Pokhara, Nepal, February 2017: Dushanbe is a village high in the Himalayas. Situated on the edge of the Annapurna region, its about as far as one can get without having to pay the trekking fees and Annapurna conservation fee. I’m told its not far from Pokhara and a day trip there is quite feasible. Even better, there’s a bus and with a couple of changes one can get all the way to Dhanpush, quite an appealing thought since I’m not one for these very long treks that Nepal is famous for! So, with the promise of great mountain views and a quaint village scene and armed with what I hope is reliable information, I’m game if you are!
First, a bus from Lakeside Hallan Chowk to Zero KM (15 rupees) at 7 AM. Zero KM is where the Baglung Highway starts (or ends) and where one can get further transport to the Baglung bus park (15 Rupees), about 2 miles away. Once at the Baglung, just about any bus will stop at Phedi (50 rupees), the jumping off point for Dhanpush, a bumpy 20 minute journey on a packed local rice bus!
Phedi is little more than a collection of about 6 ramshackle structures on one side of the road and a hotel on the other. Suddenly a realisation that the plan might start to fall apart from now on sets in – little sign of life let alone a road up to Dhanpush! There is however a stone trail, even signed to Dhanpush but I’d hoped to get that bus. The man at this tea shack here hasn’t a clue about buses and the best I could get was a maybe at 10 am, time now 08.30. After much deliberation over a cup of tea, the only thing for it was to take the trail up and hope for the best. I know that these climbs can be tough especially as the air thins out, so lets see how far I can get!