Nov 1, 2014

What a day!

Wow!

I didn’t know yesterday you could walk to the back and uphill and be closed in by the mountains. What a view! 360degrees of snow-capped. This world is so beautiful and I’m so in love! (I know i keep repeating this.) I could close my eyes and see the Annapurna light up in golden glow, her ridges so majestic. We heard an avalanche boom on the other side of the mountain which sent billowed up a soft cloud. (And then while walking down could see the sun rise out of Fishtail). Those will stay among my favorite visual memories. The things that you take away and keep and one of those days take out again to remind you of what really matters in the end. I could spend a day just admiring that beauty. Maybe I should have. To see how the mountains change throughout the day. I’m not too fond of the cold at night though. It was 12 degrees at 3pm in the dining hall and dropped to 8 at 6pm. In the morning I had all layers on me and felt like a Santa Clause, so stuffed!

sunrise, Annapurna, base camp, Annapurna sanctuary

first light

sunrise, avalanche cloud, sunrise, Annapurna, base camp, Annapurna sanctuary

sunrise, Fish Tail, Machhapuchhre, Tibetan Buddhist prayer flag, sunrise, Annapurna, base camp, Annapurna sanctuary

prayer flags

Fish Tail, Machhapuchhre, sunrise, sunrise, Annapurna, base camp, Annapurna sanctuary

Had a leisurely breakfast and left around 8am not knowing the Spanish hadn’t left yet. Most of the way is downhill now so I kinda skipped along, running in small steps or springing on stairs. People talk about hurting their knees but mind felt somewhat ok for the most part. I know getting to Jihnu would be perfect, for the hotspring and for the schedule to get back to KTM next day but it indeed would be too much of a stretch, and Chomrong would be more realistic.

walking to Machhapuchhre, sunrise, Annapurna, base camp, Annapurna sanctuary

Made it to Dovan for lunch, some place called Tip-top. The clouds gathered but not too heavy luckily so I pressed forward. Ran into Emily lunching at Bamboo village; she was forced down from MBC due to altitude sickness. After Bamboo there’s a long ascent which I took slowly. And to Chomrong, the stairs to climb up after the bridge was where I really felt the toll. Took it slowly too but had to stop so many times. This trail should be called Infinity Stairs. I made it all the way to the top at 4:30pm, exhausted. Completely drained. And Jihnu is all the way down, no up. I asked a few different people to make sure. And hot spring is so tempting, I got up to leave again. And down and down and down I went.

steep stairs, infinitiy stairs, ABC trek, Annapurna

ABC trek, Annapurna, humor, flower

By then I felt like I’d pulled a muscle on my inner thigh and it was really bothering me. Made it to Jihnu, so close to hot spring, and so ready to collapse. I got to the lowest lodge closest to the hot spring. Unfortunately hot spring is still 20 mins away, down hill by the river. But I was determined. After getting a towel, I trudged along. It was already dark by then, probably a good thing, not too many people. A rowdy crowd on one side, at first I thought local, but then later thought chinese. Anyway stepped into the quiet pool. OMG sooo nice and I thought: so worth it! There was only another guy there. All quiet with the river rushing right next to us and the moon rising. yeah sounds like the perfect beginning for a romance. But all I cared about was relaxing my muscles in hot water. (This was also my first bath since the beginning of the trek.) Amazing! The walk up was difficult though and made me question whether it was worth it after all. I kinda hated myself there. My muscle really bothered me and I could feel it tense up and was in pain. Was a bit worried about walking tomorrow. Luckily took a nap right after dinner and woke up and feel so much better already. It just needs rest.

Right now, there’s a group clapping, singing, shouting in unison. After 11pm! Kinda ridiculous actually. Sounds like an Amway party and makes me want to go fnd them and tell them to shut the f up and leave the partying for the city. Definitely East Asians. They can be so damn loud so inapproriately!

Oh yeah and there was this bitchy looking cat with 2 slightly uneven eyes sitting on the dining table staring at me during dinner before being teased to step down on the bench. I wonder if he/she recognized a kindred soul.

white cat, Jihnu lodge, ABC trek

dinner companion

All in all this is one of the hardest I’ve pushed myself and I hope I won’t regret it tomorrow. I’m definitely telling S and P to go. It’s too bad that these trails are so popular with foreigners while so few Nepalis from other regions come and see.

My hiking stats: total up 14h30, down 11h20
MBC = Machhapuchhre base camp; ABC = Annapurna base camp

Oct 29

Kimche 1600m Ghandruk 1940m 1h00
Ghandruk Komrong 2600m 0h45 + lunch
Komrong Kimrong 1750m 0h50
Kimrong Chomrong hilltop 1h20
Chomrong Chomrong village 2170m 0h36

–> 12.5km in 4h30

Oct 30

Chomrong village Sinuwa 2340m 1h45
Sinuwa Bamboo 2335m 1h20
Bamboo Dovan 2505m 1h10 + lunch
Dovan Himalaya 2920m 1h20

–> 10km in 5h35

Oct 31

Himalaya Duerali 3230m 0h45
Duerali 3230m MBC 3700m 1h55 + lunch
MBC 3700m ABC 4130m 1h30

–> 7.5km in 4h25

Nov 1

ABC MBC 0h45
MBC Deurali 1h00
Deurali Himalaya 0h55
Himalaya Dovan 0h55 + lunch
Dovan Bamboo 0h40
Bamboo Sinuwa 1h30
Sinuwa Chomrong 1h40
Chomrong Jihnu 1710m 0h45

–> in 8h10

Nov 2

Jihnu New Bridge 1350m 0h55
New Bridge Kyumi 1h05
Kyumi Siwai 1500m 1h10

–> in 3h10

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