to their first views of the Paungda Danda, which is a 1500 meter high curved cliff face that you see for what seems like forever. Below you will see what is just before this area. To give it perspective, if you look very closely, you can even see people that chose to hike along the road that they've built along this intimidating structure!
The next area was a steep ascent, with a brief stop at an area porters typically use, also. After going up the remaining steep ascent through some of the most beautiful forestry, I emerged onto the crude road, which would lead me through the following day, also. The roads being built do help in some ways, but I never lost the sense that it was also damaging to the environment, too. There is always a give and take with our decisions, and this was one example.
After stopping in Dhukur Pokhari for a little snack, it was only another hour until I reached Lower Pisang, which I chose to stay in. There is another route to take to Upper Pisang, but in my opinion, people should really only stay up there if you're either wanting the much better views of the peaks, or you're taking the route to Manang via Ngawal the following day. I chose to stay in Lower Pisang, and wasn't disappointed!
I wandered the road through Lower Pisang, trying to decide where to stay. Finally, I saw what looked to be a new guesthouse - the Hotel Bajra. When I asked how much for a room, I was shocked to be asked for only 50 Rs! That's about 68 cents! Now three meals and gratuity will add onto that, but it was still a bargain! I was given the choice of rooms, and opted for one with a shared balcony. The view outside of it was amazing. The aforementioned Paungda Danda was clearly within view, and you can see why it is such a revered structure! The picture below was taken the following morning, as it had snowed in the upper reaches. None of the snow reached our elevation. After a filling Dal Bhat dinner, it was off to bed!
Approx. distance trekked: 14-15 km
Next up: Day 6 to Manang and day 7 as the acclimatization day!