Archive for December 10th, 2009

Annapurna Circuit

Annapurna Circuit

Sunrise at Poon Hill

Without a doubt the Annapurna  circuit is the most diverse  trek I completed in Nepal.  Certainly the scenery on Gokyo and Everest base camp were more spectacular, certainly the jungle areas  and crops of Langtang were more varied  but for a single trek that captures the diversity of Nepal – Annapurna is incredible.  From banana trees, to hard wood forest, to pine covered mountains, to sub-alpine tundra, to barren snow covered alpine passes, to desert in the rain-shadow, to apple orchards, to orange trees, to rice terraces, and back to banana trees once more. Certainly the road construction deters from the trek and many opted to fly out of Jomsom or take a jeep down when available, but with a competent guide, it is still possible to stay out of the ankle deep dust of the road,  In fact, that section of the trek, through now forgotten villages on the other side of the river, is really remarkable and having few tourist was an added bonus.

Tea house along the path

I had originally planed to hike into the “Sanctuary” (Annapurna base camp) as well, but after a 1600M decent my knee was less than happy and I was eating Ibuprofen like Chiclets.   So Angin and I simply slowed our pace and took a few rest days as we completed our circumnavigation of the massif.  Actually the trek is not a complete circle but rather about 300 degrees of a a circle. It is a few hundred kilometers regardless as you climb a valley, cross a pass and decend a valley.

Women who served up tea

The women in the photo walks an hour each morning and and hour each evening in hopes of selling a few cups of tea to the porters and maybe a tourist who pass by.  If the weather is to bad or if she has customers late in the day and it gets to cold she simply stays in the hut. Having tea, and talking to her was one of many trek highlights.  When I commented that she had a great little tea hut she laughed and laughed and said “Very smoky, roof  leak, very cold, many mice….but yes I am very fortunate and have good tea hut”.

Tibetan Women

As we climbed higher up the valley we met more and more Tibetan people who were living in exile in Nepal.

Washing clothes, chickens and feet

Cold on summit day

Working our way towards the pass at sunrise

All down hill from here

Hill town

Rain shadow side of mountain

Children of Kalbini

Hill county living

Plowing under lasts seasons rice

Avalanche – bodies inside not recovered

Bananas and Poinsettias

Wonderful guest house in hill country


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