Notes En Route From Pokhara to Kathmandu…

We’ll be spending the final three days of our adventure shopping and sight seeing in riotous and dusty Kathmandu, a world away from the peace and tranquility of our mountainous trek through the Annapurna region. I want to share some photos and notes while they’re still fresh in my mind…

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In all, we did the trek in 9 days and they were the most glorious and arduous days in my recent memory. For anyone interested in testing their mettle in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, I highly recommend Annapurna Base Camp (ABC). While I initially struggled with the weight of my pack, the rain, the holes in the ground that acted as toilets and the freezing cold guest houses, I soon gathered my resolve and focused on the goal: reaching ABC… and what a reward!

new3 photo 3 new6We spent days walking through the rainforests so lush that bamboo trees grow strong, thick trunks and lichen hangs in long strands from giant rhododendron trees. Rivers of ice blue glacial water cascade down long waterfalls against the mountainside. And all along, the Annapurna range sits in the background, a snowy contrast to the warmth and humidity of the forest.

new5 new4 new1Tea houses dot the trail and are a welcome haven. The trek is physically demanding and there’s nothing like a plate of momo’s or a hearty breakfast of boiled eggs and cornbread to fuel the next leg of the walk. Like I mentioned last week, I drank a lot of ginger tea which helped to keep inflammation down in my legs while keeping me warm on cold nights. I shored up my immune system with mushroom soup made with the most exotic mushrooms I’d ever seen and when I needed something more, I plopped some momo’s in my soup for a hearty meal.

In addition to offering up surprisingly good food, the tea houses are also guest houses. Actually, guest house is a ambitious name for what amounts to little more than a tin hut, often without electricity and always freezing cold. On the upside, candle lit meals are a cozy way to end your evening after a satisfying walk.

IMG_3193 Hot showers are not guaranteed, even if you pay the 150 Nepalese Rupees (about $1.50) for the opportunity to wash the sweat and the grime away. After a while though, the trek whittles the mind down to the most basic necessities and showers aren’t one of them. At least not up there. All you really need is food, water, and a place to sleep. I remain grateful to Fozzy for bringing his tent so that we had a place to rest in Deurali after finding out there was not one bed available at any of the tea houses…

It’s all worth it when you wake to a million stars on a pitch black night with no ambient light on ABC. The breathtaking beauty of that experience is only surpassed by the spectacular sunrise at such a height. The sun cresting over Machhapuchhre and Annapurna South makes them seem like they’re on fire.

These were not the only rewards along the way… we also met some great people, from trekkers to porters and young Nepalese boys selling guava fruit trailside. Each helped create a memory not soon forgotten. It has been the best trip of my life.

I hope you are all having a wonderful November.
xo
B

Share Your Thoughts...

21 comments on “Notes En Route From Pokhara to Kathmandu…

  1. Denyse

    I so appreciate your taking time to let your fans know how you are doing and about your unique experiences. What beautiful photos. How thoughtful of you to share your challenging “vacation” trip — writing to us even when you are not at home. I enjoy your newsletter and eagerly look forward to it each Monday. Be safe. And continue having a fabulous time. See your entries when you return home.

    Reply
  2. Milton

    Thanks, Barbara – like all your faithful readers (and viewers!) I can’t get enough of your photos and, especially, personal descriptions and reflections.

    Reply
  3. Holly McCormick

    It all looks incredible and I love reading about your experiences along the way. You are truly inspiring to us all. Still trying to get over the holes in the ground for toilets though…yikes! That takes the Manhattan out of the girl right there…you’re my hero!

    Enjoy your last few days. Can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back.

    Reply
    1. Barbara Mendez R.Ph. M.S. Post author

      Brian! Do I get my JV letters now? 🙂 Next up is Annapurna Circuit but not for another couple of years… need to recover from the 32 our travel day which in some ways was more arduous than the trek~
      Hope all is well with you!

      Reply

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