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ACT Day 03 - Tal to Danakyu

Butterflies


The trail eventually began to drop back down to the level of the river, and the roar of the mighty Marsyangdi grew louder and louder the closer we got. We came upon the 'garden' village of Karte (elevation : 1850m) not too long after (at the 7.3km mark), and made our way past numerous flowers that fringed the walkway that went straight through the village. Butterflies were ubiquitous here, surely attracted by the presence of all the flowers, with types that ranged from swallowtails (Family: Papilionidae) such as the common windmill, to gossamer-wings (Family: Lycaenidae) such as the plain hedge blue. I kept a lookout for some Lycaenid larvae as I walked, as some species have been found to be protected by ants whilst they feed, and in return provide the ants with honeydew that is produced from glands in their skin.

butterflies

Common windmill (Byasa polyeuctes)

butterflies

A plain hedge blue (Celastrina lavendularis) perched on a flower; a congregation of snails (Class: Gastropoda)

Not too long after, we crossed the roiling river over a suspension bridge that was built right next to the old one. The old bridge was dilapidated and beyond repair: the suspension cables were still strung across the river, but the deck itself had almost completely disappeared. The long town of Dharapani (elevation : 1880m) lay right after the bridge. The town was split into several sections, with each part separated by fields. Just when we thought we had reached the end of the town, another section revealed itself. The first ACAP/TIMS checkpoint that we came across the entire trek was located here. We stopped there for a while to get the permits checked, and then proceeded to walk straight out of town. We then found a nice clearing and began to cook lunch.

Dharapani old bridge

The old dilapidated bridge

We continued on after our one-hour-long lunchbreak and reached a church called 'Golden Gate Church'. The church was right next to the turnoff for the 40-minute walk to Odar , and the viewpoints of 'Namrucho' and 'Chorten Pro'. When we saw the turnoff, we realised that we had missed the bridge that leads to Bimtang, which happens to also be in the same direction as that of the Manaslu Circuit. Instead of continuing on to the Manaslu Circuit however, we would have turned left directly after the suspension bridge and towards the Nyngma Gompa instead. This route was the recommended NATT route, but by then we had gone too far to turn back.

scenery around Dharapani

Next (Day 3) : Tal to Danakyu (Part 3)

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