Mark Howarth-Archer

markhowartharcher

Mark Howarth-Archer

Love a good pasty.



Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit April 25th 2012

My Tsampa porridge was very watery this morning and the apples in it didn’t taste too good at all, after yesterdays bad experience I really was not really looking forward to today. Starting the day with bad porridge was exactly what I didn’t need! I was however feeling much livelier today after 15+ hour+ sleep! The first 1 ½ hours of the walk were not promising at all, even at this early time I could feel the wind starting to howl and once again we were following a boring dry, dusty rived bed. Would there be no mercy for me? Well fortunately yes there would be. About 3 hours into the journey we arrived into a small village called Larjung, at this point the scenery instantly changed for the better, once again I saw the beautiful ... read more
View of Marpha from the monastery looking South
Rural household, Marpha
Jeep passing us on the dusty plains just after Marpha

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit April 25th 2012

KC (my guide) managed to convince me last night that it would be better to walk the whole distance today instead of getting a jeep. For better or worse I took his advice and we headed off that morning on the long walk to Marpha. Today we would be covering much more distance than we had on any previous day, although it would either be downhill or flat so we should cover ground fairly quickly. We would lose 1000m of altitude overall today but I was assured that the decline would be much more agreeable than yesterdays return from the pass, something I didn’t want to face again for a long, long time (or ever). The day started well, it took us 2 ½ hours to travel downhill to Ekle Bhatti, the trail down was reasonably ... read more
The arrid Nevada like valley near Muktinath 2
Scrubby plant
First sighting of the Kali Gandaki (Black River)

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit April 25th 2012

It was not a good nights sleep for me or anyone else at high camp, indeed I was somewhat lucky in that I did manage to get at least a few hours sleep, my guide KC didn’t manage to get any at all and I’m sure plenty of others suffered the same. It had been a bitterly cold night (I believe about -10 centigrade) and the high altitude had made breathing difficult. I woke up in the middle of the night struggling to breath and it took a good hour or so for me to calm myself down, relax and get back to sleep. We departed camp at 06.15am, others had left at as early as 04.30am so were walking in the dead cold of the night, well below zero and also in the dark. Not ... read more
On the way to the pass, look how fantastically blue the sky is! This was one of many false summits.
Looking back down the hill watching the sunrise over the mountains
Success!

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit April 25th 2012

With around 750m of altitude gain today there was the very real chance of getting serious altitude sickness (no more than 300-500m is recommended per day). We would be sleeping tonight at 4,925m and were now very much in the altitude sickness danger zone. After yesterdays issues I was understandably concerned about getting ill and was determined to take every possible precaution to ensure that I stayed well. Today I would be eating as many carbs as possible, drinking more water than my bladder could handle, stopping for breaks regularly and eating so much garlic I would even offend a French man. From the start things looked much more positive today, I woke up feeling good, I was a little fatigued when I started walking but by now realised that this was an inevitable side effect ... read more
The dry, dusty trail
Looking back at the mountains from halfway up the very steep 500m climb to High Base Camp from Thorung Phedi
Just arrived into highbase camp looking back at the mountains below

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit April 25th 2012

Today was to the start of the big 3 day journey over the Throng La Pass and it didn’t start well. Despite sleeping better than the previous night I woke up with a dull headache in my right temple and felt very lethargic. To top this off my muscles also felt stiff, probably a result of running back to Manang the previous day. The walk to Gunung (3,900m) was much more strenuous than it had been the day before taking around 2 ½ hours instead of the 1 hour and 10 mins it had taken the day before. The scenery was of course again fantastic but I found it hard to focus on anything other my headache and my higher than usual fatigue. Oh yes altitude was very much taking effect today. The walk to Yak ... read more
Leaving Manang village and encountering a Donkey Caravan
View from a toilet en-route!
Looking back at the Annapurna's near Yak Kharka 2

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit April 25th 2012

Ut oh, it’s happened again... Once again it’s been another top trumping day of obscenely good scenery. Just as I thought I had seen the best of the Annapurna’s they go and blow me away once again with literally the best views I’ve seen in my life, and, as a cheeky bonus throw in what has now become my favourite place on earth, the monastery on the hill at Braga. However, more about this later. You may have noticed from my tone in yesterdays blog that I wasn’t feeling on top form. Maybe this was because the weather was miserable, maybe because my hotel room was small and oppressive, maybe because fatigue was getting the better of me and maybe because I was having a difficult day adjusting to life by myself without my Drago buddies. ... read more
View of Manang valley
Annapurna III
Humde airport

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit April 25th 2012

The first half of today’s walk contained some relatively mundane river and pine woodland scenery, it wasn’t that the scenery was ugly, far from it, it was just that it did not contain the barrage of knock out views we had seen yesterday. Had I taken this walk anywhere else I’m sure I would have been praising the scenery but standards here are high, anything less than spectacular is mundane. Part two of the trek was however a different beast altogether, things once again became rather interesting. Veering right from the sheltered woodland/riverside area the landscape around the trail very quickly opened into a large, dry rocky valley. To the front and right hand side of us were a mighty range of lifeless grey rocky mountains, completely devoid of any greenery. Around us the woodland thinned ... read more
Tea beak on the way to Pisang
Approaching Pisang
Lower Pisang village

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit April 25th 2012

I didn’t sleep very well last night as the hotel owners rather twitchy dog sat directly outside the wafer thin walls of my room and spent most of the night barking at nothing at all. I did consider shutting the dog up at one point by killing it, but decided that this may cause some ill feeling between the hotel owner and myself, something I was keen to avoid as he was a very nice chap. Talking of nice chaps, so far all the hotel owners and people we have met along the trail have been exceedingly pleasant, friendly, and very hospitable. Once again, another thing which makes this trek a pleasure. The views from the Danakyu that morning were superb. Yesterdays rain had cleared the haze in the air and in the early morning light ... read more
Manasulu range on the way to Timang 2
Manasulu just after the village of Timang 2
Annapurna range from the village of Koto

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit April 16th 2012

After a fabulous sleep I start the day with a local speciality, Tsampa porridge. Made from barley, sugar, water and a little milk it is brown in colour and thick and smooth in texture. When it is placed in front of me I think good god what have I done, this large bowl of thick, brown gunk does not appear to have been a good choice. However, on further inspection things start to look up. It smells good, a little like peanut butter and it’s cement like texture is somehow reassuring. When I come to finally tasting it I realise that my initial fears were misplaced, it tastes good, really good in fact! Sweet, a little nutty, thick yet perfectly smooth, it makes for a very satisfying breakfast and blows boring oat porridge well out of ... read more
Marsyangdi Nadi river
Donkey caravan
Marsyangdi Nadi river and the trail

Asia » Nepal » Annapurna » Annapurna Circuit April 16th 2012

What a difference a sleep makes. Yesterday I was a tired anxious mess but today I wake up feeling great and very excited about the journey ahead. I decide on oat porridge for breakfast, figuring it’s good energy food. As struggle through the sloppy dribble I wonder how many days I will be able to stomach porridge before I break down and resort to eating something far less sensible. Maybe a day if the porridge is always this bad? From the moment I take my first step on the trail I love it, KC and me seem to be communicating much better and I’m pleased to see that he walks at a medium to slow speed after initially being worried that he would be very fast. KC walks especially slowly up hills which forces me to ... read more
My first of many bridge crossings, Marsyangdi Nadi river
Marsyangdi Nadi river 2
Marsyangdi valley




Tot: 0.46s; Tpl: 0.042s; cc: 3; qc: 84; dbt: 0.0795s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 3; ; mem: 1.5mb