Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Annapurna Base Camp

Namaste all!

Since my last post I have been hanging out at HACERA farm for a bit before heading out to trek around Nepal. Nepal is famous for the trails it has through mountains and forests. Not only do they go through the highest mountains in the world and some of the most diverse forests, there are also special trails called “teahouse treks”. Teahouse treks are trails which have small collections of hotels strung along the otherwise fairly untouched path. So, you can take only a light backpack and walk for literally weeks in the mountains, staying in lodges the entire way. No need to carry heavy tents or food!

I first decided to walk around the Langtang range but that didn’t really work out. There was lots of rain, and part of the trail was collapsed. Lots of rain also means no views of the mountains! I turned around and made my way to the Annapurna Range, which is a more popular tourist destination. It’s a little more developed and the weather was a little better. I met up with a Korean guy by accident and we decided to go together into the center of the national park. We decided to walk right up to the feet of the biggest mountain, into what is called “The Sanctuary”. It is so named because it is a basin surrounded by peaks, with only one entrance.

In total I took ten days inside the park, usually walking about 6 hours a day with my backpack. Without further delay, here are some photos :-).

Me looking ridiculous in front of a suspension bridge. There are many of these, and often ice cold glacial water is raging underneath. On a warm day it's not bad but when the weather is cold and cloudy you can imagine falling through the rickety boards and not making it out...

Sheep! Although this is a national park, there are quite a few people living inside making a living.

A picturesque little Nepali town in the morning. Most of the town's money probably comes from the tourist industry. In the morning it was amazing to see the sun come up over the mountains, then ten minutes later the entire place flooded with fog as the dew evaporates.

View of Annapurna South at night, with a full moon. I stayed two days at Annapurna Base camp; the foot of the tenth tallest mountain in the world, 8091m. The base came is about halfway up at 4031m.

After my hike I went back to HACERA neighborhood, did a quick course about Permaculture then headed up to Namo Buddha Resort, just a little broken hearted. I'm hanging out at NBR these days, ostensibly as the farm manager, or so I'm told. Sometimes I feel like the general in War and Peace who knows the best thing he can do is show approval when his lieutenants suggest something. But it's a great chance here to practice the cycle of permaculture redesign. So I'll be staying here at least 4 or 5 months, with a break to travel around with my Dad during the Christmas season. It should be interesting!

Hanging out with the Himalayan Magpies and wondering about the names of the common weeds of Nepal,
This has been a note from Yours Truly,