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Live from Nepal: Jajala pass in full bloom!

Off the Beaten path pt 5: Dhorpatan at last!

After that grueling walk with a gain of over 3500 feet in 5 hours, we were ready for the flat walk to our hotel in Dhorpatan.   This hotel, the Community Hotel of Dhorpatan, had been recommended by 3 people, but it was a big disappointment to us.   The room was nice, there was a fabulous dog, but the service left a lot to be desired.

 

view of Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve
The view to Dhorpatan Valley

When we finally arrived at the top of that long climb, the lovely sweeping valley of Dhorpatan was before us.   The hills around it are lined with Lali Gurans, aka Rhododendron trees, in many colors.   The largest flat area in all of Nepal was dotted with livestock, mostly horses.   It was a half hour trek across the valley floor to our guest house, but it was all flat and was easy compared to that 5 hour slog uphill from Bobang.

Horses and foals in Dhorpatan
Horses and foals in Dhorpatan

 They are very successful in animal husbandry in these parts.   There were many foals.   Also the local language was Tibetan and prayer flags were present.   

Dhorpatan buildings in disrepair
Many buildings are in disrepair in Dhorpatan

As we had reached an altitude of 3,000 meters, the temperature was also markedly cooler, especially at night.   The first thing we did was change into most of what we had carried!

Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve Nepal
Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve Nepal

The views are sweeping, as the Dhorpatan region is the largest flat area in all of Nepal.   The hunting season was over for the year while we were there.

Typical Nepali dog in Dhorpatan
Concha the dog outside our room

Concha the dog comes and visits us on our porch.   Concha means 'boy' in Nepali.   He was a great dog, the best thing about this hotel.   The room rate was 500 NR per night, the highest of all the trip, the food was mediocre at best and the young woman who runs the hotel is surly, at best.   When you ask for hot drinking water, you get a resounding "No!"   To be fair, she does start to make the hot water right after.   But her manners are very un-Nepali.

 

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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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