Monday 8th March 1982: Tatopani to Ghasa (10 miles), Jomson Trek,
We had a latish start after an excellent porridge and pancake breakfast but were still delayed at the police check post, where our trekking permits were perused, until 09:00. We then started walking, a slow climb up to Ghasa. A very hot day with few birds evident in rather limited habitat. I found carrying rather than wearing my warm clothes quite an effort – my reasonably lightly filled rucksack was normally more than enough! The trail along the west side of the Thak Khola was apparently no good and all the locals used the east side so we followed suit. I felt rather claustrophobic in the bottom of so deep a valley (apparently the deepest in the world as had peaks 22,000 ft above us on either side – Dhulaguri to west and Annapurna to east). An hour before arriving in Ghasa, and before crossing back onto the west side of the river, we passed a fire by the trail which burned up the hill away from the river very fast. At this point I wasn't convinced that following the east side trail was such a good idea! We arrived at the Mustang Lodge, Ghasa (6600 ft) at 15:30 and the fire was still burning at dusk.
Birds seen: Black Kite 1, Lammergeyer 1, Himalayan Griffon Vulture 20, Black Vulture 1, Hen Harrier 1, Goshawk 2, Sparrowhawk 1, Golden Eagle 2, Kestrel 4, Rock Dove 50, Snow Pigeon 30, Grey Wagtail 4, White-cheeked Bulbul 5, Black Bulbul 3, Rufous-breasted Accentor 1, Himalayan Accentor 6, Blue-headed Redstart 1, Plumbeous Redstart 5, Stonechat 4, River Chat 3, Blue Rock Thrush 1, Blue Whistling Thrush 12, Common Tailorbird 2, Golden-spectacled Warbler 2, Grey-hooded Warbler 2, Goldcrest 2, Grey-headed Flycatcher 1, Streaked Laughingthrush 3, Black-capped Sibia 2, Purple Sunbird 3 males, Black-throated Sunbird 1, Chough 50, Large-billed Crow 4, Common Myna 15, Tree Sparrow 5, Beautiful Rosefinch 2.
|smoke or clouds on the way to Kalopani|
|looking north up the Khak Khola, here our trail is on the east (right) of the valley with a grass fire reaching down to it|
|looking south from Ghasa at the still burning hillside we'd earlier passed|