Around Annapurna Circuit

Nepal Travel Blog

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I took the more popular counter-clockwise route, starting in Besisahar and ending in New Bridge near Pokhra. There are regular buses running from Kathmandu and Pokra to Besisahar, the starting point for most trekkers on this route.

Before the Thorung La pass, we were walking besides the Marsyangdi river and valley and after the pass it was along Kali Gandaki river and valley, these are the 2 major rivers of Nepal originating from the Annapurna range.
After the 2nd days walk the Marsyangdi valley becomes a V shape and the rivers roar increases in volume. Waterfalls either spill down tall vertical cliffs in thin tendrils, or gush down a series of cascades.

At the end of 2nd day we entered a petite valley surrounded by high cliffs. A tall waterfall at one end and when we reached the top of the waterfall were greeted by a small open space just enough for a village of Tal with the river coursing through the middle.
Over the next few days the trail re-crosses the Marsyangdi river a number of times and we gradually gain altitude, all the time struggling to go up and then agonizingly going down losing the height gained. Its up mountain, down mountain, up mountain and down mountain all the way. Nepali's believe in the geometrical fact that the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line irrespective of whether there is a mountain in between or a river or a lake. :-)
    We were greeted by the first snowfall at Manang and for the next 4 days we were walking in ankle deep to over knee deep of snow.
Once reached the Thorung La pass we were greeted with a tiny tea shop and fluttering strings of multi-colored Tibetan prayer flags. Its extremely windy here and bitterly cold so after hurriedly taking photos to record our achievements, we started to descend quickly into the Kali Gandaki valley. Its an exhausting 7 hours, knee-numbing, toe crushing walk down 1700 meters over snow, pebbles and in parts parches of ice.
After completing the descend we reached a place called Muktinath (Translates literally to Freedom). All this while I was not affected by AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) caused by high altitude, but immediately after reaching Muktinath was affected by ABS (Acute Beer Sickness) :-)

Rest of the trek was more easier and relaxed with proper roads built and regular traffic.
Another highlight of the trek is the natural hot water springs at Tatopani. These hot springs are believed to have medicinal properties, takes away all the pains in the body, knees and you feel refreshed.
My 16 days trek finally ended at Pokhra, a small town but full of tourists, shops, restaurants and makes you feel you are back to civilization. In this short period I experienced the "high" of crossing 5416 meters Thorung La, affected by ABS immediately after coming down to Muktinath (freedom, rebirth etc etc.) tramped through the stark beauty of Manang, glimpsed the vibrant Buddhist culture and witnessed the distinct architecture. All in all was sated with the sights, sounds and experiences of the Annapurna region.
aquaholicme2 says:
Yup, it sure was an amazing experience, hiking for about 15 days around Annapurna, crossing the Thorung La pass. In some places there was so much snow, even the photos looked like black & white pics.
Posted on: Jul 09, 2008
mrvis says:
Must be great walking there!
Posted on: Jul 09, 2008
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