Annapurna Base Camp

Our trekking adventure to one of the most popular and spectacular mountains range in Nepal, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, lasted for 10 days and 9 nights in October 2014. The trek is considered to be amongst one of the must do trek in Nepal. Thanks to its variety of terrains and it’s endless amazing views from all angles.

It was like a dream come true for us to be so close to one of the highest mountains peak in the world – Annapurna that rise up to 8,901m above sea level. This part of Himalayan mountains could already be seen from Pokhara city where we stayed.

It was such an memorable time from when we started our walk in Nayapul all the way to Annapurna Base Camp. The further we walked into the quiet and serene mountains wilderness the more we gained in our mental and physical health. We have received a rare chance to reconnect with nature and less technology.

The trek offers unbelievable panoramic views from places such as Poon Hill, Macchapuchre Base Camp and finally the ABC. Being in one of the greatest Nepal trek, this was a mixed of nature and cultural experience trek. There were so much to learn from the simple lifestyle of the villagers and so much respect to be had from their love of mountain lives. They would walk up and down the mountains with ease, always humble, and always appreciate from what the earth offered them. Whilst walking the trek we came across many farming properties and learnt that during this time they were able to harvest potatoes and cabbages to be used for the following winter.

This trek attracts many trekkers from all over the world. On the trek we often hear different languages and be in the mixed of the young and old. Although the trek’s difficulty were rated to be medium to high it did not stop some older trekkers who walked even faster than us! Apart from endless stairs to climb, there were a lot of days when we walked on flat ground following mountain cliffs or rivers.

October month is considered to be the best time of the year as the mountains view clears out most of the day and it’s approaching the end of the trekking season. Although there are risks for booking the trek in October such as moon soon and which could result in wetter and more dangerous track. It’s also the time of when the snows were melting meaning more avalanches risk. However, we chose Annapurna trek at this time due to it’s less foot traffic reviews. We love the less populated adventure options as it allows us more freedom to enjoy the mountain’s serenity to the max. Another good reason trek at the quieter month were due to it’s many narrow path and windy tracks that were mostly suitable for single lane walkers. This way we did not have to stops too many times to let other trekkers pass. We did not have to slow down or speed up for anyone too many times either.

There were villagers who live as far as Deurali town (3100m) who are always on foot using the same path. Our guide always reminded us to respect the locals as they are part of the community who keeps us safe, provides food and accommodation for us trekkers. Hence the locals and their mules, especially the mules, takes priority on the mountain’s path.

view photo album

Prior to the hike

Our hike were organised prior to our arrival in Pokhara by our accommodation crew at The Trekkers Inn. We exchanged several messages via email 3 months before arriving. They helped us with finding a guide and porters. We were introduced to our local guide at the Inn, Krishna and our 3 porters who we called ‘Sailor’, ‘Muscle Man’ and ‘Nabin’. Krishna arranged our 10 days itinerary for us which includes looking after our meals and accommodations. He made sure that the whole trip were as comfortable and memorable as possible.

We took the trek seriously by making sure that we were physically well and prepared for. We improved our fitness by taking regular jog, sleep and rise earlier and eat better. We equipped our good stomach health by taking probiotic tablets daily. The supplement were important for us to combat any digestive issues. We didn’t start our trek until 3 days later to allow our body to get rid of any jet lag symptoms.

We gathered our clothing. medicines and hiking gears in Australia even though Kathmandu and Pokhara known to be trekker’s shopping haven. By all means, allow some extra days and gather your clothing or hire equipment in Nepal if that’s what you’d prefer. There are ample of shops and helpful staff all around the city centre.

Our daily budget (outside the trek cost) was $10 per person per day which were more than enough for snacks, soups (all other meals were included apart from soup), shower (150rupee per shower – $2), power and water. We withdrew our cash in Pokhara as there were no ATM machine on the mountain.

In this blog we’d like to share our Himalayan trek stories for future trekkers who would like to give ABC a go. With so many different variation of days and tracks out there to be found, we hope that our personal adventure experience could help you to choose which route you would rather and give you a glimpse of your next amazing trek in Nepal.

Quick summary or our trek

Total hours of trekking:

55 – 60hrs

Total distance:

101km

Total spending:

$550 per person for the 10 days trek inc. guide, porters, meals & accommodation

plus $10/day for snacks, water & power

Where did we start?

From Australia we flew to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. In Kathmandu we organised a private van including the driver to take us to Pokhara. This was booked through a travel agent in Kathmandu city centre. At the time, we took the road trip as we would like to see more of Nepal countryside. However, the trip was rough and bumpy as a result of bad road conditions and traffics. Despite the comfortable private van trip compared to public busses, on the next occasion we would much prefer to hop on a return flight from Pokhara. The flight journey takes a short 25 minutes compared to the windy and bumpy bus journey that took almost 6 hours to to complete.

On Day 1, we were picked up from our hotel in Pokhara around 8AM. The car ride to Nayapul took 1 1/2 hour. Nayapul was where we started our trek.

Day 1: Nayapul – Tikhedhunga (7km, 5-6hrs)

Day 1 Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Nayapul to Tikhedunga
Day 1 Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Nayapul to Tikhedunga
Nepalese porters
Nepalese porters. view photo album

Our trek started at Nayapul village (1,060m) around 10AM. We were picked up from our accommodation 1 1/2 hour prior. Our van dropped us off at a side small shop that sells small meals, snacks as well as limited trekking and emergency supplies (first aid, energy bars etc). Here we bought a couple of litre of bottled water (around $1 ea.) and a quick toilet stop. Our guide instructed us to follow him as he led us to the begin our adventure.

We took a downwards path just behind the shop through a dusty hard clay track. We left the busy road behind us and it wasn’t long until we passed more row of houses, the locals and more small shops. After a short 15 minutes we crossed the only bridge (for pedestrian and traffics) that separates the village and the start of Annapurna trek. It was a sunny day with not much of shades covers then. We continued on our walk through the wide path which we shared with with farmers and their horses and buffalos. The track follows a creek which slowly turns to a wider river with some beautiful clear streams of pools of water. We took a much needed dunk in one of the pool to relieve ourselves from midday sun heat.

The ‘free of traffic’ trek became even more promising as we walked further away from Nayapul. We saw less public and more trekkers with their guides. 2 hours in we elevated higher as we climbed stone stairs between buildings with signs that suggest for guesthouses or restaurants. We arrived in Tikhedhunga (1540m) around 5PM.

We enjoyed our first day, overall it was an easy trek with lots of level ground and few stairs.

We must mentioned though that some of us suffered from unusual midges bites itch which we thought we must have contracted near the rivers or creeks during the day. We noticed this after we settled down into our room that night. We realised that we all had many insects bites all over our legs which bleeds but then it stopped after a while. When it were no longer bleed, it itched and itched for days afterwards! Unfortunately we did not see the little insects or felt their bites. A cover up would have been a good idea as insects repellant didn’t seem to have deterred them.

Tikhedunga in the distance. Trekking from 1,020m to 1,540m
Tikhedunga in the distance. Trekking from 1,020m to 1,540m. view photo album

Day 2: Tikhedunga – Ghorepani (17km, 6-7hours)

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Day 2. From Tikhedunga to Ghorepani
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Day 2. From Tikhedunga to Ghorepani
Lunch hour on Day 2. Lots of restaurant on the way
Lunch hour on Day 2. Lots of restaurant on the way. view photo album

In the morning our guide, Krishna, warned us that day 2 would be a hard trekking day for us as it would be almost a non-stop stairs climb for 7 hours. We were told that would be climbing around 2000 stairs where in fact we were guessing that in the end it must have been around 3000 stairs!

We started our trek around 8AM after filling ourselves up with porridge and coffee for breakfast. We bought enough water to last until our next little break which we often do (after a couple of hours or so). Krishna weren’t underestimated the hard day on day 2 at all as we struggled to keep on going uphill to the never ending stairs. We were amazed with our porters who carried our 20kg backpack with ease. They often overtook us. Krishna informed us that going uphill was actually a much preferred track for his porters as it’s easier for their knees. We shook our heads in disbelief and were kinda ashamed for holding them back as they would stop waiting for us to catch up in the distance.

We passed few more villages along the way, greeted few locals and gave way to many mules. Our lunch meals were in variation of either fried rice, noodle stir fry, pasta, pizzas, or Nepalese Dal-Bhat set (cabbage curry, lentil and rice), cold soft drinks and beers. We were more than spoilt to somehow have been able to find such foods that were so simple yet it seemed to be extra tasty. As we continued our trekking we saw the Machapuchare (fish tail) in the distance for the first time. It looked far yet we were closer to it than from where we were. We stopped a couple of times on nearby running creek to cool down and to have our snacks (chocolate bars and bag of nuts). As we got closer to our destination in Ghorepani we walked faster in angst to get into our guesthouse as soon as possible.

It was around 5PM when we celebrated the of our day 2 when we saw the ‘Namaste’ – Welcome to Ghorepani sign at the village entrance. We put our bags down at the entrance of the village, exchanged happy talks, took a big gulp of water and it was relief written all over our faces. However, few minutes later Krishna urge us to hurry up and get moving as we still have at least a couple or more kilometres until our guest house. We couldn’t quiet grasp what he meant as we thought we have arrived on our destination. We stood on Ghorepani (2900m) village that seems to have endless amount of guesthouses. We climbed more stairs and left the lower ground village.

Finally, we arrived at Snowland guesthouse just before sunset. Each of our room comes with an en-suite complete with hot water supply. A cosy fire pit in spacious dining room were lit at dinner time. We treated ourselves with chicken meal (which came rare on the mountain as fresh chicken doesn’t get delivered everyday) and had an early sleep. Krishna reminded us to rest as early as possible so we would enjoy the early dawn trek to Poon Hill to see the famous Himalayan sunrise.

Forest walk - Annapurna Base Camp Trek Day 2
Forest walk – Annapurna Base Camp Trek Day 2
Our 2nd night accommodation. Snowland Hotel & Restaurant
Our 2nd night accommodation. Snowland Hotel & Restaurant. view photo album

Day 3: Ghorepani – Tadapani (12km, 5-6hrs) – Poon Hill Sunrise Trip

Poon Hill Sunrise
Poon Hill Sunrise. view photo album

We were woken up at 3.45AM and were told that our group were one of the last group to leave for Poon Hill sunrise trip. In haste, we filled our day backpack with enough water, our important belongings and cameras. It was still pitched dark as we climbed the well built path and what seems to be millions of stairs to Poon Hill. We heard many other groups climbing with us that morning. Poon Hill is considered to be worthy sunrise experience. A lot of tourists would book a short trip of Annapurna trek just for this.

We elevated from 2900m to 3210m high in 45minutes. We fought our short of breath due to coldness, altitude and sleepiness with the gorgeous mountains view as an inspiration. The light crept in slowly and we pushed on to climb so we would not miss the first sight of sunrise. On top of Poon Hill, it was an open flat ground with some wooden seats on the edges of the hill and a tower in the middle big enough to fit a medium size group. We arrived just in time for the moment when the sun leaked behind the mountains (Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Annapurna South, Machapuchare and else). It was so surreal to be amongst the lucky ones to have been able to experience of the greatest sunrise on earth. As the sun rose higher it provided us with warmth and revealed the rest of the panoramic view. We ordered ourselves a mug of hot chocolate each and stayed put a little longer until the hill left only with small groups here and there. We took our time to breathed in the gorgeous sunrise and soaked in the amazing views in front of us. It was a gorgeous morning. We couldn’t be happier with the glorious start.

After a while, we made an easy climbed back down to Snowland guesthouse and ate our breakfast. We then left Ghorepani around 8AM for our next destination, Tadapani.

Krishna informed us that today would be an easier day once again which was a relief. We entered in and out of forest most of the way. We also walked on an open vista at one point where there were 360 degree views. There weren’t much to see as the mountains seems further away. But Krishna assured us that we were on track and we’re actually getting closer. At one of passing village, there were souvenir shops that sells locally made jewelries, clothing and souvenirs. Then there were more forest and valley walk following creek between mountains. On our journey, we heard monkeys and managed to spot a large group of it. They were hopping the edges of the mountain rocks. According to Krishna although they were usually easily heard they are not often spotted in the open.

Open vista on the way to Tadapani
Open vista on the way to Tadapani

We stopped at Banthanti (passed Deurali 2983m) for a longer lunch break. We walked for another hour and half downwards. There were mostly unstable rocky stairs which caused some of us to feel sore on the knees. The more careful and slower we climbed down, the sorer it felt. Yet we must watched every step as not to slip or to fall.

We finally reached Tadapani (2660m) an hour before sunset. Our guesthouse were on the edge of the mountain (2680m) with  and mountain views just right outside our bedroom door.  There were hot water on buckets provided (for extra cost) which we were very grateful for.

And that was Day 3.

Our accommodation with a view at Tadapani 2,680m
Our accommodation with a view at Tadapani 2,680m. view photo album

Day 4: Tadapani – Chomrong (8km, 5hrs)

Crossing new metal bridge donated by the British people
Crossing new metal bridge donated by the British people. view photo album

We were up around 5.30AM as recommended by Krishna so we could experience similar sunrise as on Poon Hill yesterday. There were gorgeous sunrise view once again (right outside our lodge) although it didn’t take over the magnificent Poon Hill sunrise but it was a worthy moment to see the natural beauty of Himalayan mountains. Especially in the early hours.

We were greeted with clear morning sky. It was a beautiful morning. We had our breakfast whilst watching local Nepalese ladies drying out what looks like spinach leaves. We felt freshened and well rested ready for the next few hours hike. Krishna told us that today’s trek were also going to be an easy day as there would be mainly flat ground. But he also reminded us to keep up with him as the quicker we get to our next destination the more time we have on our sleeves to rest. Day 4 was the last chance for us to take it easy as the next few days would be the pinnacle of the trek.

Resting at Durbin Danda before the last stretch to Chomrong
Resting at Durbin Danda before the last stretch to Chomrong. view photo album

We took Krishna’s advice on board and marched on eagerly towards the next guesthouse. Our hike were mainly going downwards as promised. We crossed a couple of long hanging bridges. The trek to Chomrong followed the mountain edges passing many farming houses. We bought our last bottled water at lunch time in Gurjung (2050m) village as there were no more bottled water allowed once we entered Chomrong (boiled water for the rest of journey until Annapurna Base Camp). We enjoyed pizza and chips for lunch (amazing meals always!) and have fitted a short nap in the restaurant (yes we were tired).

As we were leaving Gurjung, the rain started to pour for the first time for us on our Annapurna trek. We waited inside the restaurant until it ease off. As soon as it was cleared we race each other to Chomrong (2170m) to make up the lost time. We were able to walk quicker (jog almost) due to mainly flat hill walk. Although it was a windy trek but it was by far the relaxing walk of all. It was a lovely walk overall. Before we knew it we arrived in Chomrong at 4.15PM. We have also managed to just missed the storm which were right behind us.

We witness the storm passed right in front of our eyes where it covered the mountains and uncovered it again. It was around sunset time when the sky were finally cleared up. We have experience a beautiful sunrise yesterday and today Chomrong has provided us with amazing sunset. We thought that our accommodation at Chomrong were the best one so far yet since it gave us some spectacular layered and layered of mountains right outside our bedroom doors. The view were postcard perfect. We were able to spot the Fish Tail (6993m), Annapurna (8091m), Annapurna South (7219m) and Hiunchuli (6441m) which were all seems even closer to us then.

Once again we were able to enjoy a hot shower on the trek. We polished the Korean Samyang Ramen for dinner in the dark due to power shortage (we assumed it was due to the storm) – the candlelight dinner has certainly added to the special trekking moments 🙂

Chomrong (2,170m). Our view from our bedroom at Fishtail guest house.
Chomrong (2,170m). Our view from our bedroom at Fishtail guest house. view photo album

Day 5: Chomrong – Himalaya (12.2km, 7-8hrs)

Left Chomrong. Start of Annapurna Base Camp Trek Day 5
Left Chomrong. Start of Annapurna Base Camp Trek Day 5
Passing small villages at Annapurna Trek
Passing small villages at Annapurna Trek. view photo album

We woke up around 5AM and packed our bags prior to breakfast time so could leave at once. We gave our water bladder to the lodge keeper so they could fill boiled water for us. At this point drinking water water costed us 100rupee per litre ($1.30) instead of 70 rupee (1L water bottle).

The view on Day 5 went better and better as the day unfolded. We passed so many gorgeous villages and were able to admire their morning farming activities. We walked between mountain valleys and entered more forest walk. The air started to feel cooler and thinner as we get higher and closer to Himalaya (2920m). We trekked downhills, crossed metal hanging bridge before we had to go up-hill again and repeat. By this time some of us used metal poles to support our knees during steep downhill track.

We stopped in Bamboo (2310m) for quick lunch. After lunch, once again we brought ourselves up to another gear. We walked faster so we could be one of the first group to arrive in Himalaya. We were glad to have raced to Himalaya hotel as it was the only hotel in that village. It’s a very quiet and peaceful hotel between valleys. That night, we felt like we were truly part of the Annapurna Sanctuary.

Anyone who have missed the reservation in Himalaya had to either continue the path to the next village (Deurali 3200m) or back to Bamboo which both were an hour away. We were the last group to occupy the last room.

Arrived at the only accommodation in Himalaya after 7-8hrs trekking
Arrived at the only accommodation in Himalaya after 7-8hrs trekking. view photo album

Day 6: Himalaya – Annapurna Base Camp (9.2km, 8-9hrs) 

Climbing from Himalaya (2,920m) to Deurali (3,200m)
Climbing from Himalaya (2,920m) to Deurali (3,200m). view photo album

We woke up with aching backs and sore knees. Yet we were very excited for today as it’s the day we’ve been waiting for. It was the day that we may finally be at the Annapurna Base Camp. We were full of energy anticipating for the best, hardest, longest day of our trek. Today was the peak of our journey!

Once again, we started our day by packing our bags before breakfast and left straight after breakfast. We left Himalaya (2920m) around 7AM. The trek went uphill most way. There were not much flat ground walk to relief our physic. We took extra few minutes stops more than usual to pace ourselves.

Our first decent stop were at Deurali (3200m) which was 3 hours later. We drank more water as it’s told to be a natural remedy for altitude sickness. Krishna kept on encouraging us to keep up with him and his porters. They have shown so much energy and power even with so much weight on their backs.

The air have started to feel a lot thinner which caused a light headache for some of us. We consumed twice more chocolate bars than usual as the sugar seems to kept us alert and awake.

On the way to Machapuchare Base Camp. About to cross a wooden bridge below
On the way to Machapuchare Base Camp. About to cross a wooden bridge below
Going deeper into the Himalayan track. Loving the nature landscape on Day 6
Going deeper into the Himalayan track. Loving the nature landscape on Day 6. view photo album

From Deurali, it was another 3 hours until our next stop in Machapuchare Base Camp (3700m). We crossed wonky wooden bridges on raging rocky river streams, passed a couple of avalanches areas and walked in snows. The wooden bridge felt quiet unsafe especially after the story told by Krishna that there were a trekker who slipped and didn’t make it. We took extra care at every crossing and never took any warning lightly.

Our porters skipped between rocks with 20kg bags on their backs with ease. When they got to the other side they put the bag packs down and ran back to assist us. We watched them in awe and took their hands as they lead us swiftly away from dangerous avalanches area. There were a little relief a couple of kilometre before Machapuchare where the path followed a river on a flat surface between the mountains.

An hour to go to MBC (3,700m)
An hour to go to MBC (3,700m)
It's foggier the higher we go. Track became rockier and less defined
It’s foggier the higher we go. Track became rockier and less defined. view photo album

Once we arrived in MBC (Machapuchare Base Camp), we were absolutely exhausted. There were so much climbing. By lunch hour we have elevated around 800m in altitude (compared to our previous 400-500m elevation per day). It was cold, harder to breath and see the higher we went due to mountain fog.

We took a long 1 1/2 hour lunch break on MBC. Krishna briefed us that there were only another 1 to 2 hours max until Annapurna Base Camp. Once we regained our energy and fed we got up and shook our jelly legs ready for the last stretch.

Then we heard Krishna called out “Jau Jau” from which means “Let’s go!”

Sceneries on Day 6 at Annapurna Base Camp Track
Sceneries on Day 6 at Annapurna Base Camp Track
Arrived at Machapuchare Base Camp on ABC Trek Day 6
Arrived at Machapuchare Base Camp on ABC Trek Day 6. view photo album

We saw a sign just as we passed the Machapuchare restaurant indicated that the ABC was only 1 hour to go. Little we know, it was the longest 1 hours we have ever felt during any days on the trek! We climbed another 430m in the snow, wind and fog. The low clouds mixed with fogs provided a very little visibility the further away we went.

We saw a lot of footprints in the snow and followed it. The wind were quiet strong and the rivers falls so loudly at some stage that we could barely hear anyone. But we did hear Krishna warned us to step away from the snow and to walk onto the grassy area. We saw him in the distance between the fog  with one arm waving at us and the other pointed to where we should be walking. We stepped off from the middle of snow path which were actually a frozen river that eventually lead into an opening of raging river that runs beneath the icy floor. We realised the danger of walking on that particular snow path and were glad to have heard Krishna on time.

Less than an hour to go until ABC
Less than an hour to go until ABC

Snow started to pour on the last half hour which worsen the condition of the track and added more dramatisation at the same time. We reached ABC (4,130m) around 5PM. The groups who have arrived before us cheered on us as we entered Annapurna guest house. We were given hot masala tea each which went down a treat. We looked out to where we trekked from and could absolutely see nothing. Although it was impossible for us to see any view that evening but we hoped that the sky shall clear in the morning. We were so happy with our accomplishment that night.

We celebrated our success in dining room with so many pizzas, chips and local beer which we shared with Krishna and the team.

Snow starting to pour and the fog gets heavier. Almost there
Snow starting to pour and the fog gets heavier. Almost there!
Annapurna Base Camp Lodge on 4,130m above sea level. Late afternoon, wet and foggy covered the views
Annapurna Base Camp Lodge on 4,130m above sea level. Late afternoon, wet and foggy covered the views. view photo album

Day 7: ABC to Bamboo (16.7km, 7hrs)

It was 5.30AM when we woke up  with great migraine accompanied with dizziness and nauseas. It was an altitude sickness symptoms. Yet we made it out of the bed and onto open ground to checked on the views. The were still no clear mountains views then. The clouds were quiet low which covered all 360 degree mountains. It was absolutely freezing cold. We rested a little longer whilst we discussed whether we should stay for another night in case of no clear view at all that day. We thought if we stay another day then we may have another chance for a better weather. After all the ABC was the reason for our hike, it would have been ashamed to miss out on the views. We tried to negotiate with the altitude sickness and coldness but we decided to leave the best medicine for it was to get onto lower ground as soon as possible.

It was less than an hour later when one of our porter, Muscle Man, knocked on our door and waved his arm frantically gesturing us to follow him immediately. We walked fast behind him into the open field and there it was! The 360 degree views of Annapurna sanctuary where we could see everything so clearly and in full definition. The sky were so clear and blue. It was a truly magical moment for us. It was all so spectacular wherever we turned and look. We were in awe with the mighty Himalayan mountain ranges that were peaking so high all around us.

We stood on 4130m above sea level which were half way to the Annapurna south. All mountain peaks circling us seemed so close that we could almost reached out to it. We were surrounded by amazing tall mountains that are amongst one of the highest mountain peak in the world. Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna III (7855m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Machapuchare (6993m) & Hiunchuli (6441m) were in the mix of the panoramic view. We were all smiles then, took so many photos and proud our effort to have reached this far. For a moment, we forgotten that it was a long 6 days to get up there. It was all well worth it in the end. Krishna and the porters were very excited for us as they too had big smiles on their faces. It was a victory for Krishna and the team as he have always hoped for the best results for all of his clients – he noted to us.

Once again we were in luck with the weather as the 1/2 hour pocket of clear view quickly dispersed as the clouds reappeared and swallowed the mountain peaks for the rest of the time we spent on the ABC. We got what we came for and we couldn’t be more satisfied with how the journey turned out for us.

Morning on Day 7 at Annapurna Base Camp
Morning on Day 7 at Annapurna Base Camp. view photo album

We took our time at breakfast time and left ABC at 10AM. It was a mixed feeling between accomplishment and sadness to leave. Yet it  such a relief to climb downhill as the migraine disappeared very quickly and we were less cold. It took us an easy hour to reached back to Machapuchare Base Camp again. We took our lunch break in Deurali 1 1/2 hour later. We enjoyed walking on the flat ground again between MBC and Deurali. There were more of uphill walk as we re-entered Himalaya and Dovan (which only took us another hour).

It was 5.30PM when we finally reached our day 7th accommodation in Bamboo (2310m). There we instant warmth compared to the ABC (obviously) and we all slept soundly without migraine.

We've waited for the clear view. Finally a nice sky for us and an amazing panoramic view of Annapurna Base Camp
We’ve waited for the clear view. Finally a nice sky for us and an amazing panoramic view of Annapurna Base Camp
South Annapurna face from the ABC
South Annapurna face from the ABC. view photo album

Day 8: Bamboo – Jhinu Danda (8.5km, 5hrs)

We left Bamboo (2310m) to Jhinu Danda (1780m) around 9AM. It rained last night resulted in a bit of muddy ground and slippery rocks for us.

Once we left Bamboo we had to climb up a little further before it was mainly flat then down to Upper Sinuwa (2360m). It’s where we stopped for a short morning break. We sat with some local ladies who were very polite and friendly. They sat next to us on the long bamboo chair and laugh with us.

Although we have left ABC, we were still able to look back to view the Fish Tail mountain and it’s surround.

Taking a break at Sinuwa with the nice locals
Taking a break at Sinuwa with the nice locals. view photo album

After lunch on Upper Sinuwa we walked down on a very steep rock stairs – which were quiet slippery and uneven. It was an hour of constant balancing ourselves on the cliff edge prior to Lower Sinuwa. We then crossed a brand new suspension metal bridge over a wide river before climbing stairs back to Chomrong. It was a good relief to go uphill to give our knees a break – although it was always harder for our stamina to go uphills.

On the way up to Chomrong, we saw an article on a shop window that was wrote in 2009 by the Time Magazine about a famous chocolate cake on Annapurna Trek. Krishna informed us that the actual cafe located just at the end of the dreaded stairs further uphill. The word ‘chocolate cake’ were enough to fuelled us to climb fast then. The cafe on the edge of the mountain has stoned terrace in front with many beautiful pot plants. The cafe which we couldn’t remember the name of also sells hot pizzas and fresh breads. It was 200rupee for each slice ($2.55) which was expensive for a third world country’s cake price. We were just happy bunch to have found a decent cafe somewhere on the mountain.

We took the cake away with us to our lunch stop back at Fishtail Guesthouse in Chomrong (we stayed here on night 4). We had a nice hot masala drinks with our cake that went down a treat. It was around 3PM when we finally walked down to Jhinu Danda (1780m). Once again there were many uneven rocky surface which we had to handle one step at a time so we didn’t have any fall on either side of the hills. The knees were deteriorating even further then, but it wasn’t too long until our next accommodation where we were promised a beautiful natural hot spring pool! It another hour until we reached the cute and colourful village of Jhinu Danda.

Jhinu Danda village were busier and had more buzz to it. There were many colourful pots and plants all around everyone’s houses and more shops to be seen. The weather were warmer but it was cool enough for us to walk down to the hot spring pool. The pool located on the bench of Modi Khola river. The path entered into a forest and downwards for at least 3o metres. There were a couple of big pools to shared with others along the river. The fee for the pool was 50rupee per person ($0.65) and we could stay as long as we like. It was an amazing reward after so many days of walking. The hot pool really helped us with our ache backs and legs.

The ultimate reward at ABC trek on Day 8. Natural hot spring pool amongst the natural landscape
The ultimate reward at ABC trek on Day 8. Natural hot spring pool amongst the natural landscape
Stayed at Jhinu Danda on Day 8
Stayed at Jhinu Danda on Day 8. view photo album

Day 9: Jhinu Danda – Birethanti (9km, 4hrs)

Rain in the distance. Half way to Birethanti
Rain in the distance. Half way to Birethanti. view photo album

Day 9 was our last full day of the trek. The track varied between steep rocky stairs downwards, crossing Modi Khola River and back to flat dusty ground just like Day 1.

We passed few more traditional villages and several terraced farm houses. We descended ourselves along the edge of Modi Khola river for an hour or so. We then stopped for lunch at Modi Khola Guesthouse in Syauli Bajar (1220m) which were not far from the New Bridge (Modi Khola suspension bridge between Ghandruk to Landrung).

After lunch we were rained on pretty heavily as we raced for another 2 1/2 hours towards Birethanti (1120m). Some stones path became slippery mixed with muddy ground. Our shoes and jacket were saturated upon our arrival at our last accommodation (Riverside Lodge). The lodge located on the river front where we could see the river from our bedroom window.

It was a an easy and relaxing day for us overall. There were lots of downwards steps but it wasn’t too strenuous. We enjoyed the mixed of cultural and natural walk that day. We tried the Nepalese local spirits for drinks with our dinner for the first time.

View from our bedroom lodge in Birethanti
View from our bedroom lodge in Birethanti

Day 10: Birethanti – Nayapul (1.1km, 2hrs) – Pokhara (1 1/2hrs car ride)

We took our time at breakfast table and packed our bags in slow motion. We knew that today was going to be the easiest day of all. We left our last accommodation around 9AM.

Whilst the route were actually very short, our guide has taken us the longer way so we may be able to enjoy the last day amongst the villages and still within the track. However, the trek became a little less adventurous as we had to share the track with public transports and even more of a dusty path.

Day 10. Back on the lower ground. Sharing track with locals and animals
Day 10. Back on the lower ground. Sharing track with locals and animals
Sunny day on the trek. Enjoying the last stretch of the Annapurna Base Camp Track
Sunny day on the trek. Enjoying the last stretch of the Annapurna Base Camp Track. view photo album

For lunch, Krishna took us to the Evergreen lodge and restaurant (also in Birethanti) which were located on top of Modi Khola river. From this restaurant we could view the river underneath us. It was a nice little restaurant where we had our last Dal Bhat meal on the trek. After lunch, we walked down to the river for a quick dip on the river pool. There were few local children hopped from one big rocks to another whilst a man on a higher pool section were fishing.

Once again, we shared the last few hundred metres with cars and it wasn’t too long until we reached Nayapul again where our pick up cars were already waited for us.

1 1/2hr car trip back to Pokhara
1 1/2hr car trip back to Pokhara

The 1 1/2 trip to Pokhara from Nayapul were windy and dusty. We entered the Pokhara edge of town very quickly and were seeing more commercial buildings again.

It was sad to have to said goodbye to our Nepal trek experience. We loved everything about it. From it’s nature beauty, the serenity, the locals to the other trekkers we have met along the way to it’s challenges we came across.We had no issues along the day thanks to Krishna and his crew. We were glad to have done this trek and extremely pleased with our efforts. 10 days came and gone in a blink of an eye. Yet the memories shall stay with us for the rest of our lives.

Back in Pokhara. View of the Himalayan mountains range from our hotel - Trekkers Inn
Back in Pokhara. View of the Himalayan mountains range from our hotel – Trekkers Inn. view album

What Did We Bring With Us?

Clothing: rainproof and windproof gear (jacket and pants), 2 quick dry short, 2 quick dry pants, 2 short sleeve active tops, 2 long sleeves active tops, 2 regular cotton tops, 1 thermal tops, 1 thermal pants, 1 down jacket, 1 active inner layer jacket/soft shell jacket, 1 fleece jacket, 1 fleece pants, lots of undies and socks (thick and thin), for woman active bras, hats, gloves, scarfs, beanies, Gortex hiking boots, walking sandals.

Equipments: day backpacks, hiking packs (60ml for a couple), backpacks rain proof covers, cameras, spare batteries, chargers, phone, walking poles, water bladders, quick dry towels, laundry soap bar, small soap liquid, cash.

1st Aid Kit: sunscreens, insects sprays, altitude sickness tablets, nauseas tablets, panadol, deep-heat (muscle/anti inflammatory gel), water purification tablets, lip balm, bandages, gauze pads, knee straps, ankle straps, antiseptic ointment, hand sanitiser, lots of pocket tissues, moisturisers, fresh/beauty wipes.

Emergency: whistles, emergency blankets, small torch.

Foods: main meals all inclusive (soft drinks also available at all restaurants).

Snacks: energy bars, mixed peanuts, chocolate bars, lollies.

Water: can be purchased in villages in mineral bottled form. Boiling water higher up the hike which we mixed with water purification tablets (1 tablet per litre).

 

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