Day 9: Swanta - Tatopani
From authentic Swanta with all its cottages, rice fields, organic gardens, and little pathways leading to cluttered backyards with cattle, we went on to join the crowds of the Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) circuit on our last stretch to Tatopani. But to do so, we had first to cross a vast, fast, and deep river, definitely the most authentic experience of the day's journey.
After that, the journey to Tatopani became rather crowded, with people pouring in both directions of the ABC trek. Teahouses were less personal, and people just a bit less friendly.
Sketch of the day: Play with whatever you have
The villages were, however, a bit larger, with more locals living in them. This meant more kids playing in the streets and playing with whatever they had. This little group was engaged in a volleyball match, holding a string instead of a net.
Later, this little boy was playing in a pile of sand, looking focused.
After reaching the main road, we had to walk the last few kilometres in the middle of a cloud of dust, which left us coughing and unhappy, only to find Tatopani, a place without much charm. Experiencing Nepalese roads made me think of probably the main reason why the Himalayas and most of its treks have not yet been attacked by mass tourism: Nepal's terrible lack of roads and infrastructure.