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Pokhara and The Annapurna Mountains

The never ending stairs!!!

sunny 10 °C

Hello my blog follows, I would like to apologise for my slowness of my blogging entries.

So I arrive in Pokhara after the most horrific bus journey I think I have ever encounted due to many factors of 3 hours sleep and well lets say more than 3 hours of drinking the night before. Also my guide for this trip a man by the name of Bharat Jirel or King Dawa as he is known, force feed me at the breakfast and lunch stops saying that I need to eat for energy and let me tell you eating was the last thing on my mind. So bloated, smelly and tired I arrive at the Lakeside town of Pokhara a peaceful and hippy-esque place full of trekkers, paragliders and tourist that transform themselves from Gore-tex clad trekkers to hemp wearing Glastonbury goes from the many boutiques and shops along the main tourist stretch. My room at the empty hotel was on the top floor (4th floor) for reasons unknown to me from my room the view was no different than at least the floor below, but I took it as training for the days to come.

So the time was here to tick off the main activity for Nepal, trekking. The bus ride to the starting point was enjoyable and bouncy the only problem being the lack of room between my head and the ceiling, confirming my theory that Nepalese are heightist. So concussed but happy I set off into the currently cloud covered mountains. The first day was easy 4 hours I was told to Hillie, the first night stop. Two and a half hours later we arrive, after making great time to the Green Hill Lodge and Restaurant in Hillie. Run mainly by two girls, the young daughters of the owners who seem to shout a lot and demand feeding. It was a pleasant night spent in the kitchen around the fire with a Frenchman called Loulou and his guide. Laughing and playing cards with the girls. Also advise to anyone, if you are in Asia and someone asks how spice you want something under no circumstance say has hot as you like, it hurts... Alot! I have never felt plain like it, my mouth so hot nuclear fusions could happening and throw watering eyes I see the laughter on the faces of everyone.

The next day was a longer day 7 hours. King Dawa looks at me when I ask what it was like and points to the ridge his nose and says up. I have dubbed this day the stairs of hell a just name. 1400 metres incline all stairs. For five and a half hours I climb mountain stair after mountain stair. By the end of the day I barely have the energy to finish the day but I make it and collapse into the sofa in the common room at the Panorama Veiw Lodge in Ghorepani some 2870m above sea level (asl). Impressed with myself that I have once again beaten the guide time I turn to King and he is smiling. After asking what he replies most people take two days to do that climb. 'why have I just done it in one then' he shrugs and saying 'you didn't ask to stop!' That night is spent on the sofa infront of the fire, it was snowing outside and about -5⁰c outside.

The next morning I am awoken at 5am to ascent to Poon Hill to see the sunrise of the mountains an hour climb to the top, after 45 minutes though the summit is covered in thick grey cloud and we turn back for breakfast and our luggage. The day was a descent to Tadapani after a 3300 metre (asl) ridge walk. Snow was heavy on the ground but we plod on and I spend the night over looking the starry mountains from my bedroom. At this point Dal Bhaat had become a regular meal and I started to become sick of eating the same thing. Dal Bhaat is Lentil soup, rice, spinach and chutney. Nice, very large and very boring after the seventh time in 4 days.

This day a none stop walk to Chhomrong a good day, my fitness was up and I felt like I had lost weight and I finished the day in good time (for someone of my fitness) and finished just in time to avoid the snow storm that would stop my Annapurna Base Camp aim because of Avalanche threats and waist high snow on top with temperatures around -25⁰c. The next day I descend Jinhudanda and the hot strings. As I lay in the hot springs sun glasses on, beer in hand and silence around. I get tapped on the shoulder by King the only other person there and points to the other spring and I see a brilliant sight, a group of monkeys around playing, bathing. I watch cursing that the only time I haven't had a camera this holiday would be the missing of the best pictures so far.

The next five days are spent walking back to Pokhara, easy and uneventful a sense of disappointment that I couldn't make it up but that much danger isn't worth it at the beginning of a trip like this. But I did meet a lovely American couple (Kris and Jessi) from California who when back in Pokhara bought me a book as a present which was so nice of them and we chilled out together the day after getting back to Pokhara.

Now I am going back to Kathmandu and then to Citwan Safari Park (formally Citwan Big Game Hunting Reserve, funny how things change with the money)

Posted by Joewhittaker 02:53 Archived in Nepal Tagged mountains annapurna

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