My host at Himni village woke me up with tea and biscuits in a under construction hotel room. Next was hot water to refresh myself. Then it was time of breakfast: fluffy home made rottis with greens. And finally he packed up rottis with sugar for the day ahead. Kind elder gentleman offering non expecting hospitality. In return I added his room as a guest house on open street maps so the world could find him.
From Himni a nice path climbs up along the ridge through step plantations barren now in winter. A few ladies were walking up with big bamboo baskets to collect leaves and firewood from the forest above. Above the farmlands the trail contours up on the left through a serene forest to the deserted dwelling of Dolam at 2950m. A black doggie appears out of nowhere chasing wild chicks in the forest. I hit snow at Dolam and put on my Bluebolt water proof socks to stay dry and comfy.
It s another long way and 400m ascent to the pass at 3350m crossing over from the Kali Ganga river valley at Himni to an unnamed valley at Barkandi village on the other side. From Dolam the trail contours high above an in between unihabited valley before touching the pass from where it drops down steeply to Barkandi. I walk through foot deep snow on the Nortwestern slopes where the sun does not reach. The valley drops down steeply offering mesmerizing views on virgin forest.
From the pass the path drops steeply through the isolated dwelling of Matholi. And a thousand meter drop to the first inhabited village of Barkandi. A picturesque settlement surrounded by green step farms where no road has reached yet. Above Barkandi I take a left towards the nearby hamlet of Balara seperates by s steep gorge. I take some photos of this beautiful small settlement with views on Trisul massif above. One elder gentleman is spinning wool.
My stomach feels hungry and I take a break near a home where a few ladies are basking in the mid day sun on a flat platform made out of big flat stones. I take my packed rottis and sugar and immediately one of them offers me dhal to go along with it. I wash my socks in a nearby tap and hang them to dry on my backpack. Feet sweat a lot even in my breathable running shoes and need frequent washing. I thank the ladies and proceed on my way.
A beautiful path made of large flat rock tiles leads from Balara into the valley below where it crosses an unnamed stream before climbing up to my next pass into the Pindari valley. A good 700m climb on the opposite side of the valley through the isolated dwellings of Talla Bora and Malla Bora. The pass at 2800m is free of snow and the path drops 300m down to the hamlet of Garikut. From there another 300m down to Badiyakot connected by road some 300m above the Pindari river.
My sumptuous lunch is digested meanwhile and I pick up some snacks in a small shop: cadburry chocolates, oranges, jaggery peanuts and a yummy local sweet. The clock shows 4pm and it s another 12k to the next road side village of Kharkiya, too far to reach before darkness. I hurry up and continue along a wide rock path high above the raging Pindari river through the hamlets of Pataag and Sorag hoping to find a dhaba where I can have dinner.
From Sorag the path drops down steeply into a side valley where 5:30pm I encounter a shop cum dhaba and plan to settle down for the day after a solid 28k speedhike across 2 passes totalling 2100m elevation gain. I order tea and two Maggie’s with eggs to restore the lost calories before settling down in my Bluebolt solo tent of the nearby primary govt school.