Day Three: Trekking Tal To Timang On The Annapurna Circuit
Its the third day on the Annapurna Circuit and it is certainly hard. Though, our destination made the trek worth it. Day three will take us from Tal to Dharapani, Dharapani to Bagarchap, Bagarchap to Danaqyu and finally Danaqyu to Timang. The total journey from Tal to Timang consists of 14 kilometers of hiking over 7 hours and an elevation increase of 1100 meters.
Though, I will go through my journey in detail. So, if you are planning your own Annapurna Circuit adventure you will know exactly what to expect on day three.
Tal (1700 m) to Dharapani (1900m): 6 km hike which takes 2 and a half hours
Dharapani (1900m) to Bagarchap (2160m): 2 km hike which takes 1 hour
Bagarchap (2160m) to Danaqyu (2200m): 2 km hike which takes 1 hour
Danaqyu (2200m m) to Timang (2710m): 4 km hike which takes 2 and a half hours
Annapurna Circuit Day Three: Tal To Timang
Waking Up In Tal
Waking up early I make my way outside our room and towards the balcony. In the distance snowy peaks greet me good morning. This is the first sign on snow on the trail and the first real peaks we have seen so far.
Unfortunately, I did not have the best sleep. We didn’t bring sleeping bags on the trail as we thought it would add be too much weight. Though, I am also allergic to dust mites which seemed to be in the blanket. During the night I ended up having to bundle up in warm clothes and sleep inside a sleeping bag liner.
After putting on a damp tee shirt which I tried to wash last night I make my way back to the balcony where breakfast has been set up for us. I dig into a plate of scrambled eggs and Tibetan bread while enjoying the view.
We decide to head off fairly early in a group to try and make the most of today. I knew I wanted to get to Timang today, a village which I had heard had amazing views and plenty of tea houses to stay at.
Tal to Dharapani
Hitting the road we follow the trail alongside the river and between the valley in the mountainsides. This part of the trail is quite hilly and has steps which is hard on the knees. Though, this way is easier than the steep climb back towards the roadside.
I somehow manage to swipe my hand alongside a stinging nettle plant. This is my first experience like this as back home in New Zealand we basically have nothing that can hurt you. I just deal with it and head on wards whilst my partner is shocked I didn’t know what stinging nettle is.
Luckily we come across the village of Karte where a suspension bridge allows us to cross over and back onto the road. I am trying to avoid going off road as much as possible to prevent any extra strain on my knees. At Karte we stop and make friends with a goat while sitting on one of the benches on the side of the road.
After a small breather to continue on towards Dharapani. It is a relatively easy walk fill of beautiful waterfalls, wild goats and the rushing rivers. There is no real complicated parts and it is a straight forward walk along the road to Dharapani.
On arrival in Dharapani we stop to get our permits checked and sign in for this leg of the Annapurna Circuit. There are plenty of cute dogs relaxing out front. Turns out this is a day of making friends with adorable animals.
Dharapani to Bagarchhap
After yesterdays horrible experience hiking from Chamche to Tal we decide sticking to the road is the best option. Though, our British friends decide to head back onto the trail, following the other side of the river through the forest.
We watch as they head off through the village taking an alternative route while we continue on the road. We keep an eye on their path across the river waiting for them to appear, though they never do. Luckily, they know where we are hoping to stay tonight so we should bump back into them one way or the other.
The walk along the road is easy, though we notice a massive landslide blocking the trail over the river. Looks like our friends will either have to turn around or careful navigate over it. Either way this is going to delay them quite a lot.
Bagarchhap to Danaqyu
Following the road it does not take long to arrive in Danaqgyu. It is a relatively easy walk with small ups and downs, though nothing major at all.
Danaqgyu is quite a long village stretching over 1 kilometer in distance with several lodges. It is mid afternoon, though neither of us are super hungry as we did have a snickers bar around lunch time. We decide to visit one of the lodges and order a cup of tea in hopes that this will allow our friends to catch back up to us.
Ordering a delicious peppermint tea we stop and talk to a Scottish gentleman who has also stopped in for a quick break. His goal for today is the same as ours, to make it to Timang. He had actually met our British friends yesterday. Though, when we told him they went on the off road trail he was surprised if they would catch back up.
After half an hour of waiting we decide it is time to get back on the road. The last section of the Annapurna Circuit today is a very steep climb. It is essentially a straight up from Danaqyu to Timang and at my pace it is not going to be a quick one.
Luckily, for an extra energy boost we come across the most adorable fluffy puppy while heading towards the last few houses of Danaqyu. The puppy happily jumps up for a cuddle before its smiling owner comes out and pops the dog backside their house.
Danaqyu to Timang
Heading out of Danaqyu we follow the road in and out of little short cut trails. This area of the circuit is extremely wet even though it has not rained all day. My guess is that the overhead leaf cover mixed with the nearby rivers and waterfalls results in a constantly moist ground.
This means for us that we need to jump over the occasional mud puddle. Though, it is quite interesting to watch the jeep navigate this portion of the road without getting stuck.
Soon enough we come across the horrible massive mountain we have been told about. The road zig zags up the side while the trekkers have carved a steep path straight through to try and cut down on the distance. The slippery surfaces mixed with steep stairs results in us having to go fairly slowly. Having to climb over 500 meters in just a few kilometers is no easy job!
This walk is strenuous and seems never ending. Constantly going on and off the main road as we make our way up the zigzag. Lucky for us, after a few rest breaks the trail seems to stop and we are back to following a less steep road. A few horses hide is the nearby bushes, indicating we cannot be too far from the next village, Timang.
Houses on the roadside peak my excitement, thinking we must have finally made it. Though, they quickly prove false hope as there is nothing more ahead than forest. About 20 minutes later we notice the Scottish gentleman from the tea house in Danaqyu standing on a rooftop in the distance.
We knew we had finally made it from Tal to Timang and relief washes over us like a wave. Turning around and facing outward it is proven this hard walk has been worth it with snowy mountain views welcoming us in.
Staying In Timang
Walking through the village of Timang we find a perfect green and purple guesthouse to stay at called Tibet Lhasa Guesthouse And Restaurant. In exchange for purchasing dinner and breakfast their we are given a gorgeous room with amazing views for free.
Perfect for us, this guesthouse actually has amazingly fast WIFI. I am even able to watch YouTube videos uninterrupted and we do not have to pay extra!
Another freebie is the hot shower. I happily jump in a wash off the sweat from the days walk, especially the last uphill part. Feeling refreshed we head outside to the balcony to map out where to go tomorrow. While there we watch as the evening clouds roll over the snowy mountains and the hills surrounding us. These are no doubt the best views so far on the Annapurna Circuit, though I am sure they will get even better!
For dinner we sit inside at the common area and dig into a plate of dal baht each. This along with a thermostat of tea provides the perfect dinner, supplementing the energy we have lost throughout the day. Dal baht is a well known well on the trail, eaten commonly by the porters and known as 24 hour power. Hopefully this will be true and help us out over the coming days on the Annapurna Circuit where we will increase elevation and have less oxygen.
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