After contemplating about travelling, I quickly locked in a date, consulted a few websites and booked my ticket to Kathmandu. Hiking is one of my favourite outdoor activities and Nepal is the ultimate trekking destination.
I chose to hike Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) or commonly referred to as Annapurna Sanctuary trek. I had seen beautiful photos and it was one of the shorter treks (other treks that I was interested in were around 20+ days). I opted to do a 10 day trek on a group walking tour.
As I flew in from Singapore to Kathmandu, a lovely Australian woman offered to switch seats with me so I could have a view of the Himalayan mountain range. I daydreamed about the mountains as I viewed the Himalayas poking out above the clouds. If you’re flying from the southern hemisphere, definitely try to get a window seat on the right side of the plane to Kathmandu.
After the excitement of the view subsided, I started to feel queasy as I thought about how tough it was going to be, especially since I had not done any exercise for the last two months and booked this trip on a whim.
I took a 7hr bus ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara, a city in Nepal close to the Annapurna mountain range. Over the next 10 days we were to cover approximately 120km, with the goal of reaching Annapurna base camp (4131m above sea level) and then to descend down to Pokhara. We gradually ascended each day which meant that altitude sickness wasn’t too big of an issue, although the hike up to Poon Hill did make me feel a bit lightheaded. However, my Diamox (medicine to treat altitude sickness) continues to remain untouched.
The Annapurna base camp trail passes through mountain villages, river valleys, waterfalls and lichen covered forests. It is some of the most stunning scenery I have seen in the world. There’s no wonder that the number one outdoor activity in Nepal is hiking.
Below are some photos from day 1-5 of the trek.
On day 1 we had a late start to the trek due to a delayed flight. As a result we had to hike in the dark, which is a first for me. I had left my headlamp in one of the porter’s bags so had to rely on the limited light from other people’s headlamps. I took this photo on day 2. I awoke early, around 5am, and I wanted to explore the surrounding area in the morning light. Local villagers were starting to begin their daily chores.
Since we had hiked in the dark, this was the first time I saw the snow capped peaks of the Annapurna mountain range in the distance.
Each morning we could see local children running to school. I wonder what their signs say.
On day 2 we settled at Ghorepani, which is a large popular village catering to trekkers going to Poon Hill. I was surprised to find out that there was wifi.
At Ghorepani they have a few viewing platforms where trekkers sit, drink a beer and enjoy the mountain view.
On day 3 we had an early morning start at 4:30am and trekked an hour uphill in darkness to view the sunrise at Poon Hill. I was worried as the day before the clouds had covered the mountain range completely but thankfully the weather subsided and we were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise.
On day 3 we continue to Tadapani and we pass a mist covered forest area, as seen in the sunrise shot too.
The trail on day 3 was mostly through a covered forested area filled with moss and lichen shielded trees, which was a welcomed change as it was quite hot that day.
This photo was taken at our guest house in Tadapani. Each day we would get a closer view of Annapurna.
A herd of goats grazing on a cliff edge, as you do.
Often we would have to share the trail with animals, or in this case two thirsty water buffaloes, or ‘buff’ as they call it in Nepal.
Continue reading day 5-10 of the ABC trek.