|How not to cross a river|
Finally first day on Annapurna track, living the dream! First 7km went with ease, signed in with the TIMs card before leaving Besishaha and showed the permits 7km later at the first check point. We then descended down to the swing bridge via some stairs, where I managed to ‘endo’ in front of a whole bunch of local kids. No damage to the bike, but my self-esteem and hip took a hard knock. The first part of the trek went well; most was ride able, and a waist deep river crossing in the main river made for some early excitement.
|Short cut through the river|
|Riding down some stairs|
|First swing bridge crossing|
1130 came and so did the relentless heat. Things also started to get steep and rugged and we were soon carrying our bikes. We climb up to Bahundanda with seat pouring from our helmets. We stopped for lunch and a break from the mid day sun. Once again the heat was taking its toll slowing progress. We filled our camel packs and we headed up the valley. Progress was good after lunch, the tracks became rideable, despite what we were told by the restaurant owner who insisted we should hire a Sherpa, screw that!
We passed by some beautiful scenery. I was totally blown away by at how the steep cliffs towered above us in their lush green colours. We crossed the swing bridge at Syange giving way to a donkey train, as I wasn’t too keen on sharing the bridge with half a dozen donkeys. Shortly after the bridge we caught up to about 30 to 40 Iranian climbers taking pictures of monkeys, this was a must do, so out came my camera.
A steep climb approached, down Rohloff down, but no, this is odd I thought. The Rohloff shifter mechanism had somehow jammed, and since we didn’t have the correct sized torx bit, it was single speed riding for me from now on. No two minutes later Ollie’s rear tire punctured with a gash just too large for the “no tubes” to seal.
The track treated us to a nice piece of single track then hit us with a nasty climb, bikes over the shoulder and we progressed up the steep track. The sky began to grow dark as we arrived in Chyamche. We decided to stay here for the night as we were both well spent.
|Waterfall at Chyamche|
I had a shower and was drying myself off and I noticed I had a little leech sucking away between my fingers, awesome my first leech. It was quite strange as you couldn’t even feel the leech sucking away having the time of his life. Just as well the leech was having fun as I pulled out my lighter and a second of flame was enough for the leech to let go and squirm to its death.
|My first leech|
Well we didn’t make Chame today, but Chyamche was beautifully situated overlooking a 200m waterfall.
Statistics: hours riding 0830 to 1730, 40min lunch.