Walking the walk – Day by Day itinerary GHT Cultural/Lower Trail (Manaslu and Ganesh Himal Section)
Day 32 Kalikatang/Gorkha Palace (1313 m)-Gorkha (1075 m) 1 hr
From Kalikatang you go down to Gorkha via the Gorkha Palace. After the palace, stairs bring you all the way down to Gorkha Bazar. It is worth spending a day here, and visit the palace in the morning, and the Gorkha Museum in the afternoon. The museum has a beautiful display of paintings of the Shah kings around the 18th Century, weaponry, utensils, etc.
Day 33 Gorkha (1075 m)-Appipal (1140 m) 7 hrs
From Gorkha the trail goes down to the Daraudi Khola (river) at about 400 m and after this climbs up for most of the day, till you reach Appipal at 1140 m.
From Gorkha buspark, follow the road in western direction. Walking out of town, the road turns into a dirt road. After about 20 min, there is a Y, take the left trail going flat at first and then slightly up. After another 5 min you reach at a resting place, with is next to a gate. Go left here, passing the gate. Far below you, you see the Daraudi Khola at your right. The dirt road becomes a trail; after 2 min there is another Y, take the right trail going down steeply towards the river. When you see the road again (after about 10 min), continue on the road for about 100 m and then take a small trail to your left, which continues descending steeply. After about 5 min you reach the small settlement of Nanglepani (746 m). Just after Nanglepani there is a T junction, take the trail going left. After about ½ hr you reach at a Y, go right in direction of small banana plantation and go left here. After another 10 min you reach the small village of Borabesi (425 m). After passing the village, go right, towards the river. Within a minute you reach at a crossroad of 4 small trails, go right again. This brings you to a dirt road. There are 2 choices now: go left, towards Borabesi Bazar and cross the river there (longer way). Or go right and walk on a small trail through the fields towards the river (shorter way). You arrive at another dirt road, go right here and follow the tracks. You have to wade the river a few times to cross it (400 m). When you are at the other side, climb to the road, cross it and keep on going up. After about 15 min you reach the first houses of Khoplang (480 m). However, Khoplang is a very spread out village and the “centre” is at about 730 m, 45 min ahead.
Shortly after arriving at the first houses of Khoplang, there is a Y, go left. The trail becomes stairs, climbing up steeply through the forest. Where the stairs arrive at a junction with a trail, go right on the trail (so don’t continue on the stairs). After a few minutes you arrive at a dirt road, which you follow in the same (right) direction. Follow this road to the north/northeast with the Daraudi Khola far below to your right now. After about 2 min take a trail left of the road, going up (after 1 min there is a Y, take left going up; after another 1 min there is a T, again go left and up). After about 20 min you cross a dirt road, after which there are a few junctions, always go straight/northwest. You are climbing through terraced fields now. You pass a few settlements which are also part of Khoplang and then walk into the main part of Khoplang. Here you find a few small local restaurants, which serve dahl bath.
Go towards the school and after passing the school and a pipal tree go left/down. Within 20 meters you reach at a junction, go straight here. After another 20 meters there is a Y, go right/north. You walk on a beautiful trail, going down through terraces. After about 20 min stone steps bring you down to the village of Khoplang Banjyang (632 m). Go left into the village and right before the temple. Cross a dirt road. After 3 min you arrive at the dirt road again, go right here, going up. After about 10 min take a trail to the left of the road, going up through the forest. After about 5 min there is a Y, go left here. Shortly after you arrive at the road again, after a big tree, take a small trail to your left, climbing up the hill steeply. You pass the village of Kolkate (807 m) and climb the hill left of the village (going northwest). You are climbing stairs now. After 10 min, take a trail left of a pipal tree (and stop following the stairs). After 10 min you cross a dirt road and walk into the village of Baise Pani (905 m). About 20 after, there is a Y, take the left going down, and after just 2 min with the next Y take the right going flat. After 10 min you reach a dirt road where you go right. Soon you arrive at the village of Tsapa Banjyang (844 m). Go straight and up. You arrive again at a dirt road, but after about 50 m there is a small trail going up to your right, which you take. You pass the village of Pokhare Besi (913 m), after which there is a Y, take a right here. Shortly after there is another Y, take a left here. You walk into the forest now, slowly climbing up. After about an hour you reach a dirt road, where you go right. You first pass the village of Ribgaon (1192 m; 5 min) and after another 5 min arrive in the village of Appipal (1140 m).
Appipal has a few small local restaurants, where you can eat dahl bath. For sleeping, camping is recommended as they don’t provide accommodation.
Day 34 Appipal (1140 m)-Paudi (520 m) 6 hrs
This is an easy day, with not a lot of climbing or descending. The distance is about 16 km, passing through small villages and fields.
At the square in Appipal with the pipal tree, take a left. The day starts pleasantly with an easy walk through the forest on a dirt road going down slightly. After about 15 min you reach a small settlement, Mukudara (1036 m). With clear weather you have an excellent view on the Manaslu range here: Manaslu (8163 m) at the left, and next to Manaslu the Himal Chuli (7893 m) and Baudha Himal (6672 m). You see the Chepe Khola (river) far below you. It’s an amazing sight!
At the end of the village, where the dirt road starts again, take a small trail to the right, going down, towards the Chepe Khola. After about 20 meter there is a Y, take the left trail. Soon you will be walking on stairs, going down steeply (you cross upon a stonewall, there is an opening and the trail continues going down). After a few minutes you arrive at a dirt road, take it going down, and when you see a pipal tree at your left (after about 200 meter), take the trail at your right, going down. The trail is going through the fields, with the Manaslu range at your right, and passes the Gurung village of Bayapani (873 m). The trail arrives at a dirt road, which you follow westwards.
After about 10 min, just before a pipal tree, take a trail at the right side of the dirt road. The trail is entering a forest and goes down steeply. After about 15 min you reach a suspension bridge over the Chepe Khola (542 m), which you cross. Go left, after 30 meter there is a Y, go left here as well. You are walking on a beautiful small trail through the fields, following the Chepe Khola downstream. After about ½ hr you reach the village of Tinpiple (575 m). Go left and follow the road through the village. After about 15 min the road makes a turn to the right; take the trail going straight here. After about 2 min there is a crossroad, go right here. Cross the small stream, climb to the road and go left. You cross a small river stone hopping and enter the village of Syauli Bazar (579 m). In Syauli Bazar are a few small local restaurants that serve dahl bath.
10 min after Syauli Bazar you see a pipal tree; the road turns left here, and you see stairs going up in front of you. Take these stairs, and after 5 min, continue in the same direction on the dirt road again, which is more a large path now. After about 5 min, there is a Y, take the left, which means staying on the path. You pass the village of Salphedi (633 m). At the end of the village take the stairs going down. After about 10 min you reach at a dirt road, which you follow straight/going up. About ½ hr after Salphedi you pass the village of Goretari (568 m). After 15 min you pass a pipal tree and a shop, take the trail left of the road here. After about 15 min you reach the first houses of Tarkhughat (515 m). After 5 min the dirt road turns to the right, go straight here, walking into Tarkhughat Bazar (489 m), with its colorful houses.
At the end of the village go right (so don’t cross the suspension bridge) and then straight, following the dirt road. Pass the Marsyangdi bridge, go straight on a path, following the Marsyangdi Nadi River upstream at the right side of the river through forest and terraces. The path goes partly over the river beach and some big boulders and goes back into the forest again. After about 45 min you arrive at a small ashram, which is also an elderly home. 10 min after you arrive at a dirt road, go left here. After 200 m there is a small shop to your left, take the stairs going down here. The stairs lead to a suspension bridge (500 m) over the Marsyangdi Nadi River. At the end of the bridge, go left and climb up to the village of Paudi (520 m).
Paudi is a small bazaar town, with a few local restaurants. One restaurant has 2 rooms where you can stay as well, ask around. Below the town is a school with a football field where you can camp. There are buses to Besisahar from Paudi (1 hr). From Besisahar you can continue to Kathmandu (about 6 hrs) or Pokhara (about 4 hrs).
Day 35 Paudi (520 m)-Besisahar (810 m) 7 hrs
Today you follow the Marsyangdi Nadi river all day in northern direction, till you reach Besisahar. It is quite a long distance, over 24 km. You can decide to stay overnight earlier, in one of the towns at the left side of the Marsyangdi Nadi river
Cross the same suspension bridge you crossed yesterday and continue walking on the right side of the Marsyangdi Nadi river. You can climb back to the dirt road, or go left on a small trail, straight after crossing the bridge. The trail leads you through beautiful terraced fields to the river beach, where you have to cross some big rocks. 2 times you pass a start of a dirt road, which you can take, or you can keep on following the small trail. 5 min after the second dirt road (an hour after leaving), take a path going up (stone stairs) away from the river. This brings you to the dirt road which you follow going up for 100 meters, after which you can take a trail at the left side of the road. The trail goes flat at first, but soon starts climbing up (stone stairs). After 10 min you pass the village of Matigaon (546 m). Don’t go into the village but take the trail going left. You arrive at a dirt road again (which is not in use by motorized transport), go left here.
With clear weather you you can see the Lamjung Himal and Annapurna 3 and 4. The road becomes a trail and goes into a beautiful forest. After about 15 min you cross a suspension bridge (525 m) over the Tardi Khola, a tributary of the Marsyangdi Nadi river. After crossing the bridge, climb up for a few minutes, pass a little house and go right, climbing through terraces. After about 5 minutes, when you enter the forest, there is a Y, go left here. You see a small village to your right, Doke Eklekhet (585 m). After passing the first houses, there is another Y, go right here, into the village. Climb up a few terraces and go left on a flat trail. After 10 min you arrive at a dirt road again, where you go left. You walk in the forest again, and pass the village of Belgari (539 m). After the village you cross another suspension bridge (538 m), after which you climb up. You cross the dirt road 2 times, and finally arrive at it again, following it going up/left. It is easy walking along the fields, passing the village of Sagra (619 m) and Archalbot (653 m ½ hr). After another 15 min there is a shortcut to your left (passing a green house). You cross a river stone hopping and shortly after arrive at the road again. After 10 meter there is a trail to the left of the road going down. The trail passes the village of Alangche (589 m) and arrives at a suspension bridge (600 m) over the Dordi Khola. After crossing you follow a small trail through the fields. After 5 min (after a yellow house) there is a junction, go left, towards a pink house. The trail leads to the village of Ramchowk (630 m). Go right at the big pipal tree with a resting place and then left. You walk on a dirt road again. After about 10 min you pass a small restaurant, which can be a good place for lunch.
The dirt road (which is more a tractor track) keeps on following the Marsyangdi Nadi river. After about 40 min you arrive at a big dam. You can take a shortcut here, climbing up the hill steeply. After 5 min you reach the road, which you follow for 5 min, after which you see another shortcut to your left (next to a big bamboo bush). This is a nice trail through the fields. After 10 min you arrive at a stairs, which you take going up. You arrive at the village of Budikoa (700 m). There is a small teashop here. Go left, following the dirt road/tractor track, which is climbing slowly through the forest till 785 m (1 hr). After another 15 min you arrive at the spread out village of Pasachaur (730 m). After about 30 min you cross a river (stone hopping or with a suspension bridge). Shortly after, where the road turns to the right, take the stairs at the left side of the road. You arrive back at the road again, and after 10 min you take the trail right of the road, leading down to a suspension bridge (694 m). After crossing the bridge, it is a short climb to Besisahar (755 m).
Besisahar is the headquarters of Lamjung District and is quite big. It takes about ½ hr to cross the whole town. There are a few guesthouses, most are located at the other side of the town (800 m): Hotel Siddhi Binayak (only one at the entrance of the town), Everest Guesthouse, Gangapurna Hotel and Lodge, Hotel M.C. and Lodge, Hotel Super View, Throunch Peak Guesthouse, Thorung La Guesthouse, Hotel Mt Kailash and Mongolian Guesthouse.
Besisahar is the gateway for a couple of treks, among which the famous Annapurna Circuit. Another less well known trek, is the homestay trek to Gurung villages like Ghalegaun, Bhujung Pasgaun and Thumsikot, described partly below.
From Besisahar you can take a bus to Kathmandu (about 6 hrs) or Pokhara (about 4 hrs)