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Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit June 6th 2014

Non gogoa, han zangoa - Basque proverb There are situations of change in life. I don’t know how else to speak my mind. Just imagine: you are in a bar on a Friday night. It’s crowded as hell and the volume of the music is so high that you have to yell to people that are just a foot away from you. Everyone around is talking loudly and you’re laughing your ass off at some stupid joke that your mate hadjust told and… …and the power goes off. Everyone shuts up and looks around like there’s something wrong. Silence. You know that feeling? I had never trekked before in my life. So when the idea of climbing up to the Annapurna Base Camp was presented to me, it was too tempting to say no ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Base Camp April 5th 2014

I woke in the dark. Alex and I climbed the small hill to await the sun and the parting of the clouds. When I walked up the hill there was a small shrine, prayer flags and Buddhist temple. I left a postcard to my other self and I wrote my wanderings down. It said something of the physical planes I had ventured through to reach this the furthest height I had attained in my somewhat short life. I had an extra passport photo and placed it in the shrine as a commemoration and return to my birthland. I was trying to remember being born. No luck. Then I shivered and waited for the sun to break through. It was like watching a sporting event; others were cheering as the clouds broke and formed again. The sun ... read more
The Peace
Mountain

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit April 4th 2014

The daily dilema of whether to get up and set off, hoping to find breakfast in the next village, or eat before leaving, usually whilst sat in several layers of clothes, teeth chattering over a cup of tea - such are the challenges faced when trekking! Initially I'd opted for the 'food now' option over the great unknown but at higher altitudes with the mornings cooler it was becoming less appealing. So on Day 5 I followed the Germans lead, whom I'd had serious breakfast envy of the previous day when I passed them sat in the sunshine tucking into porridge, and headed straight off. It meant I saw the first sun hitting the snowy peaks above and then, because the breakfast detour put me on a smaller path, went through Thanchok. Winding narrow stone lanes ... read more
Day 10 - walking in a snow globe
Day 12 - disappearing in the clouds
Day 5

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit March 27th 2014

The previous day I had broke through a physical wall. I was in the zone. It was all about achievement. There were unseen forces driving me up the rest of those hills; as the waterfalls whispered to me. I had only my mind and body to conquer. There were a few months of relative inactivity and partying that was putting a weight on me but I trudged through. Our next destination was Deurali. Do - Rally . That's the actual pronunciation. This was the only day all of us had enjoyed lunch (or brunch) simply and together as a group. We went through villages with names like Bamboo and Himalaya. It was starting to get fuckin' magical. Intuitively I was finding that I was shedding a bit of weight in the physical world but the release ... read more
Cup 'o Tea?

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit March 26th 2014

The physical exertion would call for a soul splitting, and I had no idea. At the end of that first day with Dave O' we made it to Ghandruk. We had hiked 8 kilometers and had mountain moonshine at lunchtime. In the evening we broke bread - dhal bat (a rice and curry dish) with an Italian and his Nepalese guides. I always get a kick out of telling the locals that I was born there! The next day Dave and I powered. First words written in the 2nd day circuit journal are "I'm exhausted". This day was the longest consecutive push we did. We started out early and went up a densely jungle humid ridge. There were schoolkids on their way to class, laughing and greeting us with, "Namaste". They would hold their hands together ... read more
Silver River
The fairy tale valley

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Asia » Nepal » Annapurna March 26th 2014

As the taxi driver drove slowly passed the tourist bus station looking for my one to Pokhara it soon became apparent that this was less of a 'station' and more a street lined with bumper to bumper buses - I stopped counting at 25! The main differences with a 'tourist bus' seem to be that a) you get a seat, although as I and a few others discovered not necessarily the one you were expecting and b) you leave on time(ish), skipping the painfully slow curb crawling around town whilst the drivers side kick hangs out the door heckling everyone who passes until every seat is full.... in theory anyway! It was 6.30am and the 'bus station' was busy with passengers and vendors alike - men pushing bikes overladen with oranges and grapes, others with trays ... read more
Annapurna Day 4 - The road to Timang
Annapurna Day 2
Annapurna Day 4 - the view from the guest house

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna December 3rd 2013

Giorno 1: Autobus da Besi Sahar a Bhulbhule: si riempie di vecchiette e ci tocca salire sul tetto; viaggio breve ma con vista da prima fila sul grande Manaslu. Superato il primo ponte sospeso si comincia a camminare: ottime sensazioni, le gambe ci sono; lungo la strada polverosa accetto il passaggio su di un trattore guidato da un ragazzino di non piu' di 10 anni: trasportiamo acqua. Evito cosi' la parte piu' brutta di tutto il tracciato (lavori in corso per costruire una centrale idroelettrica). Dal bhat a pranzo; arrivo a Ghermu dopo poco piu' di 4 ore di camminata, ma ho rubato. Guest-house accogliente, doccia calda e charas della valle; dal bhat a cena. Tremendo mal di spalle, collo e schiena, ma per il resto il fisico regge bene. Giorno 2: Sveglia di buon'ora (alba ... read more
Annapurna 3 (7555m) sulla via per Manang
L'Annapurna 1 (8091m) visto dal Campo Base
Il lago Tilicho (4920m)

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna October 23rd 2013

Well we arrived in Kathmandu just over a week ago now, and the first thing that we noticed was how much calmer it is compared to India. Dad prefers the calm whereas I am still longing a little bit for the hustle and bustle. We were advised to stay in the Thamel area in Kathmandu and I am so glad that we did, there is lots going on, plenty of restaurants and shops and loads of travellers and trekkers to meet and speak to. On our first night we started chatting to a couple from the Netherlands who had just completed the 15day trek around the Annapurna circuit, they said they had organised this all themselves and it was relatively easy to get around without a guide or porter showing you the way. They were really ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit July 7th 2013

I gave myself a rest day in Manang (3519m/11,545ft), “sleeping in” till 8 am. After a chili cheese burrito breakfast, I wasn’t sure what to do next and realized that there isn’t much to do in these Nepali towns except continue exactly what one’s been doing the whole time: hike some more. I headed up to a stupa just outside of town where, in a cave dwelling next to the stupa, resides a Buddhist nun who was the daughter of a monk that also resided there for 70 years. She now lived there alone after her father died, from what I understood, about 30 years ago; she steadfastly carries on his practice of bequeathing blessings to trekkers who visit the stupa. Once I’d reached the stupa, I was startled by the nun, whom I hadn’t noticed. ... read more
drinking water for the week
manang
annapurna massif from manang

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit July 3rd 2013

As I headed out of Tal on my way to Chame (not to be confused with Chamje) at 2650m/8690ft, I asked the proprietor of the guesthouse how far I had. “9-and-half hours,” he replied. “Ok, another long day. How about ‘Nepali time?’” “Nepali time?” He smiled, then replied, “8 hours.” Following the EBC trek, I’ve come to trust the precision of the Nepali people’s time estimates in the mountains like I trust that the sun will rise tomorrow: they are spot on and I’m usually within 15 minutes of what they quote me. On good days, I’m within 15 minutes of “Nepali time”, ie, the time one would expect a regular Nepalese to arrive at a destination. Either way, I had another 8 to 10-hour walk ahead of me, so I hastened out on the trail ... read more
outside of chame
outside of chame
outside of chame




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