Today’s target was to hop over the Kim Khal pass from the Lavkush Ganga to the Nandakini river valley. Followed by an unknown pass back into the Pindari river valley. The night was peaceful and warm in the store room of a small store at Rains village. I woke up at 7am, had tea with cream rolls, packed up a few oranges and was on my way.
I walked through the village of Rains mostly made up of traditional homes built along a ridge above the road. There s a nice temple in the center of the village. A nice rock path hair pins up the ridgeline above towards the Kim Khal pass, a 1100m climb from Rains. I pass by the Bhumiyal Dev Mandir located just above.
The rock path appears frequently used looking at the exposed soil. It takes me through beautiful pine Forest lit up in the morning sun rays. I get treated on scenic views of the hamlets and terrace farms in the valley below. The path initially climbs up along the ridge and then contours right along the valley slope to a few isolated dwellings.
The Lavkush Ganga river valley below is wild and virgin, devote of any settlements. From the deserted dwellings the path hair pins up steeply towards the Kim Khal pass at 2700m altitude above a steep rockface. There s a nearby Saunbhana pass to the East which runs a parallel trail between both valleys.
From Kim Khal the path contours gradually down along the left slope into the Nandakini river valley. On the way I pass initially through a few deserted dwellings before hitting the inhabited villages below. I add the still unmapped dwellings on both sides of the pass to open street maps. I hit the road at the village of Kundi.
I continue descending to the next village of Dhurma where main Nandakini river valley road passes. Perfect timing – a share taxi passes and I hitch a ride to the main market town of Ghat at the intersection of two valleys. I crossed the town two weeks back through a different set of passes. I indulge in chicken fried mommo’s in a small road side dhaba.
After lunch I proceed upstream the valley to the hamlet of Kungurcha. A good 6 km walk along the road I hope to hitch a ride but unfortunately no luck. So there goes one hour of precious day light. I pass by a group of school kids along the way. Looks like the schools are finally open again after nearly one year.
A nice rock path leads up from the road gradually ascending into the right side valley towards an unnamed pass at 2550m altitude leading into the Pindari river valley. Where I struggled on infrequent used trails yesterday, today I get treated on clear cobbled rock paths. A very wide path contours gently up through a few isolated dwellings before entering pristine jungle.
After a thousand meter climb I hit my second pass late afternoon. Another 2.hours of day light I drop down quickly into the valley. Two paths descend from the pass – a frequented trail follows the left slope to Samkot. The main rock path – hardly used any ore – contours on the right slope through pristine forest to the hamlet of Dewar. In several places the no longer maintained path is destroyed by land slides and overgrown by the forest.
From Dewar I soon reach a deserted ghat road and walk a few kilometers into the sunset until a pickup van gives me a ride all the way to Narayan Bagar in the Pindari river valley below. The van drops me at the start of the town where I drop into a cosy local shop cum dhaba for dinner and recharging my phone. I ask the owner for any nearby school or temple to pitch my tent. He kindly suggests to settle down for the night on the rooftop of the shop.