Sunsets are what I remember best. Usually with wine.
Weather was perfect for me in early November, though it’s considered too late in the year for hiking. I saw only about 12 other multi-day hikers over 4 days. Most hotels and restaurants had already closed for the season.
Beach walking is lovely … for a while. There’s a LOT of sand on this adventure.
In November I had most beaches to myself.
Clifftop vistas are stunning.
Charming villages are particularly charming in November, nearly deserted in the off-season.
I’d highly recommend 3 days, 3 nights Porto Covo to Zambujeira do Mar. In either direction.
As do most, I added Zambujeira to Odeceixe. But you could certainly skip that day as it doesn’t add much. And requires quite a few kms of road walking.
If looking for MORE, however, Fisherman’s Trail (Porto Novo to Odeceixe) is only one section of the longer Rota Vicentina.
In case you’re considering hiking high season, here’s how some beaches may look on a busy day.
But I was dry in a little tent secured under a Tsusiat cliff overhang. Didn’t need my fly.
Put on the water shoes — trail runners with neoprene booties — in the morning as I’d be starting on the beach. Tide was low enough.
My rain gear perfect.
I enjoyed walking through Tsusiat Point a second time, 12 hours after exploring it the previous evening.
The shelf in the rain is classic West Coast Trail. But you are forced inland at the impassable headlands of Tsuquadra Point.
I stayed with the water shoes due to muddy pools on the inland trails.
IF you have the agility of a gymnast, you can often save time by walking natural log bridges.
In the rain, it’s tempting to stop and see if there is availability at the Ditidaht First Nation Comfort Camp.
The inland trails were overgrown after having seen no hikers for almost 2 years. The WCT was closed due to COVID in 2020.
It’s always a thrill to reach Nitinat Narrows, cold, deep and fast moving tidal waters.
For days I’d been looking forward to fresh caught salmon lunch.
There are cabins to rent here though I’ve never stayed.
As you can see, my camera fogged up badly.
Departing the crab shack, there’s a lot of new (slippery) boardwalk. Careful.
And the way got even more overgrown. At one point, I thought I’d missed the main trail. Tempted to head back to the crab shack to borrow a machete. 😀
There’s a good suspension bridge over the Cheewhat river.
This day I really enjoyed switching back and forth between trail and coastline.
At one point — for fun — we tried and failed to cross an impassable headland. Waves were too high to wade. I turned back to the last beach access, but some younger hikers managed to scramble up the cliff to rejoin the inland trail.
Didn’t arrive Cribs until 8:30pm. Very tired.
Set up my tent in the trees in the first available spot. Next to the pit toilets.
Theend of the Khopra Ridge trek (according to Lonely Planet) is Tadapani.
Unexpected rain resulted in a power failure for most of the night.
For trekkers that means Kindle light dinner.
Did you see what I did there? 😀
As usual on this trip, next morning skies were clear.
This has been the best vista so far of my favourite peak – Machapuchare.
After evening rain, the village was washed clean.
Lodges in Nepal are very similar. There’s not much difference between yours and HOTEL MAGNIFICENT.
From Tadapani it’s easy to get back to Pokhara in a day. But I decided, instead, to spend one more mountain night in Ghandruk, a Gurung village, famed starting point for many treks.
Ghandruk was only a couple of hours downhill stroll. A very easy day for me.
Lonely Planet recommended Hotel Trekkers Inn in Ghandruk which had won many hospitality awards over the years. It’s good, but not much different than any other IMHO.
As prices are fixed at all lodges in each village, they try to match each other in features, as well.
Hotel Trekkers Inn did have good food including some menu items I’d not seen anywhere else. I tried the Moussaka … tasty, but unrelated in any way to Moussaka.
And also the local smoked, dried, spiced meat called sukuti,
In the restaurant I met a young American who will be volunteer teaching at the largest school in the area. She’ll be living at Hotel Trekkers Inn for the next 2 months.
We both met a Brit who’s an old Nepal hand. This trip he’s come to photograph the Kulung’ honey hunters‘, men who climb bamboo rope ladders to harvest the world’s largest bees. An interesting man.
Pro tip – bring a tiny luggage lock for your room. What they provide are bulky and awkward.
The Khopra Ridge Trek I just finished is excellent.
In fact, Nepal needs more like it. And there is plenty of opportunity to develop more trails in higher, less developed spurs of the Annapurna massif.
Widely circulated in local lodges is this 2014 article by Donatella Lorch who lives in Kathmandu:
… The tea-houses and lodges are packed. Hikers have to share the stone steps with Nepal tourism’s unsung heroes: the unending series of mule convoys, loaded down with everything from water and food to cooking propane, kerosene, mattresses, stones and bags of cement to feed the mountain region’s lodge construction boom. …