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Jasont’s Travel Diary

Friday, 11 Nov 2005

Location: Nepal

MapHi All,

Yes, Im back!! From my 12 day trek to Annapurna base camp, which I managed to complete in 9 days. The trek itself was a lot harder than I was lead to believe, as I have previously explained the how I managed to hurt my leg/knee in a dodgy none western toilet in china. The first day my leg was great, but by the 2nd & 3rd things went downhill rapidly. Going uphill was physically though but I found that part ease, it was the descents that were causing great problems. But by the 4th day I found that by stretching & massaging myself 3 times a day & not trying to protect the leg with the poles that it eventually went away.

The views were stunning & the nepli people were great (expect for the Maoist insurgents – will explain my later). The tea houses’ started ok then went further downhill the further up the mountain I went. To the point on the 3rd day when I was probably the last person to reach tadipani that there was no more room in the inn & has was put into Room 101 (literally), it was just a wooden box built on the side of the tea house & my guide had to sleep on the lounge table.

My guide’s name was Bibek & he was great. He's a sound guy & talked a lot about flora & fauna, culture of the nepli, & the countries history & current situation….

The current King came to power in 2001 after the previous King had their regular monthly family party. And he had paid of the security forces to kill all the family who attended the party while his family made there excuses that they were staying in Pokarra. So, 13 people were killed including the king (his brother) & their family & brother & sister. Although, his other brother’s wife was out of the county & he had her killed when she returned. There is much more to the story, but thats the brief.

The country has also had problems over the last 11 years with a minority group could the Maoists. They are communist,s & for years previous were had tried getting recognized through political talks, but were getting no where. So, they took to arms & headed to the mountains. The Everest region is well protected by army & the tourists are safe, but every where else has had problems for years with the Maoists preying on the tourists for money. They basically stop you on the mountain tracks & ask you to buy a (unofficial) permit to enter through the mountains. The cheeky f**kers then give you a receipt from ‘United Revolutionary Interim People’s Council’, saying that you willing donated to their cause.

Yes, that’s right, if anyone was going to be caught that day it was going to be me & I had to pay 1000 rupee’s 8GBP!!

When we were on our 1st day we heard through the grape vine that the army was ahead of us trying to flush them out of the mountains, so at that point I felt quit safe. Then on the 2nd night 4hrs before we got to our village, that they had caught to of them in a tea house 2 doors away from ours. Then from then on it was fine, we heard no more until we got to the my last night & my guide found out that they were in our guest house & they had taken money from some Dutch people earlier that day. (will explain full detail when im back)

Then, after an edge night we got on our way & headed for the finish & that was where we met the terrorists on the path, & they demanded the money.

Back to the trek - By day 5 we reached Deurali at 3200m & when we got to the snow covered Machepichu base camp at 3800m, I was feeling good & had no signs of altitude sickness & agreed to head up Annapurna base camp 4200m. In hindsight was not the best decision I have ever made, as I new that once you go over 3000m you are only meant to go 400m per day. But in my defense most people start getting signs a lot earlier (mild head aches, loss of appetite, weakness & feeling sleepy, vomiting & nausea).

It was about at 3900 that my energy suddenly dipped & the mild head aches started. I could see the camp & it looked a lot nearer than it was & Bibek said because the symptons had only just started it should be ok by the time we are there.

We got there at 1400 after starting out at 0900, we went straight for something to eat as I hadn’t lost my appetite (which seemed like a god sign!). Bibek, said that as I hadn’t long had the symptoms & that the head aches should pass once I acclimatize in about an hour. So, I went for a wash & went for a quick sleep to see if thinks got better. But they just got more intense, so at 1600 I made the decision to not sleep there & descend straight away because in 2 hours it would be dark & I would be stuck, & it could be fatal. So, after about 300m descent I felt right as rain, energy back & no head aches. We bypasses MBC & went straight back to Deurali which was 1000m up & 1000m down in one day, which was hard work.

Having said all that the place was stunning (see photos on my website), but I would have to say, that now I have reached those heights & it was so cold, that Im not sure whether I will trek any further past that altitude again.

After, the trek stayed in Pokhara for a few days, which a real chill, until a got thrown out of my hotel for no reason ( explain anyother day short of time). Saw some of the funniest things I have every seen....Picture this...
..Famlies cant aford car so most travel of a motobike. I was on my way back to Pokahra from my trek & we past a bike with dad driving & the 4 yr old son in front of him, them wedged between him & his wife on the back was a fully horned Ram (sheep) with its tonge hanging out. (I was from the top draw!!!)

Then, a few days later on my way white water rafting, I saw to goats standing on top of a bus tied with 4 pieces of rope - (stunning)

Anyway, after Pokhara I went 3 days rafting/camping down the Seti River for my birthday, then had 3 days safari in chitwen before arriving back in Kathmandu to plan my trek off to Everest, which I leave for tomorrow.

Then, when I get back I'll be off to India starting at Varanasi (the Ganges), then Rajistan, then possibly Goa. (subject to change). I have had to sacrife Tibet for India, as everything has gone against me to try & get there since the day I started planning (four 3 months ago). So, I had better take the hint, that somebody in the sky doesnt think I should go.

So speak to you all soon('ish)

Love Jx