So here we are, three days into the Annapurna Base Camp trek, sitting in a crowded trekking lodge, and still in Nepal. Seeing as we were going to stay here longer after deciding to take in India, we’ve just set off an another big trek. First we’re doing Annapurna Base Camp then extending it with a side trip along the end of the Annapurna Circuit and Poon Hill.
It’s been pretty tough so far. Every day has consisted of climbing seemingly endless stone steps, punctuated only by descending stone steps to cross a suspension bridge. Followed, of course, by another massive by ascent. Who needs a Stairmaster?
It’s been made tougher by the fact that not only do we only have one porter this time but Scarlett has hurt her shoulder* and can’t bear to carry a rucksack, so me and Janet are lugging a lot more weight up all these hills.
But, injuries aside, all three of my girls are handling the hard uphills really well. We’re walking further each day than last time as we are lower down so don’t have to worry about altitude sickness but there’s still been little complaining. Jemima and Evie have even accepted, after a little persuading, that it’s OK for Scarlett not to be carrying a bag. Of course the fact that we got a taxi to a supermarket and spent over $70 on treats and snacks helps with the motivations.
Still, despite the sweatiness and shaky legs, it’s beautiful here and I’m loving being out of the city. Pokhara, where we spent the last week, is a lot more chilled out than Kathmandu but it’s still a tourist trap and, with its fake trekking gear shops, Tibetan nicknack stalls and expensive Western-food restaurants, hardly provides the kind of authentic experience we hoped to get from travelling.
The scenery here isn’t yet as impressive as the Everest Region but the drama is building. Fishtail Mountain grows larger each day and has started to reveal how it got its name, it’s twin summits jutting dominating the skyline. And the Lonely Planet promises it only gets better. By the end of this leg of the trek, we should be in a vast amphitheatre, surrounded on all sides by the Annapurna massif.
And after today, there are no communications at all. No phone, no internet. Just us, Krishna (our guide not the Hindu god) and the mountains. And all the other Trekkers, of course, all after their own authentic experiences.
Janet says I must add that it’s not serious, Nana. Don’t worry.