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Tamarra’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 19 May 2007

MapHello All! First of all everyone should note that this is Tamarra’s brother, Darryn. I spent three weeks traveling with my sister in Nepal and here I am at the end of an exciting adventure. Where to begin, on May fifth we set out from Pokhara to hike the Annapurna circuit with one over stuffed (21kg) backpack in which we combined all of our stuff and a fantastic porter/guide, Resham, to carry the load and keep us going tin the correct direction. Each day was totally different. It started hot, lush and green with an incredible gorging in the icy cold river. We walked an average of four to five hours per day. As we walked up we saw incredible changed. We walked through rice fields, villages and watched the vegetation change from tropical plants to evergreens and pine trees. As we reached 3000m the nights grew cold. We were lucky to have only one rainy, dreary day in the 14 we spent on the Annapurna circuit and fortunately it was our acclimatization day so we didn’t have to hike. By the time we hit 4800m (burr!!) we experienced a full blown snow storm. Fortunately we were already settled at our guesthouse with the heater burning. Sleeping in our three degrees centigrade room wasn’t much fun, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! The next morning we were out the door at six. This was the moment we had all been waiting for, Throng Pass (5416m), the highest pass in the world! The hike up was grueling, but the 360 degree snow covered peaks were worth the climb. The word majestic doesn’t begin to describe it! The hike down into the valley took our breath away! It was hard on the body, but every direction was something incredible to see. It was definitely a good distraction from our aching knees, caves and butts! On day twelve we arrived at Jomsom where I was suppose to say goodbuy to my sister and fly back to Pokhara. Due to high winds and clowds the planes had been canceled for several days and I decided to finish the circuit. Yesterday we had our last night together. We relaxed our aching muscles in some wonderful hot springs as I offered a sad goodbye to Tamarra. I finished the circuit and exited the mountains today, while Tamarra is going to continue trekking for a few more days.

Along the way we have met many great people, both locals and foreigners. We hiked half the trek with a hilarious Irish girl, Yvonne, and an American boy, Douglas. Both kept us entertained and I am certain we entertained them in return. The locals were friendly and often chatted with us. The food was surprisingly good! In Jomsom we had one of the best pieces of meat, I have ever eaten. The Yak Steak was ordered early in the day and we were promised that we didn’t have to pay if we didn’t like it. We were blown away.

Not only did the landscapes and vegetation change but so did the wildlife. We watched mule trains carrying tons of food, furniture and all other necessities up the mountain. There are NO roads. We also saw human “mules” carrying as much as 50 kg or more in baskets on their backs or with bands around their foreheads. Incredible! We saw cows, yaks, and goats with thick coats. Even the animals adapt to their environment. I could never describe all the amazing things we saw, there is just too much. Our photos can only capture half the beauty of the Himalayas. It was a once in a lifetime experience and we will always have wonderful memories.

I have all of Tamarra’s pictures of our trek together and will post some when I return to Chicago.