Annapurna Day 6
It's 4:40pm and I'm snuggled up in bed feeling and smelling so fresh and so clean after a wet wipe shower. The days of hot showers at the lodges are well and truly gone, but it's ok. Today was a very adventurous day, a day where we acquired a group and shared this experience and just incredible scenery with them as we walked for hours from Upper Pisang to Ngawal. Our aim was to get to Braka by the time the sun went down but because of the amount of snow around, the normal trails were taking a lot longer. For this reason we stayed put in Ngawal.
We left the Annapurna Hotel this morning around 8am, a little after the other groups had left and we walked a long snowy trail before reaching another suspension bridge. We caught sight of two guys up ahead who were going in the same direction. We knew that once we crossed this suspension bridge, the steep and snowy ascent would begin, which we would later know as the second hardest ascent after the Thorong La pass which we were aiming for.
We took our time going up the winding trails, placing our feet in already made footsteps from the people before, but my body seemed to be able for this and I took on a bit of speed. No doubt we had breaks in between where we got talking to the two men (both who'd done this twenty odd years ago) and saw two guys from our hotel. We took a break and gradually made our way up the sheer side of the mountain. It was super challenging. My boots were constantly covered in snow and my feet and socks were soaked but I carried on.
One of the men caught up to me and asked how I was so fit, I couldn't believe it. I was just going at my bodies pace and it was letting me get this far. I was thankful for all the trekking I had done in New Zealand and all the times I pushed myself to reach a mountain summit or a goal in mind. This was when I needed the stamina and energy, in the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. Here I was a tiny human on the face of a cliff, surrounded by some of the worlds top highest mountains and I was conquering my own challenge. A group we had seen earlier had caught up to us and we all trekked together which was nice. There were people of all nationalities, ages and fitness levels which was great. We took breaks with them and had lunch with them in Ngawal before deciding to stay there.
You may wonder why I didn't chose to do the Everest base camp trek right? Most people do, although I had heard of the Annapurna region of the Himalayas from friends before, I didn't know what trek I wanted to do. I researched it and talked to travellers and it turned out that the Annapurna Circuit Trek (crossing through the Thorong La pass) was in fact one of the worlds best treks. This was purely because the trek takes 17-20 days and you are constantly surrounded by something different everyday. The Everest base camp was shorter, more expensive and it seemed to be popular just because of the name. I was happy to do the circuit.
I don't know if many of you heard about the natural disaster in the region, on the Thorong La pass in fact, back in October but a huge snow storm came in and heaps of Trekkers and porters were killed. They are very cautious now about this happening again and so I'm trying not to dwell on this until we see the conditions of the pass. I mentioned before about people having to turn around and come back having found out that the pass is impassable, but we are hoping that if the sunny weather lasts until next week, we should have a good chance of crossing it. It's my goal to do the full circuit and I hope we get to cross it safely.
But for now we have a few more days of acclimatisation and right now we are at 3850m with a goal to reach 5500m at the pass as I said before. A lot of sleep, food and water will help with that.
Peace out x