Sunday 7th March 1982: Ghoropani to Tatopani (10 miles), Jomson Trek, Nepal
Woke to an excellent clear morning but at least 6 inches of snow had fallen overnight. I waded up the Ghandrung Ridge, at times sinking in above my knees. No birds seen on the ridge but superb views before the clouds quickly came in. I tried lower down, heading back down the trail towards Thante, but could find nothing of note there either. At 12:00 we decided it would be best to leave Ghoropani ahead of schedule and spending longer here on our way back later in the month when the weather would hopefully be better. We left the lodge at 12:30 and after crossing the pass started the long descent to Tatopani. It was very wet and muddy for first two hours and I was slipping around all over the place although as we got lower the path became drier and even my shoes dried out (my feet were OK though despite getting holes in the plastic bags). We hurried down from Sikha (6600 ft), leaving at 15:45, with few stops to be sure of arriving in daylight. We crossed the Thak Khola and arrived at Tatopani (4000 ft) at 18:20, just before dark. The Thak Khola, also known as the Kali Gandaki, was the river we would be following up to Jomson. We stayed in Namaste Lodge and I bought some polish for my shoes, although trying to apply it with pieces of paper was not too successful! Usual rice and daal for supper, the latter rather too spicy for my liking. Tatopani is Nepali for hot water and there were hot springs nearby but we didn't have the inclination to visit them. Ghoropani, where we'd set out from, translates as horse water.
Birds seen: Himalayan Griffon Vulture 10, Common Buzzard 1, Golden Eagle 1, Mountain Hawk Eagle 1, Barred Owlet 1, Himalayan Swiftlet 10, Indian Roller 2, Darjeeling Pied Woodpecker 1, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker 1, Grey Wagtail 3, White-cheeked Bulbul 10, Wren 1, Rufous-breasted Accentor 6, Alpine Accentor 1, Red-flanked Bluetail 4, Blue-headed Redstart 2, Blue-fronted Redstart 10, Stonechat 8, Blue Rock Thrush 1, Blue Whistling Thrush 20, Striated Prinia 1, Grey-hooded Warbler 2, Ashy-throated Leaf Warbler 5, Lemon-rumped Warbler 15, Tickell’s Warbler 1, Grey-headed Flycatcher 1, Black-chinned Babbler 2, Black-capped Sibia 10, Stripe-throated Yuhina 2, White-browed Fulvetta 25, Yellow-browed Tit 15, Grey-crested Tit 10, Black-crested Tit 15, Coal Tit 5, Black-lored Tit 2, White-tailed Nuthatch 1, Stoliczka’s Treecreeper 2, Rufous Treepie 2, Large-billed Crow 5, Common Myna 15, Tree Sparrow 10, Russet Sparrow 2, Hodgson’s Mountain Finch 100, Dark-breasted Rosefinch 4, Beautiful Rosefinch 1, Spot-winged Rosefinch 1 male.
|Ghoropani at dawn, after significant overnight snowfall|
|the start of Ghandgrung Ridge trail, it wasn't easy to find in the snow!|
|me at Ghoropani|
|Alpine Accentor in the 'courtyard' of the Poon Hill Lodge at Ghoropani|