Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Hike at your own pace.

8th October 2016
We started hiking on this day. Vicky and I met for the first time at Baglung station. Okay heads up, my entire post is about how Vicky and I trekked solo. This means, we did not go through any tour agency, or hire any freelance guide or porters even. Everything we decided, was based from a lot of readings and asking people. So coming back to where I was getting from, we decided to take a bus from Pokhara to Nayapool which would be our starting point, from the Baglung bus station. I met Vicky and I liked her immediately. She is like an older sister that I never had. She is from Yorkshire, England and is also a geologist. She is currently working at Nepal for a NGO.

So the bus journey took about 2 hours and we reached Nayapool sharp at 12 pm. Oh and we immediately got to trekking. The two check points we had to pass for that day were Tikedunga (1500 M) and Ulleri (2010 M ) and to get to each places it takes 3 hours. Vicky and I decided to trek as quickly as possible as dusk sets by 6 pm there. The way to Tikedunga totally reminded me of the Lord of the Rings. Beautiful valleys, crystal clear streams, just plain yellowish green sight everywhere. It started drizzling a bit before we passed Tikedunga but it did not dampen our spirit at all. The view was just too unreal. We got to Tikedunga and stopped to rest. There were quite a number of tea houses there and many trekkers were there just resting as well. We continued to Ulleri after resting a bit. After some time, the rain got heavier and the day started getting darker. We kept on going and about 1 hour before reaching Ulleri, I started to get a bit more worried. The rain clouds were blocking the sunlight and that made the day darker even quick. The last 15 minutes of the trek made me think of all the reasons why I even went for the trek. While I was deep in my thoughts, we made it to Ulleri !! Wohoo! It was already dark by the time we got there and I was so thankful nothing bad happened. Vicky and I found a cosy place to stay at and there was hot shower. Over dinner, Vicky and I talked about all of our favorite books.All in all the day ended well.

9th October 2016
Woke up early for the sunrise. I was filled with so much of warmth. I really have to start getting serious with inventing a device that can store emotions and allow people to experience what you felt at any significant moments. So coming back to my day. Today we started trekking to Ghorepani (2835 M). It started off as a really sunny day and it continued to be that way till about 3 pm. It started drizzling but we weren’t too worried because our stop for that day was only 15 minutes away. Along the way, I kept getting disbelieved at the porters. I mean they were carrying so many things and one of them told me that whatever he was carrying was at least 90 kg. I mean how is that even possible. These people are really strong, mentally and physically. I mean there I was struggling with a load of 15 kg, thinking if I should have packed less clothes and food. Oh well. Oh but the highlight of my day would be meeting this German couple in their mid-forties who are also doctors. They’ve been at Nepal for several years giving their service to the people there. I asked them what made them decide to do that. They said they received a calling to do so. I felt so lucky to be able to meet and talk to them. They’ve done the ABC trek when they were 20 and they decided to do it again.

10th October 2016
We did a side trek to Poon Hill on this day and I almost died. When cold combines with altitude, it means trouble. We left at 5 am to trek to catch the sunrise. So as I was gaining altitude I felt dizzier. I had palpitations and I was breathing so hard. I stopped to puke once as well. But once I got to the peak, all pain and struggles were forgotten. Dear God, how is it that you made this world so beautiful. I’m a realist and sometimes a cynic. But at times like this, I just want to stay in love. It was so beautiful dear god. Thank you for loving me and giving me a chance to witness your beauty. I promise I won’t argue so much with you yeah. Allow me to do more of this aite.

So we got down from Poon Hill and had breakfast. Rested a bit and we left to Chomrong. Today was quite a hike. We trekked along a pass and we gained so much of altitude in just half a day. When we reached top of the pass, it was so misty and cold. Now I know how airplanes must feel. We couldn’t make it to Chomrong that day, so we stopped at Tadapani. It was drizzling a little when we got there but all was fine and safe. Took a really long hot shower and joined the rest of the world for dinner. There were people from at least 15 different countries in the dining room. So many languages and so much smiles. It was pretty great day 🙂

11th October 2016
The sunrise was glorious. It’s like heaven greeting you. Glorious, glorious sun. Thank you for the warmth. So today we set off to Chomrong (2340 M). Along the way we met Jessie, Christina and Sophia again. Had a nice lunch with them and they talked about their internship at Nepal. Made me think of doing one there too. At one part of the trek we stopped by at a village that had the coolest and scariest wooden ferris wheel. Cool because it was totally made by hand. Scary because it was located exactly on a cliff and had no harness on the seats at all. Ahhhhhhhh. I walked to it with no intention of going on it and someone just lifted me and put me on it. God it was so exhilarating. I kept screaming when the kids kept laughing. When I caught sight of what’s beyond the cliff I saw my life flashing by. Thank god, I didn’t lose grip. Was so happy to stand on the ground again. We continued trekking and along the way we made more new friends. This time, it was with some Nepali trekkers there. Miller, Biveg, Sanjog, Niranjan and Roshy ! They’re really, really nice people. Towards the end of the day, the trek got more difficult and it started raining heavily. With that two I started feeling a little glum. But, but in everything that’s difficult, there will be a silver lining. I met two amazing couple from Spain who were trekking in the rain as well. And they made me smile so hard. What are the odds right, me trekking and smiling in heavy rain. Thanks again God. You work in the best way possible. We got to Chomrong ! And I got reception. Texted my family and best friends to tell them that I’m alive.

12th October 2016
On our way to ABC !
We had to get to Deurali. It would by far be our longest hike. So we set off really early to trek. I can feel that I was getting stronger by the day. My backpack didn’t feel like it weighed anything anymore. And I was trekking a lot faster and I felt amazing 🙂 As we went on, I could see the flora changing as we got closer to the peak of the mountain. I was starting to see some really unique plants and insects too. As I was checking out an insect, I got to know a guy who was taking a lot of pictures of insects and editing it to make it look sci-fi. That was hella cool!

We passed by a checkpoint called Bamboo and just like it’s name, there were so many bamboos there. Remember the German doctors I told you about, we met them there again and they told us, 20 years ago, there were no tea houses there, just lots of bamboo rafts and trekkers will huddle together by the fire and sleep there. I wish I could have experienced that.

13th October 2016
On that day, we were going to trek all the way to Annapurna Base Camp (4130 M ). We left early again so we could arrive at ABC by afternoon. Our view of the mountain was a magnificent one that day. We passed so many high valleys and waterfalls. I had to keep humming the Jurassic Park soundtrack because the entire place gave me that vibe. We met a lot of people who were coming down from ABC and all of them said, everything will be so worth it once you’re up there. I know it would be. We had lunch at Maccapuchere Base Camp (4040 M) and we met our friends again. Everyone was telling me that they met so many Malaysians along the way but I met none of them. Why God why ? We had lunch and then later we set off to ABC. The journey and the view was so different than any other. There were only shrubs and huge rocks. The whole trail was made up of only two colors, yellow and brown. It was eerily quiet too. We saw some elks in a herd. They looked at us and looked away. It was just me and Victoria trekking and there were no other souls to be found. That kinda added to the lost soul feeling. I don’t know if I am making sense. We trekked and trekked and it felt like forever. But in this case forever had an end. WE REACHED ABC YO!!!!! We met our Nepali, German, and Polish friends again! Felt so good to be there. We had some food, laughed so hard, ate again, talked and laughed more. Such a good day. Sleeping became a little difficult because I was having palpitations but I slept off anyway.

14th October 2016
Woke up early to witness magic. We walked a bit further up to get better view of the mountains.
There were a lot of people there. As the sun was rising, we became more, more in awe. I sat on one of the rocks and just watched the sun bathe the mountains. Beauty is an adjective that isn’t quantifiable. It is subjective to people. And for what I saw today, beauty can also be infinite. There is no end to the beauty that I saw on that day. It can go on and on escalating. And everyone else was just as bewitched. So to my dear god, thank you.I know I’ve always struggled when it comes to you. And I know I argue a lot. But I am on a journey to understand you better. And after that day, I may have found more answers. It’s not just what I’ve seen, it is also all the people that I’ve talked to along that journey. In a way I know this is all your doing.You gave me the courage to get there and made me discover all these amazing people that taught me more about you.So thank you.

The sun slowly came up and the day got warmer. After some time spent there we walked down to have breakfast. I was in deep thoughts the whole morning. I felt so grateful to be able to make it there. I never doubted that but the whole experience has been too surreal that it took me a while to understand it. I guess with God, and my stubbornness to finish everything that I’ve started, makes anything possible.

We trekked down as much as we could. Towards the evening, I started having left sided chest pain. It scared me a little. I know I’ve really strained my heart so I just needed to rest. As we got nearer to our stop, my chest pain got worse and I was getting more scared. I made myself push through despite the pain, we reached the stop and I managed to rest. The pain subsided a little but it was still severe. It’s funny cus’ I brought some medicine along but I gave it away to trekkers who needed it more and now when I needed some, I’ve got no painkillers left. You can’t always be invincible right, Dyivina ? I went to bed early praying the pain will go away by the time I wake up.

14th October 2016
The pain was still there but it was bearable. On this day we were heading back to Pokhara!We just needed to trek to Landruk, then catch a bus home. Nothing significant happened along the trek. By the time we got to the bus stop, I couldn’t feel my legs anymore. My shoes were in a pitiful state too but that’s okay. Okay now my day got even more interesting. See the bus was full, so the only way we could go on the bus is by climbing to the roof of the bus and riding it from there. Vicky and I were so excited to do that. The only fear was, we were afraid that we were gonna lose our head to the overhead electrical wiring. But one of our new found friends kept telling us to duck whenever there is danger, so there was really nothing to be afraid of. God that was fun. We got to Pokhara by 8 pm. Checked in to one of the backpackers hostel, showered after 3 days, had dinner and slept like babies.

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