Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Nepal: Annapurna Base Camp Trail - 1

Annapurna South
Annapurna South
From Pokhora, it's a 2 hour precarious drive over the foothills to Nayapul (1070m), where the majority of Annapurna Sanctuary treks begin. This poor run down shanty town on the outskirts of the bigger Birethanti is a blur when whisking your way down to the river crossing.

First, we stopped at the Tourist Check Post to ensure our trekking visas were in order, at Birethanti. Already, we could see one mountain dominating the skyline; our eyes fixed on Machhapuchhre in the distance.

Tourist Information Centre, start of the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek
Tourist Check Post
Machhapuchhre in the distance.
Machhhapuchhre in the distance
The day was oppresive, and before long I was faltering in the heat. Our late start meant forgoing a tea break so the ascent was telling on me before lunch. It wasn't long before an emergency stop at a house in Hille was necessary and I was rudely introduced to the wonders of a squat toilet!

River crossing near Birrethanti
Wobbly bridge river crossing
Lunch was had at Tikhedhungga (1520m); some dioralyte, a couple of cups of lemon tea and daal bhaat saw me rally, and set me up for the afternoons ascent up 3280 steps to Ulleri (2020m), our first teahouse accommodation.

The teahouse was a pleasant surprise. Comfortable, welcoming, and with stunning views of Annapurna South (7219m), pictured above, and its smaller neighbour Hiun Chuli (6441m). If the rest were to be as good, the goal was going to be easier to achieve!

Annapurna South
Annapurna South
A description of today's route: 
  • Route: Nayapul – Birethanti – Tikhedhungga – Ulleri (2070 m) 
  • Ascent: 1120 m
  • Descent: 150 m
  • Duration: 6 hours, 30 minutes
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