September 29, 2014 - Trek to Tirkhedunga

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September 29, 2014 - Trek to Tirkhedhunga

We had an early morning start from Birethanti, after learning overnight that bug spray makes great air freshener. We hiked up the road shared by the Annapurna Circuit, through many villages, saying "Namaste" all the way.
We ran into an unexpected surprise from the monsoon season (part deux), a river running over the trail. While Dave's stride was long enough to jump the rocks to the other side, Mary went for the shoeless option and waded across with Dorje's assistance.

After a gradual climb through Hille to Tikhedhunga, we started up the "stone staircase". Five hours later, 2 L of water, dodging donkeys, and 4500 ft of climbing, (and a lunch break) we arrived at our destination of Banthanti. Once here, we were treated to a Himalayan thunderstorm rolling up the valley and becoming all-encompassing. The aforementioned donkeys were not pleased. Neither were the owners of the Machupuchare Guest House, our abode for the night, when the donkeys took over the front porch looking for shelter. 
Now ready for serious sleeping before heading to Gorepani tomorrow!