Have you ever wanted to be surrounded by snow-capped mountains? To face a challenge where the only path is a 5416 metre mountain pass? To smell the purest fresh air and eat the most delicious apple crumble? The Annapurna Circuit is an absolutely stunning trek through the Nepalese Himalayas. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the beauty of a landscape. It is a challenge; a physically and mentally exhausting 21 days but it was worth every blister and every tear shed along the way.
I went to Nepal, a lone 26-year-old female, with one goal in mind - the circuit. I was on a limited budget, so decided against a tour company, guide or porter. It was just me and my backpack at the start of my adventure but at the end I was surrounded by close friends and many happy smiling faces.
I am not recommending doing what I did; I was extremely lucky to find a group of travellers and a guide on the bus to the drop off point, Besisahar. Without these people I would not have made it, I owe my entire experience and possibly my life to those friends and Amore, a local guide from Pokhara. Amore had one client on the trek but took us all under his wing. Having many years of experience on the trail he took us to the best tea houses with the cheapest rates, he held our hands and led us down slippery ‘extremely icy downs’, he always had a smile on his face and a tune to dance to and by knowing the mountains he had every confidence that we would make the pass. Making the pass became more and more important each day we walked. Fellow trekkers were returning from the higher altitude with news that snow had closed the pass, making it too dangerous to cross. With this in mind, the group was scared, it seemed impossible to turn around on this path after we had got so far. Amore had no doubt. The pass day included a huge ascent up fresh snow and an early start in the pitch black freezing hours of the morning. Without Amore, if I had got this far on my own, I would have had no idea of what to do or where to go. That day was one of my best and worst days of my life. It was like the weather held out until that very moment when we reached 5416 metres, the beauty of sunlight glistening on the perfect white snow with a clear blue sky and incredible mountain scenery vanished. The descent was greeted by a blizzard and the snow became muddy slush, an absolute nightmare. However, this is not a story of my adventures on the trail. It is a recommendation for you to have your own adventures on the Annapurna Circuit. If you start like I did, then I send you the best of luck but if you want to be a little bit more prepared and make the most of your trek, send Amore a Facebook message- he might even invite you round for some ‘garlic buttered chicken curry!’
Annapurna Circuit, Nepal. Catch a bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Here you can chill out, learn Buddhism, paraglide or meet up with Amore for a Rakshi while you sort out trekking permits and snacks for the journey. Then it's a bus ride to Besisahar to start your adventure.
Google map: bit.ly/wOQ4wB
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