Saturday, January 7, 2012

Asian Adventure: Day 9 Chame

Annapurna Circuit Day 4
Danague (2210 m) to Chame (2710 m)

We set out on the trail around 8:00 AM just as the clouds were breaking to reveal stunning views of the Lanjung Himal to the west and the Manaslu ranges to the east. The trail began with a steep climb through lush tropical forests but gradually began to transition to pine forests as we passed Timang. With all of the homes now burning pine wood in their fires it, the air was very reminiscent of camping at home.

View towards Manaslu
Watching the trekkers pass
Suspension bridge

 At Thanchowk the valley opened to reveal wide pastures of horses, cows and goats. We stopped for lunch in the garden of the Gandaki Hotel. This was the first tea house where our guide was able to locate yak cheese so Dave was able to have what would become his favourite meal of the trip - potatoes with yak cheese. 

Yak cheese and potatoes

While waiting for our food we played games of catch and swords with the youngest daughter of the family running the tea house. When we were finally served our food she even went to get her own serving of dal bhat in order to eat with us. When she was finished eating she simply walked to the door and threw the left over food onto the lawn - I wish clean up at home was that simple!

Lunch companion

After the extended lunch break we continued on the short distance to Chame - not to be confused with Chamje from two nights ago.


We checked into the Manaslu View Lodge where we were treated to our own private cottage behind the main tea house. We were also treated with another hot gas shower.

Our cottage

We had barely walked for three hours so we had a considerable amount of time and energy to burn so we set off to explore town. Chame is the district capital and a much larger village (pop. 1200) - there is even a bank, police station and a cell phone store. Dave took advantage of the services and stocked up on cookies and chocolate bars.

Main street
Quilt maker
Convenience shop
Winter wood stores

All of the guidebooks boast about hot springs located along the river in Chame but much to Dave's dismay, the water level was too low and the small pools were barely enough to soak your feet in.

Dave searching for hot springs

As a reference, the elevation at the top of the Lake Louise ski resort is 2637 m and the elevation in Chame is 2710 m. At home we would now be 300 m above the tree line in terrain that would be primarily rock, scrub plants and snow. But yet in Chame we have barely left the tropical rhododendron forests and there is still abundant vegetables, flowers and agricultural crops.


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