11/04/09 – 11/06/09: Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Day 1: Besisahar to Bhulbhule (2.5 hours)
After arriving in Besisahar at around 3pm, we decided to skip the bus to Bhulbhule and walk to the trek’s starting point ourselves. We figured it would be a good warmup and we could get used to the bags we are going to be carrying.
The trek itself was very flat and it offered some gorgeous mountain views, especially as the sun was setting. We learned quickly that Zhou’s shoes are not waterproof when she steps in ankle-deep water. Somehow that tricky H2O just goes right in over the tops of the shoes. We also learned that you should not bring bags that you can’t wear like a backpack. Zhou’s over-the-shoulder camera bag is a pain to carry despite being relatively light. It’s almost easier carrying a 35 pound pack designed for backpacking than to carry the camera bag.
Here’s a few of our favorite pictures from the day:
Day 2: Bhulbhule to Ghermu (5.5 hours)
We’re beginning to learn a lot about our trekking abilities now, as today’s trek took us from 840 meters above sea level to about 1,300 meters up, before heading back down to 1,130 meters. That’s a lot of up and down for two people who just spent 49 days getting absolutely no exercise in Africa.
The hardest part for me though has been getting used to the sunscreen we bought for this trek. We didn’t want to waste the good three ounce stuff that we can carry on to the plane, so we bought a cheap bigger tube in Kathmandu. It’s just too bad that we didn’t see a key word on the front of the package: radiant. This stupid sunscreen glitters more than a bad Mariah Carey movie! I feel like a Chinese gymnast when I’m wearing it, but unfortunately I have no choice. The sun really beats down on you during the days, and I’m sure it’s only going to get worse as we trek higher up in the mountains.
Day 3: Ghermu to Tal (7.25 hours)
Nothing says beautiful trek in Nepal like the constant sound of jackhammers. We did read about this before coming to Nepal but were still a little surprised to actually see it in action. They are building roads through this region, and in about two years some of the beauty of the ACT will be marred by diesel engines, road rage and crazy Nepalese drivers.
Usually the construction was across the river from us, but at one point we were forced to detour across a makeshift rickety bridge to avoid getting smashed by rocks like Koopa Troopa cruising Chaco Mountain. Once we stumbled safely across the temporary death trap, we were forced into an unnecessary 30 – 40 meter climb, only to soon descend and cross the river again, this time over a sturdier bridge. Although the extra climbing did not seem to matter at the time, by the end of the day it had taken its toll on the both of us, and I was even able to sleep in the room infested with huge spiders around 1,700 meters above sea level.
Pictures of the Day: We’re really supposed to drink this red water?
Oh, I guess we are…