Great dinner and nice valley views today. Clouds but not raining. Just a few minutes here to outline our route ahead. We have been on the Annapurna Sanctuary Route and visited base camp the day before yesterday. Since then we have been descending. Slippery trails but everyone is holding up well and having fun. No altitude sickness issues and we are now much lower (somewhere around 6k feet). Tomorro, we will diverge a bit from what was our route in and head west. So this is the tentative plan with each date indicating the night we will be there: Chumro (9/4)
Ghorepani (9/6 and 9/7 with an optional hike up Pun Hill with huge views)
On 9/9 we will walk out to the road at Nayapul and use a minibus – arrriving at Phokhara ~3pm. We’ll visit a public hospital and have a special dinner to thank the porters. We’ve booked a newer/nicer hotel too. 9/10 is mostly a bus ride back to Kathmandu. 9/11 we will visit Bhaktupor and a TB hospital and do course debriefing and final projects and have a farewell dinner. On 9/12 the course officially ends after breakfast. Many students are staying on in the hotel on the night of the 12th and flying out to India on the 13th and they have made their own arrangements with Dorjee (primary trekking operator) for that night and he has graciously offered them transport to the airport even though the program will be officially over.Dorjee and Nima (assistant guide) have been doing a phenomenal job – as have the porters and we are looking forward to thanking them with a big dinner etc on the 11th.
Tandra and I have regularly checked in with each student and despite some disappointment with not being able to make the Gokyo Trek and the rain – they are having a lot of fun and have been doing a great job at learning/discussing health issues here and in the states as well. There was a lot of group singing after dinner tonight. This will likely be my last update for a long time – maybe until Kathmandu. Farewell until then!