Pokhara – Nayapul – Kyumi
Our hotel organised a taxi for us to be picked up at 9am and take us to Nayapul. Most people take a jeep from there to Birethanti, but we chose to walk the stretch instead. Just when we thought that we were lost, we realised we were already in Kyumi.
The first night we spent at Bright Guest House, and made a friend – 9 year old Krittika who speaks excellent English and goes to boarding school in Pokhara.
Kyumi – Jhinu
This day was pretty hard as you walk up mountain steps for most of the day. It was a bit discouraging to find out that after walking for 5 hours, we had only completed 5km. Still, the surroundings are so beautiful that we were fine with taking it slow.
Still we reached Jhinu just before it rained and spent the night talking football with two Argentinian trekkers. One thing we noticed pretty soon is that the teahouses are like hostels, you end up meeting and talking to a lot of people who are more than happy to share tips about the trek or travelling other countries in general. Actually, thinking of it this was one of my favorite parts of the trek.
Jhinu – Chomrrong
Climbing even more steps this day, it was amazing to find out that there was a treahouse at the top that served chocolate cake. Chomrrong Cottange is the place to be, and they have amazing pizzas (!) too.
Once you get up, you actually start descending towards a bridge that needs to be crossed before ascending towards Sinuwa. Right before reaching the bridge I fell over and messed up my ankle. I knew this would happen, so brought a LOT of painkillers etc and with a few of Mat’s reiki sessions, I was ready to continue the walk next day.
Chomrrong – Bamboo
This is where things get basic. Your’re leaving the villages behind and venture into a bamboo forest. Really beautiful settings and the path is constantly changing from here on.
This is also where it gets COLD. I was always a shit Norwegian and absolutely hate being cold, so would advise everyone to bring some good woolies for this part of the trek as it’s hot during the day, but freezing in the night. Bamboo is also where some people might start experiencing some signs of altitude sickness. There are pills you can take for this, but to be honest we found the side effects a bit OTT and chose to go without. If you listen to your body and make sure you stay well hydrated you should be fine. We brought electrolyte pacs and shared a liter of the mixture every day.
Bamboo – Macchapuchhare Base Camp
We set out early in the morning for the final leg of the trek. This part is really beautiful and it wasn’t actually until we reached the snowy valley right underneath Macchapuchhare mountain that I realised what we’ve actually ventured out on.
There are a few avalanches here, so listen to local advice and try not to cross them alone. Trekkers do sometimes disappear in the mountains, so have respect for the natural forces.
We reached MBC early afternoon and were really happy to see Nina & Ola, the Swedish couple we’ve been spotting along the way in our teahouse. Just as we walked in, it started to snow & hail and it was great to finally be inside.
MBC is a strange place, it feels totally crazy to be this close to the top of the mountain you can see all the way from Pokhara. Some people even felt a bit claustrophobic as you feel as though you’re standing in a mountain amphitheatre. Pretty stunning views and totally worth the walk up.
Most people spend the night at MBC, then continue to Annapurna Base Camp at dawn, in order to be there at sunrise. In the morning I felt terrible, dealing with altitude sickness and a cold so I never went the last couple kms, Mat, Nina & Ola made it though.
Mat’s dad had a life wish to go to Nepal, so we made sure a part of him joined us in the mountains.
The trip down, went pretty fast. Mostly because we took a route where you can get a jeep from about half the way. Still to get there, you have to cross a few dodgy bridges – a great metaphor for life!
It felt awesome to have completed the trek and spent some time in the Nepalese sacred mountains. You really get close to the people here.
And see some pretty crazy things. Like how they transport chickens up to the areas where meat is allowed.
It’s taken me ages to type this up, mainly cause we’ve been in Bali for the past two months and I’ve been busy with scuba, free diving, tanning and having a general great time. We found it quite hard to get good information on the trek before we went, do get in touch if you have any questions