Monday, 23 November 2009

Australia: Unfinished Business

Me, Graham and Tess starting the Overland Track
Me, Graham and Tess setting out on the Overland Track in 2004
A little more than a week over 5 years ago, I set off with my two friends, Graham and Tess, and their neighbours, on Australia's most internationally renowned long distance trail, The Overland Track.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Annapurna Sanctuary in Aid of Hi-Cap UK

Day 7: Annapurna
At the end of October 2009, I flew out to Nepal to embark on the Annapurna Base Camp trek in aid of the Himalayan Cultural Conservation. I have to say, this was one I was really looking forward to and it didn't disappoint!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Nepal: Annapurna Base Camp Trail - 9

Day 9: Modi Khola
Modi Khola
The final day and a long walk out. It happened to be one of the highlights of the trip. Whereas normally, the route out should have meant a climb up to Ghandruk, various illnesses and injuries meant we took a different lower route along the steep banks of the Modi Khola (river). We passed through terraces of paddy fields and millet, seeing the Nepal I had imagined, with locals working their crops, and going about their daily routine.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Nepal: Annapurna Base Camp Trail - 8

Day 8: Prayer flags
Prayer Flags
A later start today, thanks to the fact we had to wait for Will, Lesley and Vicky to arrive from Bamboo. Also, a change of route, to make things easier.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Nepal: Annapurna Base Camp Trail - 7


A sleepless night. Will was constantly getting up to see to another virus victim, this time it was Lesley. I was beginning to get paranoid, as I had sat next to her through dinner and we teamed up for a game of scrabble. I was beginning to wonder if I was the carrier!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Nepal: Annapurna Base Camp Trail - 6

Annapurna from Machhapuchhre Base Camp
The day had arrived to reach our objective, and my personal altitude record would be broken yet again. As soon as we started walking, I noticed the lack of oxygen. I felt a little dizzy but I slowed my pace, took plenty of rests with drink stops.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Nepal: Annapurna Base Camp Trail - 5

Hiking below Machhapuchhre
Hiking below Machhapuchhre
A lot of ascent today, 1125 metres in all, and most of it above the 2500 metre mark. We left Sinuwa early. Will had been grateful for the 12 hour sleep he got, and, although lightening his rucksack, was able to carry a substantial weight again.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Nepal: Annapurna Base Camp Trail - 4

Mountain vista from Tadapani
Mountain vista from Tadapani Tea House
A pretty gruelling nine hour day, especially for Will who became the second to come down with a virus! Whereas Jim had suffered the day before but had come through it, his fever stage had been at night. Will, however, had to endure his high temperature bout through the day.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Nepal: Annapurna Base Camp Trail - 3

Day 3: Dhaulagiri
Up at 4:30am, and a significant personal record for me of 3210 metres on Poon Hill; higher than I had ever been! The trail to the top was ridiculously busy, a long snake of head torches wriggled its way up to the summit. Poon Hill boasts a superb panorama of the Annapurna Range. Peaks included are Dhaulagiri (8172m), Annapurna South (7219m), and Machhapuchhre (6997m)

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Nepal: Annapurna Base Camp Trail - 2

A heavy burden for the porters
Heavy burden for our excellent porters
Early rise from our sleeping bags, for breakfast al-fresco in the morning sunshine, then off on the ascent to our destination of Ghorepani (2860m).

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.