Hiking in the Annapurna Region
Pokhara Travel Blog› entry 3 of 10 › view all entries
October 15th, 2000 – by: Chelsea
We spent the night in a place called Birethanti, I think. We hadn't planned to stay here, and there wasn't anywhere to set up camp, so we were put up in various rooms all over the village. My room was hardly bigger than the bed that was in it, but it was cozy. It had a low roof, and even I (being just over 5 feet tall) had to stoop a bit to get in. A tall wax candle illuminated the dusty pink walls, and the wooden window shutters were closed to keep out the cold.
The next morning, the air was crisp.
Today, we had a long, easy hike across level paths that winded through terraced paddies. Having just left Birethanti, we were now on our way to Gandruk, 1931m above sea level. We were supposed to be heading to Ghorepani that day, but the rain and yesterday's events had delayed us, so we had to change our route.
We hiked easily for a few hours, always with a magnificent view of Mt.
At the time I visited, Macchapurchhre had never been climbed. Many people had tried, but none were successful; so, it was considered a holy mountain. I believe it's now illegal to try climbing it, actually. The Buddhists believe there's a golden cow at the top of the mountain that prevents people from reaching the summit.
In contrast, Annapurna, which came into view later on that day, has been climbed and it was apparently the first 8000m peak to be summited.
I don't think I had ever witnessed poverty until I got here. It was so unfathomable for me that people spent their whole lives living in poverty. We watched as ladies in mud houses laid their crying babies down on dusty hand-weaved mats on the floor.
The second half of the day was a more difficult hike, since there was a lot of going uphill. The paths seemed to never end. We would get to the top of a hill -- thinking it was the top -- only to realise that it was the start of yet another impossibly steep hill. We began to wonder why we couldn't go around the hills instead of constantly climbing up and down; but we soon realised it was worth the effort.
After passing by about fifty donkeys (who were better dressed than any of us), at around five in the afternoon, we reached our next camp. As evening fell upon our camp, the massive white hulk of Annapurna South rose above all the other mountains, and lights from villages sparkled on the other side of the valley.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!