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Oct 30, 2014,

I’m definitely losing steam. Could barely beat the recommended time.

Walked for almost 6hrs, most of it before lunch and after a small breakfast b/c they didn’t hard boil the eggs 😦 Gave it to the Australian guy, and his Indian wife was as disgusted as I was 🙂

Chomrong, walking to Sinuwa, trail along terraced fields, Annapurna Sanctuary, ABC trek

Chomrong, walking to Sinuwa, steep stairs, Gurung porters, Annapurna Sanctuary, ABC trek

Chomrong, Sinuwa, Bamboo, Gurung man, Annapurna Sanctuary, ABC trek

Sinuwa, Bamboo, walking to Dobhan, Dovan, Annapurna Sanctuary, ABC trek, Gurung man

Sinuwa, Bamboo, Dobhan, walking to Dovan, Annapurna Sanctuary, ABC trek, Gurung man

Stopped at Dovan for lunch and the clouds were forming. I rested an hour and decided to move forward though they have western style toilet there! Made it to Himalaya village right as the clouds descended. Only 2 small guesthouses and almost didn’t get a room. Was thinking might have to sleep in dining hall with porters and guides. Luckily in the end got to share a room with 2 Spanish guys (serious mountaineering people) and share the bed with a mixed Chinese-American girl (hapu born and raised in China speaking Chinese fluently).

view from Dovan, Dobhan, snow-capped mountain, Annapurna Sanctuary, ABC trek

Dovan, Dobhan, walking to Himalaya, wet trail, Annapurna Sanctuary, ABC trek

Dovan, Dobhan, walking to Himalaya, small stream in the fog, Annapurna Sanctuary, ABC trek

S texted earlier saying another typhoon coming! Things have been going pretty ok so far and I wonder what’s gonna happen now. Definitely need to find a coat to rent before climbing up tomorrow. This seems like a tiny village though so I really wonder. Everyone keeps asking my destination and I keep saying I’m gonna walk as far as I can, it all depends on the weather.

Yesterday didn’t have sound sleep at all. At times I even thought I wasn’t sleeping. So many dreams, thoughts, all jumbled coming in and out. I don’t remember what they were anymore but remember thinking at that point why I was even dreaming about those things.

For sure I’d have a much harder and slower time if I had all the warm clothes and snacks. But then again I shouldn’t go up higher if I can’t get a jacket tomorrow. No sleeping bag hasn’t bitten my ass yet, thankfully. Blankets and my thermal pouch (amazing!) has been enough and I even got too hot. But it’s gonna be much colder tomorrow. People would probably think I’m crazy for being this unprepared.

And I really admire these older people I see on the trail in their 50s carrying all their gear! Anyone older than that even walking this trail (w/o pack) is also amazing. Power to you!

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Oct 29, 2014:

Long day. It was hard during the walk/hike but I’m surprisingly not that exhausted. I wonder if there’s something called a trekker’s high which seems like what I’m having right now. I’ll probably be dead tonight.

So in the morning got the bus to Kimche. Everyone said it’d pass after 9, possibly even later 10, or 11. Yet at about 8:40 I saw a bus coming down and asked the ticket collector and yes, it was that bus! Ran to grab my bag and didn’t even say bye to anyone. Good thing I’d packed and paid before that.

Bus stop, Berithani, Kimche, Annapurna

Started walking from Kimche to Ghandruk and took me 1hr instead of the 2hrs in the brochure. Made me feel pretty good. The clouds had gathered by then and looked like it’d rain all afternoon like yesterday. Took room at a lodge with a view of Fishtail and probably Annapurna (left of Fishtail) but it was cloudy so only partly revealed. After lunch, around 1:30pm rain lightened and so were the clouds. They were still there but the direction where I was headed to looked pretty ok, cloudy but not that overcast. Decided to move on and got charged 150 rupees for the room. But whatever.

Kimche, walking to Ghandruk, Gurung women, Annapurna

Kimche, walking to Ghandruk, Annapurna, terraced fields, harvesting

Ghandruk village, Annapurna, Gurung

Ghandruk village

typical house architecture, Ghandruk village, Annapurna, Gurung

traditional Gurung architecture

Next village is Khomrong which I was thinking where I might spend the night, but again got there in half time (45 mins). Ran into a group of Nepali guys who wanted to get to Chomrong and I thought well if these beer-bellied guys with huge packs can make it, so can I. And plus I was making good time. We went together for the next leg. They’re from somewhere near Lumbini.

Ghandruk, Gurung men, porters carrying stones

Ghandruk, walking to Chomrong, Annapurna, log footbridge over brook

Ghandruk, walking to Chomrong, house on cliff

Nepali trekkers, Annapurna, Ghandruk, walking to Chomrong

It was 400m down and pretty muddy after the rain. Took me 50 mins, very close to the 1hr in the brochure. Either I was getting tired, or can’t go down that much faster than recommended. Probably both. The guys took a break as I pressed on for a long ascent. Parts of it almost as steep as Marble Mountain. Had to take so many breaks. And then also walked wrong way briefly for a couple of times. It just kept going up and up for 500m! I broke my very first chocolate bar to get some energy and spirit. And then up and up again. Such a relief to see “Hilltop” side. Now only a down part to get to Chomrong.

Ghandruk, walking to Chomrong, bridge over river

Ghandruk, walking to Chomrong, steep stairs

Ghandruk, walking to Chomrong, cherry blossom

Got here in Chomrong at 5:15pm before it got completely dark and felt damn good!

One thing I realized is that I need to think kind loving thoughts to fellow trekkers I came across, instead of feeling smug and judgmental. Need to smile more, and bigger smiles. And as conflicted as I feel about porters having to carry enormous loads, I gotta respect the older trekkers for doing these treks, I’m sure they’re pushing their limits. Hard! I’m glad I’m doing these things now when I’m still physically fit. Not sure if my knees can handle this in my 50s. (The younger trekkers though, should try to carry less around.)

And either I’m much fitter than I’d thought (and my training really paid off) or the time recommended is really for average person taking lots of breaks/photos. Anyway here’s hoping for better weather. I think the view here in the morning will be pretty good.

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