The path leading out of Tatopani resembles that of a mining quarry. The wind was particularly strong and ever so often, it would kick up a sand storm, blinding our visions and making it hard for us to even breathe. It took us quite some time before we found refuge in a hut where we were treated to pailful loads of home-grown oranges. Such is the hospitality of the Nepalese. :)
Lunch was a simple affair of fried instant noodles with egg - simple but fairly tasty.
When the wind subsided, we managed to continue the trek but it was not long before I realised that we were actually trekking along the highway. In the past three years, the local authorities started building a road right where the trekking trails used to be. This recent construction was not highlighted in the Lonely Planet and so, quite a number of tourists were disappointed with the trekking conditions which can be extremely unpleasant when a passing vehicle simply kicked up the dust and sends it flying in all directions.
When we finally reached Ghasa (2010m), the air was covered with a thick smoky haze and we found to our dismay that a nearby mountain was on fire. Apparently, the villagers had blazed the forest atop the mountain hoping to prepare the land for new vegetations. Unfortunately, due to the unforeseen wind condition, the fire started it's blazing path down the mountain and sent the villagers on a slight frenzy to stop the spread of fire to the nearby villages.
I guess no matter how hard the humans try, Nature eventually rules...