My experience to Annapurna trekking, a Superb Experience!
The Annapurna base camp trek was something that I wanted to do for a very long time. Finally, after meticulous planning, I managed to take the Annapurna trekking last year. Here I am sharing you about my time in Nepal and the many mysteries I found while taking this trek.
You must do your research before going anywhere. To emphasize, you need to plan and research carefully if you want to make the trek successful. I remember going through countless websites searching for the perfect deal. Luckily, I found an offer that was too good to be true. In a rush, I packed my necessities and got on the next flight to Nepal.
I knew I reached Nepal when I saw the snowy mountains from inside the airplane. The view was simply mesmerizing. If this was the sign of good things to come, then so be it. The airport was smaller than I had imagined but there were too many people. Also, it is Nepal’s only international airport. I heard they are making new airports; hope they get it done!
There was a huge line in the luggage section and the Visa section too. I got my luggage quickly but had to spend an hour to collect the visa. You cannot imagine the level of boredom I had to go through! On the arrivals section, I met the company representative. He took me to the awaiting vehicle and thus began my Annapurna trekking.
1. Glimpses of Kathmandu
As I brushed through the packed streets of Kathmandu, I realized that its pretty unmanaged. The number of motorbikes on the street was astonishing! Identically, there were a large number of people too. The representative enlightened me about the trip contents and further details which I forgot. At the hotel, I changed and went for a quick stroll. The narrow gulley of Thamel was brimming with tourists like me. Each with their adventure.
I visited Swoyambhunath and Pashupatinath with hopes to start the Annapurna trekking on a positive note. To this day, I still remember how the monkeys stole my water bottle. Oh, it was my favorite water bottle. The lengthy stairs to the stupa were intimidating but thankfully, I made it. Later, we headed to Pashupatinath where I arrived just in time for the evening puja. It was marvelous.
2. To Pokhara and beyond of Annapurna Trekking
Our guide came to wake us early and told us to get ready to catch a flight. Once my stuff was sorted, I hopped on the company vehicle. We reached the airport early and after a while, we took a flight. The view of the snowy mountains was appealing (if only I knew their names). The flight lasted for approximately 30 minutes. Once we collected our stuff, the guide told us to brace ourselves for the trek.
I was surprised at first but I thought to myself, ‘Surprises are good’. The Annapurna trekking is going to be amazing. As we breezed through the streets in Pokhara, I was surprised by how clean it was in comparison to Kathmandu. The guide told me that Pokhara receives the highest rainfall in Nepal and thus, my doubts were clear. From the urban settlement, we made our way to Nayapul which is the starting point of the Annapurna Basecamp trek.
From the very beginning, we had to walk on uphill terrain. For the first hour, it was very difficult. Thank God, I had my trusty trekking pole otherwise it would not have been possible to take the first step. The hills were lively with various birds and animals. This was the natural experience I was searching for and I’m glad I found it.
3. Walking past Gurung villages
In the Annapurna trekking, we had to walk past various Gurung villages. The Gurung people are often called ‘Gurkhas’. They are actively involved in the British army and the Indian army. On the first leg of the trek, we stayed in Ghandruk. This quaint settlement had a rusty vibe to it. Upon visiting the museum, I learned about the village’s prevalent cultures and traditions.
The sunrise from Ghandruk is simply stunning. I took some photographs of the mesmerizing sunrise and the Annapurna mountain range. Slowly, we navigated along the Kimrong Khola and found ourselves walking on steep trails. The Chhomrong village sits on the lap of the Annapurna mountains and is a famous resting place. At night, I had the local alcohol and went to sleep!
The fascinating aspect of the Annapurna trekking is that it sees both increase and decrease in elevation. On the way to Bamboo, we walked down slippery stairs. I met some kids on the way and gave them some chips. They were pretty happy. Walking past forests, we reached Bamboo. It is not a village but a small cluster of teahouses in the middle of the wilderness.
4. To Annapurna Base Camp
With each step, we were getting closer and closer to the Annapurna Base Camp. Likewise, the elevation was increasing too. The ground we were walking on gave way to fresh snow and the greenery that was there before was gradually disappearing. We took a detour and explored the Hinku cave. There are many myths associated with this cave but I did not find the appropriate answer.
As we crossed the 4000 meters mark, we arrived at the Macchapucchre Base Camp. From here, the sheer magnitude of the Machhapuchre mountain became clear. Walking from the morning sure made me hungry so I had my lunch here. After resting our body, we headed to the Annapurna Base Camp and it was the major highlight of this Annapurna trekking experience.
In the hope that I can click some great photos and comprehend nature, I trotted forward. The Annapurna Base Camp stood in front of me with the Annapurna mountain in the background. The base camp had prayer flags and small stones. I was so excited that I couldn’t stop smiling. After clicking some photos and making memories, we began our descend.
5. The Descend
It was surprising that we had to descend so early. The week passed in an instant. With a heavy heart, I moved away from the base camp. However, I was happy that I got the opportunity to witness something euphoric and I’ll be able to share this story. The descent was relatively easy and our first stop was at Bamboo. The lodge owners recognized us and congratulated us on completing the journey.
I had been trekking for a week and as a result, my body was tired. Luckily, we were going to a place called Jhinu danda which had hot springs. As we slowly walked on the trail, I began feeling the effect of elevation. So, I took some medicines to prevent the worse from happening. I spent at least an hour in the hot springs relaxing and drinking chilled beer. This has to be another highlight in my Annapurna trekking experience.
The final leg of the trek took us to Nayapul and there the company van took us to a hotel in Pokhara. Along the way, I remembered about the magnificent time I had on the Himalayas. Although it was ending, I am left with plenty of memories.
6. The Departure from Annapurna Trekking
At Pokhara, I took part in a farewell dinner and the next day flew to Kathmandu. I was tired so I slept on the flight. At Kathmandu, I had a brief session with the company representative and after having lunch, I got on a flight to my home.
The whole Annapurna trekking experience has been magical. Also, I would advise you to take it too as it will give you a broader outlook on life.
Finally, they share a lot about Everest Base Camp, but I can’t make that at the same time. Looking forward to the Everest Base Camp Trekking in the coming year.