On the 27th of April, a group comprised of myself, my girlfriend, her parents, and her cousin, set out walking through the Himalayas to reach Annapurna Base Camp (south). Walking up to 4,130 meters above sea level and back down again took eight days, with an average of six hours of walking each day through vast, sprawling valleys, dense forests, and, of course, gigantic, beautiful mountains.
As I wasn’t around to write any content for the blog, I compiled these photos for your viewing pleasure. I hope you enjoy this four-part series, which I will roll out over the next few days.
Some of these photos were taken by me, and some (the better ones) were generously offered by Sara Savino for me to use. Her Flickr, containing some breathtaking photos, can be found here.
The second part of this series shows the third and fourth days of the trek, which went from:
-> Sinuwa (2360m)
-> Bamboo (2310m)
-> Dobhan (2520m)
-> Himalaya (2920m)
-> Hinku Cave (3170m)
-> Deurali (3200m)
-> Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3700m)
Click the first image to view the photos in a gallery.
When we woke up in the morning in Chomrong, we had our first good view of the mountains. It was pretty breathtaking.
We watched the sunrise over the valleys, encouraged after a hazy few days to begin with. Nepal DOES have mountains.
I was also very happy because pretty soon after leaving Chomrong, we came across the biggest bridge yet! I trotted across quickly.
After a long climb of steep stone steps, we came across this sign. After this area, meat was not to be sold or eaten in the Annapurna Conservation Area because the area is considered holy. I was sad that we wouldn’t see anymore cute little buffalos going forward, but pressed on.
By this point we were pretty high up and the views were spectacular. This one should give you an idea of the sort of environment we walked in.
Oh and also this. So; Many. Steps. And steep too. Up and down.
After eating lunch in my Bamboo (personally my favourite village on the trek), we entered a thick forest for a few hours. This trek really had it all.
Finally, we reached Dovan, and a well earned rest.
Before bed we had an intense game of Scopa, which is an Italian card game I was taught on the trek. It’s very addictive.
The next morning, we caught our first glimpse of the Fishtail Mountain. We were headed for the base camp of this mountain. It’s strictly forbidden to summit this mountain as it is also considered holy.
A sign for mountain (or altitude) sickness. While I had no altitude problems on the trek, the walk this day was pretty brutal. Towards the end, my thoughts started to get really jumbled and confused. It was a very strange experience and, looking back on the latter part of this day, it feels a bit like a dream.
We walked through an area where it was forbidden to defecate openly. I was absolutely gutted.
We stopped at Hinku Cave (also known simply as Huge Rock). The views of the valleys below us, with the river still running far, far down at the bottom, was amazing. People get a bit too obsessed with seeing mountains on treks and don’t spend enough time enjoying the journey there.
We walked through an area which is an avalanche risk at certain times of the year. Luckily we came at the right time.
Approaching the Base Camp, we walked through a huge gorge for several hours. It was bleak and desolate, but also beautiful.
Snow capped peaks. We asked the guides which mountains these were and they said, “Not mountain. Hill.”
During the final stretch of the journey, I felt like I was walking towards the end of the earth. It didn’t help that we got caught in a massive snow storm on the way. We huddled together until the worst of it died down, but afterwards I almost got lost walking in the wrong direction to the tea house we were staying at. For the first time I truly appreciated having guides for the trek because; without them, I’d have been screwed.
We reached Fishtail Base Camp and we met with stunning views of mountains all around.
I looked with anticipation down the road towards our final destination: Annapurna Base Camp. All of our efforts would be rewarded in just one more day. Then the guide told me that the ice you see there is not natural glacier, but an avalanche from 15-20 days ago. With a nervous gulp, I prepared myself for the next step of the journey.