Friday, April 25, 2014

Back in Nepal

On the Annapurna circuit trek near Manang
Hi friends,

Since leaving California I spent forty days trekking in the Himalaya of Nepal. This year I took along my brother, Tom, for his first trek in Nepal. We did a 23 day curcuit of the Annapurna massif including the jaunt up into 'The Sanctuary' or base camp. Though it was physically challenging, he loved it.
After a couple days of rest in Kathmandu and seeing my brother off, a Dhamma friend, Sean, from California flew in to accompany me on a second trek. This time we did a 17 day trek up into the Tsum Valley. The Tsum Valley was only recently opened for trekking. It lies up near the Tibetan border and the religion/culture of the people is 'Tibetan like' as found in the Mustang and Khumbu regions of Nepal. The area is not so developed and comercialised as found on the Annapurna and Everest treks. You don't find pizza and apple pie in the lodges there yet. There are also some very remote and secluded monasteries found up above 10,000 ft.
Before starting the first trek around Annapurna, my brother  wanted to get a glimpse of Mt. Everest so we took the Everest Mountain flight that flies by the section of the Himalaya between Kathmandu and the world's highest mountain.

Here are some highlights 

View from the Mountain flight on Buddha Air



The great Stupa at Boudhnath


With my brother near Chame

 Annapurna 3


 We choose the old wooden bridge





 It snowed on several nights





 Typical large guest house


 Nicely arranged kitchens


 Approaching Manang





 Main street Manang


 Ice lake at the foot of the Gangapurna glacier with Manang at the bottom






 Heading up to the 5,417 meter high Thorung La (pass)



Icy narrow footpaths make walking tricky



 Thorung High Camp lodge at 4,700 meters


 Yaks returning after hauling weak trekkers up to the top of the pass



 While the stronger ones trudge up on foot





The steep decent in meter deep snow 


Views on the other side-Mt. Dhaulagiri at the left


Jhong Monastery 



 Sunrise on Dhaulagiri



 Two Oxen guard the toilets





 Back to forest covered trails




Left to Right-Annapurna 1, Rock Noir and Fang  (taken from Kalopani)



 Big lodges at Ghorepani


Annapurna South 


Dhaulagiri skyline-Tom with guide and porter 


 View from Tadapani- Annapurna South (left), Machapuchre (right)



Machapuchre-The Fishtail 


Ascending into 'The Sanctuary"














 Hot Springs at Jhinadanda



A trek done well ends well


Highlights from the trek to the Tsum Valley/Ganesh Himal

Mules begin their  multi day labor ferrying supplies from Arughat up the valleys


The trail along the 4x track from Arughat


 Extending the road to cut trekking days shorter


 Taking breaks near waterfall pools for tranquil meditation and refreshing dips




 Sleeping and meditating out under the stars one night



Porters carrying roofing sheets five days up valley for new lodge construction

Manaslu Circuit goes to the left while Tsum Valley goes right


 Mt. Sringimal-entrance to the Tsum Valley





The entrance to many homes in the Tsum Valley
 

 Kids on their half hour walk to school
 The Milarepa Cave


The footprint of Milarepa (an 11th century hermit/saint) impressed in the rock of the cave






 From Left: Guide Norbu, porter Urgyen and Sean


 

Mu Gompa (monastery) situated at 3,700 meters ele.

 
 The roof of Mu Gompa with the Ganesh Himal as backdrop


The tranquil river under the old bridge at Domje


The nuns school/training monastery at Domje
It was their first glimpse at a 'golden lama' (their term for a Theravada monk)



Gumba Lundang ( a monastery for nuns) situated at 3,200 meters





 Nuns eat their meals outside

 
Peering into the Ganesh Himal Sanctuary


 
A hike up to the foot of the Ganesh Glacier
 

A parting shot








The End

By the time you read this I'll be in Bucharest beginning a six week
tour In Romania, Switzerland, and Germany. See Travel and Teaching page.
Mangalam

2 comments:

  1. What an amazing experience that must have been, Bhante! Thankyou for sharing your lovely pics.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    ReplyDelete