Saturday, 19 April 2008


Well we’re back from our adventure. We had an amazing and very tiring time trekking. We were away from Kathmandu for about 12 days in total. Kathmandu to Pokhara is an 8 hour bus journey, depending on how long it takes to get in and out of Kathmandu (we queued for 3 hours to get across one junction when getting back), although it’s probably only about 100 miles. So we spent the first day of our holiday sat on a bus.

Pokhara itself is a large town with a very touristy bit known as lakeside, unsurprisingly by the lake. It’s quite nice, as it’s much quieter and more relaxed than Kathmandu. We were able to chill out here for a day and a half before starting our trek, during which time we bumped into a large number of teachers and pupils from our school who had all escaped at the first opportunity.

Our trek involved a nine day walk, 5 and a half up and 3 and a half back down. Although separating the up and down so distinctly was certainly not our experience. We quickly learnt that going downhill in Nepal always involves some uphill, and vice versa. However after 5 days of mostly uphill walking, the seven of us who were aiming for Annapurna Base Camp (ABC), our 3 porters and our Nepali guide, Sam, arose at 5am to trek the last 400 metre accent to ABC.

Once we arrived at ABC the views were absolutely stunning. We’d all spent the preceding 5 days taking more and more photos as we grew closer to the mountains and the views improved, but they were all outdone by the pictures we were able to take that morning at ABC. The photo at the top is of our group there.

ABC is in a glacial valley and is surrounded by the peaks that make up the Annapurna range, including Machupucure, which is commonly known as Fish Tail (no prizes for guessing why). Even at 4,100 metres we were still only just half way up the tallest mountain, Annapurna One, which at 8,075 metres is the tenth highest peak in the world.

As we were returning back down-ish the mountain we started to hear news of the election. It had occurred on day 4 of our trek but as we were beyond the highest permanently inhabited town by that point we saw absolutely nothing. It had gone relatively peacefully and smoothly. The news that surprised us most was the initial results were suggesting a big victory for the Maoists. This is being confirmed as more and more results come in and it looks like when the final results are counted they could have a decent majority. If you’d like to know more about the election and what the results entail for the country check out the BBC’s very good coverage on their South Asia section.

So we’ve made it back alive, fitter than when we left and only half eaten by bugs and leeches! We survived despite avalanches (thankfully all at a safe distance) and the potential of falling of cliff edges (no mean feat, as any who know our respective sense of balances will appreciate) and altitude sickness (nobody in our group showed any significant signs although we did see a number of people being carried back down). Now it’s back to school on Monday.

back to school on Monday.body in our group showed any significant signs although we did see a number of people being carried bDan & Becky AKA Experienced Trekkers.

Dans Photos

Beckys Photos

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That has got to be one of the journey's of a lifetime! Personally, I have moved past phase I (jealousy) and am now firmly into phase II, (vaguely delusional, thinking about getting fit for the next trek). Somehow I sense those days are gone!