“Namaste!” It means “Hello” in Nepali, the word we commonly said when we went climbing for 3 weeks around Annapurna, which is a section of the Himalaya mountain range. The experience was amazing. It is true that climbing the Annapurna Circuit is the best trek in the world. The experience was breath taking–literally and figuratively.
On 2 May 2012, We arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal from Bangkok, Thailand. We spent 3 days in the capital of Nepal to obtain our two types of permits from government. While in Kathmandu we bought trekking supplies to survive up in the mountains and left our non-essential belongings at the hotel for free. We also ate at interesting restaurants. There were many signs that were selling STDs.
We went to the convenient store and bought a total of $140 (two people) in supplies for ~21 days of trekking. Here is a picture of our food and misc. stash:
My most prized trekking equipment was my super awesome Suunto Core watch that has an altimeter, barometer, storm alarm, sunrise and sunset timing. I use the altimeter to figure out how high we are up in the mountains to gauge how close we are to the next village. I use the barometer to read the change of the pressure in the atmosphere, allowing me to know when the weather is going to change, I use the storm alarm system to notify me when there is going to be a heavy rain storm. My watch also tells me when the sun will rise and set, allowing me to figure out when we can start trekking early in the morning to when to settle down before sunset.
We started our trek from Besisahar and on average we would trek around 8 to 11 hours per day. We met interesting locals and foreigners along the way and created memorable experiences.
Trekking in Nepal was the real deal. We got closer to nature than ever before. The experience was extreme and dangerous. The excitement is always there. There were many live or die moments. Together as a team we calculated the altitude and recalibrated altitue readings, read maps, checked the compass, etc. In one day we faced all 4 seasons within 5 hours. Blazen sun, strong winds, rain, and heavy snow when we trekked from Manang to Gunsung.
Overall it was a great experience and would recommend it to every traveler. Although I’m burnt from trekking and decided to take a break from doing any treks for a while–phew!