The next week or so we rapidly, then slowly, descended down the valley until we were at a more reasonable ~1000m high. The scenery changes dramatically, high up in this valley it is exceedingly dry, dusty and barren, but down at 1km high it’s hot, humid and very sweaty, surrounded by greenery and rhododendron forests. It’s slightly odd to have finished the ‘big part’ of the trek, but still have half of it to go. A lot of the days are easier at the moment, 4-5 hour walks starting late and ending early.
We went to a couple of temples, Hindu and Buddhist. These are almost always located on a picturesque promontory. At a hindu temple, we saw the ‘bath of 108 cows’, and at a buddhist one, we saw trumpeters echoing down the valleys.
One disappointment is that with all the cloud in this valley, we’ve had almost no views of the great mountains. We’re in the deepest gorge in the world, with Annapurna I at 8091m on one side and Dhaulagiri at 8167m on the other. Sadly, they have hid their faces from us.
Our guides and porters have really been excellent, full of spirit and setting an eminently sensible pace throughout. There are other groups trekking the circuit, almost every day they set out and overtake us early on, only to be hauled back by our steady, relentless eating up of the miles.