March 2: We started from Betrawati at 8 this morning. Walking on the banks of Trishuli River in Rasuwa district, we crossed back to Nuwakot district and then headed to Chap Danda. Eight of the team members, including I, climbed and reached Chap Danda whereas the rest of the team took the trail by the river, which happened to be a shorter way. We were supposed to reach Bungtang for lunch but ended up getting there much later than anticipated because of our 600 meters uphill detour. We had a very quick 15-minute lunch break and then started walking again. Although we started from 620 meters at Betrawati and climbed to 2100 meters in Phasang and then to Chautara in Dhading district, where we are spending the night, we climbed 3000 meters in uphill today and walked 28.5 KM, as my GPS tells me.
What is remarkable of this part of the trail is that after Bungtang, the forest gets denser and denser – the local communities have done a great job of protecting their forests, with most of them being community owned forests, especially compared to Sindupalchowk and Helambu. Also, we saw less signs of forest fire incidents here. The roads are also better and seem to be well-constructed. There are heavy rocks on the bottom of the roads with gravel on the top, and also the roads are lined with drainage outlets, which we didn’t see in the roads in Sindhupalchowk district. The roads here seem to have been built with proper planning.