Read on for a detailed account of our fourth day on the Annapurna Circuit. Today, we trekked from Dharapani to Chame, covering a distance of 15.5km in around 4.5 hours. During this section the trek took us up winding paths, past traditional villages and through pine forests.
Our fourth day trekking the Annapurna Circuit saw spectacular changes of scenery, walking through alpine meadows and passing traditional villages. . Today’s route would take us from Dharapani to Timang, from Timang to Koto and finally from Koto to Chame. Starting at 1860m, we would ascend to 2670m by the end of the day. It’s a 15.5km and around 4.5 hours walk from Dharapani to Chame including all stops.
Read on for my experiences, tips and advice from day four hiking the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Day Four: Dharapani to Chame on the Annapurna Circuit
Dharapani (1860m) – Timang (2750m) – Koto (2600m) – Chame (2670m)
Time: 4 hrs 30 mins (07:30 – 12:00)
Dharapani to Timang
Dharapani (1860m) – Timang (2750m)
Time: Around 2 hrs
Before starting the day’s hiking, don’t forget to check in at the ACAP office if you haven’t done so yesterday. I needed some head space this morning so decided to set off straight after breakfast and meet up with the rest of my little group later in Chame. Instead of following the road, I decided to take the walking trail via Thonche. I walked across the bridge from yesterday afternoon but this time followed the trail marker towards Chame. After a while, the path crossed the river again and rejoined the road. After passing a waterfall, there was a sign for Manang and steps leading up into the forest. I didn’t fancy following the road so started zigzagging my way up the stairs past imposing granite cliffs. The rain from last night was still lingering and the path was wet so I had to watch my step to avoid taking a tumble. Which was easier said than done when the views of mist-covered mountains opened up in front of me.
This section accounts for a big chunk of the day’s elevation gain over a relatively short distance so it makes sense to pace yourself or take an extended break for lunch.
The path kept winding up before eventually leading me to the village of Timang. The area was almost Alpine in its appearance. Cows with huge bells dangling from their necks grazed in grass-covered meadows while mountains rose up all around, with taller snow-covered summits peeking through from the distance. After spending a few minutes enjoying the scenery, I continued on to Timang itself.
Timang to Koto
Timang (2750m) – Koto (2600m)
Time: Around 1 hr 40 mins
I got to Timang around 9:30 am and decided that there wasn’t much point in stopping. There were a few guesthouses around and it seemed like it was a popular place to spend the night. It’s also a sensible place for a break or even lunch if you had a later start. After a bathroom break, I continued on the road out of Timang. The rest of the day’s trekking follows the road to Chame but it was almost not noticeable as there were very few vehicles. There is another change in scenery along this next section of the trek. The path now meandered through pine forests, past waterfalls and between villages. Every now and then it veered off the dirt road to wind through needle-covered forest paths. These were some of my favourite parts of the day. Following the zig-zagging trail along a rushing river and next to cattle grazing happily in the morning sunshine was exactly the kind of thing I needed today!
I got to the village of Koto where there was another checkpoint. Officials checked my permit and TIMS card and registered my details which gave me a welcome break from walking.
Koto to Chame
Koto (2600m) – Chame (2670m)
Time: Around 25 mins
The checkpoint wasn’t too far from Chame, so once again there wasn’t much point in stopping for too long. I carried on and arrived in Chame just over 20 minutes later. That was great timing as the rain started again just minutes after I got there. My friends were still a couple of hours behind so I decided to relax at one of the guesthouses and wait for them. I also forgot to ask them where we were staying before leaving Dharapani, so there was that too. Chame is one of the bigger villages along the eastern portion of the trek so there was no shortage of places to choose from.
I stopped at Hotel New Shangri-La and found a spot inside. I chilled out with a huge thermos of black tea which apparently was a “small” on the menu. That was still good for about ten cups so I definitely wasn’t complaining! I feasted on delicious Tibetan bread, egg-fried noodles before treating myself to some homemade apple pie. It was one of the best meals I’ve had on the entire trek! It was a welcome bit of “me” time as I read for a while and caught up on some messages from friends and family. Eventually my companions arrived and I rejoined them for a short walk to our guesthouse.
Dharapani to Chame Key Notes
- It’s a beautiful day’s walking with stunning scenery. Look out for the Alpine-like meadows and cows with huge bells in Timang. Pine forests are a constant feature and there are many glimpses of snow-covered peaks.
- The tough section in the first half of today’s trek accounts for the vast majority of today’s elevation gain. Aside from that it’s a pretty easy day walking. Either take a leisurely break in Timang or power on through to Chame and have the rest of the day to yourself!
- Chame is one of the bigger villages between the start of the trek and Manang and provides a good opportunity to stock up on snacks, medicines, gear etc.
- There is a hot spring in town – it’s a little less exciting than it sounds (it’s a small manmade pool) but is easy enough to check out if you have time.
Staying in Chame: New Tibet Hotel & Restaurant
We arrived at the guesthouse and were shown to our room upstairs. It’s just across the river, on the right as you cross the bridge to head out of Chame. It has a spacious dining/social area, western toilets and an extensive menu. There is a rooftop for relaxing on when the weather is good. The guesthouse was busy and we met a bunch of other trekkers and relaxed playing cards, drinking tea and reading until late. The showers here were gas-heated and simply incredible! A few people went to have a soak at the hot springs but we were quite happy chilling with our giant thermoses of tea!
Another advantage of staying here was the guesthouse’s proximity to the edge of the village. As most trekkers stay in Chame, there are a lot of people setting off in the morning. Staying closer to the edge of town makes it easier to beat the masses first thing in the morning!
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