Sunday, January 22, 2017

My Amazing Journey to Annapurna Base Camp -Day 2

6 November 2016 -Today will be the first day of my amazing 7 days trek! I probably slept for 4 hours the night before. The bed was comfortable, the room temperature was just nice, my body was a little tired but as usual when I am travelling to a new place, I have problem sleeping or probably I was just too excited and anxious of the next line up. Right after breakfast, Alana and I decided to have a quick stroll by the lake. It was very peaceful and calming effect over here in Pokhara. I love how everything are structured here. The weather was simply perfect when I was there. And the best part of waking up is to look out of my hotel room window as my eyes were feasted with beautiful Annapurna Himalayan range from Fishtail to Annapurna South. The panoramic view from the rooftop of any guesthouse alone is a joy to my soul. I can just stand and stare at her beauty for hours. However, my excitement was short-lived as I have bigger goal to achieve here. I am on my way for an amazing 7 days journey of trekking into remote areas at the mountains and hopefully at the end I will finally witness and placed my two feet at the Annapurna Base Camp! My mission is about to start and boy I was excited!!!  

The calm Phewa Lake at Pokhara in the morning sunrise

Alana and I just had our stroll beside the lake and we are waiting for our taxi to send us to the Registration office which only open at 10am.

look at Fishtail at the back of this Guesthouse..amazing!

Ready, D? Let's go !
Today mark the beginning of my trek and from this moment of, my mind was thinking one and only one mission which was to reach Annapurna Base Camp and return safely. Since everything was planned by Amigo Trek & Expedition, my guide Himal and porter, Basantha basically took care of our registration, lodging, meals, wellbeing and transportation. First we need to register at the Registration office just opposite the Police Station. Our driver droves us there which was just 10 minutes from our hotel. 

Payment for the permit fee is 2,000 NR  and it is included in the package (if you engaged the trek with a guide and porter. normally for 7-9 days trek it will cost you approximately USD500-600++). 

At the registration counter,,we are the first few that arrived for registration on the trekking permit and national park fees

The process was quick and fast to get the permit since we were one of the early birds, within minutes, we are off to Nayapul. After 10 minutes drive and on our way to Napayapul, as usual, our guide, Himal will always remind us by asking this favorite Q - You got your passport with you? . Even though I just placed my passport in my file case before I went into the car, I couldn't help it but to just unzip my backpack and check again if my passport was really there. ok it was there..but suddenly I heard Alana shouted and said that her passport was not with her. ok panic started to kicks in but we told her to calm down and help her checked all the bags. then she remembered the counter registration reception didnt pass the passport to her after getting the permit. So we de-tour and went to the registration office again. During that ride, silence was the only company we had..Alana was worried that she looked restless. Then we just kept consoling her. immediately upon arrived, Himal went to check and Yes it was there..thank god. Alana`s expression turned 180 degree from worry to sigh of relief. I will too if it was me. 

Then, our 2 hour ride was welcomed by the beautiful surroundings of paddy fields and snow capped mountains. By 1215pm we finally reached Nayapul.

At the back of a food stall where we stop for loo break
rapid river flowing fiercely. 

i love the sound of the river stream on a hot sunny day..make me feel like i am in a zen mode. 

Passed by hanging bridge with beautiful turquoise river

The First Check Post at Kaski before starting our long trek

Kids playing football
We walked and walked under the scorching hotsun till it was 2pm and we stopped for lunch at Syauli Bazaar and then continue our trek to this beautiful Gurung village. Along the way, seems like I am the only one was busy snapping picture and admiring the surrounding beauty. I will normally stop to check out the unique scene that i normally dont see it anymore or have not seen it before. The rest was busy walking and I normally will ask them to go ahead first when they turned to check out if i am far off behind. The beauty of trekking is everyone have their own phase. And you dont have to rush or go too slow unless the weather stops you. That's how you connect with the nature and admire the scenic landscape. My knees who have been bothering me prior to this trip for weeks seems to behave really obediently. I am more than pleased and grateful to the Almighty for this miracle. Either my glucosamine intake has been working or my knee guards did a little help or it was just the pain decided to go away and let me have my moment during this trek. I am equally blessed and grateful for this. 
met this lady sitting down and she said come..take a photo.

the mini waterfall.. yeah my frens asked you dressed to hike..why not? fedora hat by cotton on RM6 was a steal deal. 

My porter Basantha (left) kept looking if the man made swing are safe..I, just wanna be a kid again .. :P

The thing about food in Nepal it is nothing short of delicious and yummy..but the preparations will takes time because they dont normally pre-cooked, all are normally cook upon order so your food are served hot and I guess to avoid wastage. While waiting for my dhal bhat, I just walk around and saw this young kids wandering around on a Sunday afternoon. 

kids at 

my Dhal bhat meal. bottom of the cracker / appalam is a scoop of rice. :) 

Then we continued our trek after meal and rest. The journey today took almost 5 hours where there a lot of uptrend passing by paddy fields and small villages which really reminded me of my Mount Sapa trek at Hanoi, Vietnam in 2009 only now the weather was super hot. But it is far more better than if its raining.. haha

paddy field
dont worry for loo break.. you can always stop at any stalls or some of Himal's friends house.where toilet is outside of the house.. haha
then it was terrace of paddy field.

I love this quaint Gurung village settlement.. from the fence, the house, the roof..back to basic

the lady in red on the left is heavily pregnant and look like it due soon but she is one tough human and still do what she has to do. we used to see this in Kampung but now are working mum in corporate world.
then there are more kids we met along the way.. particularly this boy named Raj. speaks good english and chatty..haha

Himal unleashed his childhood dream.. 

If you want to experience the countryside of Nepal, this will be another alternative. The farming land with their culture and almost back to basic area. 

stop for the view. just 2 hours ago, I was there in that tiny houses settlement on my right. 

 a local old man sitting down relaxing. 

from cows to horses to mule, these animals are the source of their farming sustainability. 

its a house with dried corns ..not sure for deco or to feed the chicken
the long trek we had and it is now so small as we reached the other side
ascending and descending//so we knew if we are going downhill then soon we will going uphill 

all those blue rooftop of houses in Ghandruk

and we are almost reaching to Ghandruk where we will be staying in tonite. A little jaded. 

100% yak wool..but surprisingly the prices here are super expensive compare to in Thamel. Lucky I didnt get any from here since I will be trekking but I realized that when I was in Thamel at the end of the 2 days trip. 
This tree ooze such remarkable artistic 'scratch'

And finally after 5 hours, we arrived at this beautiful village of Ghandruk about 1,940m. slightly cold especially it is started to get dark. 

local old lady smiling even though she just climbed few hundred stairs..Nepalese are friendly. all you need is to greet Namaste to break the ice!

Finally arrived, we will be staying in this Guesthouse. Hotel Mountain view
Check in process was quite fast too as Himal already booked the room in advance for us. 

Unpacked and since the whole afternoon we trek on a scorching sun and drenched in sweat, i decided to take a shower. 
I braced myself to take the cold shower as there were no water heater. Oh my, it was a wrong move but since I already decided I just hold myself and within minutes, I was shivering and my whole body shake uncontrollably.  Alana could even hear me shivers from outside of the bathroom. thank god my hair is short so it dried faster.. but boy I didnt expect the water was this cold..burrrrrrrr....was quite hungry and cold, so we decided to head to the restaurant for some hot drinks. I normally dont drink tea/coffee but over here it was exceptional and I had hot ginger honey lemon tea before our dinner an hour later. The wait was real..hahaha  
i ordered vegetarian momo.. it was sort of dumpling with cabbage and carrots in it.. quite nice. but i couldnt finish it, lucky Himal and Basantha was there to finish it up even though they dont eat with us. the porters and guides only eat after their guests finished eating. its their culture to let the guests eat first. 

Alana already went to bed as she was jetlag. I on the other hand couldnt sleep so was chatting with them and did some sketches and penned something for my travel journal..because wifi doesnt work here hahaha

Then about 9pm, I decided to go to bed. so I went to rooftop and the skies were filled with stars but it was so cold and windy that i couldn`t set my go-pro properly as my hand were shaking. within few minutes after admiring the beauty I decided to go inside my room. and that was my Day 2 of this amazing journey to Annapurna Base camp.. 

Till then, will update on Day 3 soon!. if you missed..the link for Day 1, please click HERE. 


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