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Brad’s Travel Diary

Friday, 27 Jan 2006

Location: Pokara, Nepal

MapTo begin with...


It is feeling rather stiff and sore that I write this update...We arrived back from our 12 day himalayan adventure last night, all feeling pretty exhausted but pretty proud that we'd

Just a quick summary of the whole thing:

We met our guide, Ram, in Kathmandu, then drove to Pokara, the second biggest city in Nepal and the starting place for most of the treks. We spent a day organising all the nessesary things, and on the 14th, got a minibus to the trailhead and so the adventures began! The first day was only four of five hours, and almost entirely through quite heavily populated villages. We spent our first night at a teahouse (standard trekking accomdation in Nepal comes complete with hot shower and pizza - luxury!), then had our first hard days walk the next day - seven or eight hours, all uphill. It was worth it though, as we got our first view of the mountains - the specetcatular Annapurna Range at sunset, with bright orange clouds boiling off the ridges and peaks of the mountains.

We got up for sunrise at the famous Poon Hill the next morning - I managed to fall over in the dark and very nearly break my nose, which would have been a fantastic start to day three...After the sunrise and for the next four days we continued over ridges, through valleys as the villages became smaller and smaller and the mountains more and more immense. By day seven we were really in the thick of things - walking up a valley towards the Annapurna Santuary and base camp, the only way inside a vast bowl of huge mountains. The geography is impossible to describe inside, but on day eight we got up for sunrise once more for the two hour walk along the edge of a gigantic morraine to the Annapurna base camp from where we were staying - the Matchapachuri base camp. Standing silent on the edge of a gigantic glacier and being surrounded by 7000m+ peaks was an unforgettable, awesome moment.

The remaining days of the trek were of course, slowly making our way back to civillisation, but walking through the tiny villages adds a wonderful dimension to trekking - meeting children on their way home from school or being accosted by a few dozen Tibetan sheep makes it a wonderful cultural experience as well as an adventure. Our porters were also wonderful - three very cheery chaps with fairly good english who were always super obliging and ready to have a laugh. Our last day was originally intended to be a short walk to te road and then catch a bus, but due to some of the unrest in nepal a trasport strike had been called, and we had to walk and extra ten kilomters back to Pokara. It was pretty hard going, but a fantastic experience - because there were no cars on the the road, there were people and hundreds of children everywhere, playing all sorts of games (including an impressive new extreme sport for kids involving two teams of three kids, each team with one kid sitting on a few crushed plastic bottles and dragged along the road by the other two at high speeds, straight into the other team! Hehehe!). Anyway, we eventually made it back to our hotel at 7:30 that night, despite road blocks, many machine gun weilding soldiers, Maoist bomb threats and suicidal children.

I'm not sure what the plan is for the following days is, but the fam only have another four days in Nepal before flying to Delhi and then back for me, I have a few ideas about what comes next - the adventure continues, but is perhaps in its last phase...