Annapurna circuit trek, Day 8: Manang to Letdar

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We now start the ascent to Thorunga La. Due to the large elevation
gain; we would have to take at least three days to cross Thorung La. Today, we
will be halting at Letdar which is at an altitude of 13,878 feet. It would take
about 5 hours to reach Letdar from Manang.
We started from Manang with high spirits. As the trail
climbs from Manang town, the valley is seen clearly. The Manaslu peak makes its
appearance at the far end of the valley. It would be last time we will be
seeing Manaslu in this trek.
The trail goes towards right leaving behind Marsyandi River
which was our companion for last seven days. We now enter the valley of Jarsang
Khola, a tributary of Marsyandi River. The Manang valley fades behind as we
climb the valley. The climb is gradual and we enjoy the walk to the fullest.
The great weather combined with acclimatization boosts our energy.
Marsyandi valley towards Tilicho lake
After about 90 minutes of climb we reach the village of
Gunsang. It is the last permanently inhabited village in the valley. The
villages we see further are all temporary camps targeted for trekkers.  We take a long break of 30 minutes enjoying the
beauty of Annapurna Massif.
Annapurna IV, III and Gangapurna
Solar power is extensively used in these areas. Here is the
solar powered water heater!!
The route after Gunang levels and enters into pastures and
small forests. It is strange to see the trees at such high altitude.
We reach Yak Kharka, a village filled with lodges. We
contemplate whether to stay at there or move to Letdar. After short discussion,
we decide to keep up with our plan and continue to Letdar.
But we had to wait for our porter who seems to be a laggard
that day. I and Subbu were little concerned whether he was suffering from AMS.
But Suman just seems to be lethargic that day.
We see blue sheep for the first time here peacefully grazing
on the hills above.
The climb to Letdar took some energy out of us. The heat and
the hunger made the task little difficult.
Letdar was nothing but a collection of two lodges!! We
settled at Churi Ledar lodge. For the first time in the trek, the toilets did
not have running water. The luxury of hot water showers was also gone!!
It gets very cold after sunset forcing us to spend most of
our time in restaurant or under the blankets in the room.

I braved the cold in the night to take some pictures of
Milky Way. Not every day we get to see such a great sky!!

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