Off the Beaten path pt 5: Dhorpatan at last!
Live from Kathmandu: New finals from Sanjib

Live from Nepal: Jajala pass in full bloom!

Off the Beaten Path in Nepal, part 6.  This spring in Nepal, the haze is unprecedented.   However the Lali Gurans bloom is in full swing.   Nepal is famous for their huge Rhododendrons and this year's flowers are big and beautiful!  

Jajala Pass with Lali Gurans (Rhododendron)
Jajala Pass with many Lali Gurans

The trek from the Dhorpatan Reserve through the Jajala Pass to Moreni was a 7 hour walk.   We hired a porter to carry our load.   It was not such a big uphill, approximately 500 meters, but after the pass there was a precipitous drop of 1200 meters in only 2 or 3 kilometers!   Not easy on the knees.  

Jajala pass with Lali Gurans
Jajala Pass in full bloom

The views were breathtaking.   I can only imagine what it must look like when the Himalayan Mountains can be seen...

forest fire devastation in Nepal
The fires came through here 2 years ago

In the 7 hour walk, we passed through at least 7 kilometers of remnants of a forest fire that struck the region 2 years ago.   There are signs that the pines are returning however, and many Lali Gurans made it through.   Rhododendrons are hardy.

Lunch break on a trek in Nepal at Jajala
Lunch break at Jajala with our porter Badahur

Lunch was at 3414 meters at the top of Jajala.   We had a little apple brandy to prep us for the 3 kilometer and 1200 meter drop!


This spectacular Lali Gurans was along the way...


This post is part of a series of posts of our adventures (without guide) through a rarely visited part of Nepal.   We started in Baglung, went north to Burtibang, through Bobang and up to the ex-Royal Hunting Reserve in Dhorpatan.   Then we walked through the lovely Jajala pass and out through Myagdi province.   This year was unusually hazy, so the Himalayans were not out - not even a single glimpse of Dhalaghiri or the Gurja Himal!   But the magnificent bloom of Nepal's national flower, the Lali Gurans made up for that.   Known in the West as Rhododendrons, these flowers ranged from a fragrant white to lilac and many shades of pink and red.   

Hotels are not posted with signs, but you can trust the Hotel symbols on your map and just ask a lot of people until you find the only hotel in town!   Prices were 100NR per person a night and Dahl Baht - the only food you are likely to get - is 150NR per plate.   The food is simple and tasty and clean.   Water is available in every town from the local spout and is safe and delicious.   Bring along some bottles for the long treks between hotels.   We enjoyed eggs every morning for breakfast, sometimes with chapatis.   

Even the locals here have supply problems, which is why we could not always get chapatis.

Along our way, we did not see any other foreigners until the 2nd to last day when we met a pair from South Korea who were on their 6th trip to Nepal.   They did have a guide.   

For parts of the trip, buses and/or jeeps were available, but their schedules were erratic and they were never comfortable.   

The highest point of our trek was 3400 meters (11,000 feet) and it was about 1100 NR each day.   Prices were never posted and there were no menus, but that was food and drink (including local wine aka roxi) for 2.   Millet roxi was 50NR for a Tuborg bottle full or 660ml.

In May, 2016, there are 105 NR to one US Dollar.


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