Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp

Has anyone told you that trekking is hard? Because it is. It is exhausting, and you can feel every single one of your muscles.  It is so completely worth it, though.  The views alone, throughout the Trek and at Annapurna Base Camp, were absolutely stunning.

I am not going to lie- I was definitely unprepared for a trek. I have never been on a trek before, and when I packed my bag (a year ago?) I did not pack with trekking in mind- I probably wouldn’t have even thought to have gone if my friend Liz hadn’t told me she was going, and I decided to join her.

Day 1:

Dhampus to Himal Pani

12.4 Miles

Altitude Gain: ~100 meters

After spending the night in Pokhara, buying maps and rain coats, and attempting to plan our route, we woke up early so we could leave by 6am.  We took a cab from Pokhara to Dhampus, and had a quick breakfast there before heading off. Our original plan had us spending the night in Pothana, but we decided to keep going.  We stopped for lunch in Tolka, where there was a nice Nepali family, lots of school children, and 2 adorable little kittens.

After lunch, we hit the trail again, passing through tons of waterfalls, and attempting to avoid getting leeched. I somehow convinced Liz that we should push onwards, all the way to Himal Pani, where we promptly got hot chocolate, dinner, and fell asleep around 8pm.

 

Day 2:

Himal Pani to Chhomrong

6.6 Miles

Altitude Gain: ~840 meters

Day 2 was a bit rough for us, as it was a lot of uphill.  We hiked from Himal Pani to Jhinudanda, and decided to go down to the hot springs, which was a terrible decision.  The hot springs were under construction, and we wasted a lot of energy going down there and then back up.

We made to to Chhomrong, and decided (over a cup of hot chocolate) to rest there for the night instead of continuing.  At this point, either exhaustion or altitude was starting to hit us, and we played the funniest game of Go Fish I had ever played.

 

Day 3:

Chhomrong to Dobhan

8.9 Miles

Altitude Gain: ~400 meters

After a having a cup of coffee and watching the sunrise over the mountains, we headed off, with the goal of making it to at least Bamboo.  This stretch of the hike was all up and down through the woods, and although it was tiring, we made much better time than we had the day before.

Once we got to Bamboo, we decided to keep going, making it to Dobhan. Our diets at this point consisted of noodle soup, snickers, and hot chocolate, with the occasional fried egg or toast.  We had not budgeted that well before leaving, apparently.

Day 4:

Dobhan to M.B.C.

8.3 Miles

Altitude Gain: ~1,180 meters

We got up early and decided that we wanted to make it to Machhapuchhre Base Camp (M.B.C. for short). We managed to get to Deurali without any problems, despite some sketchy ‘bridges’, which were really just logs pushed together over the river.  After a long lunch in Deurali, we somehow found the energy to keep going to M.B.C, but it was rough.

The exhaustion (and altitude?) was really hitting us, and we were doing crazy things to stay motivated like talking to trees and rocks.  At one point, we even started singing 99 bottles.  We were beyond happy by the time we made it to the top.

Day 5:

M.B.C. to A.B.C.

3.3 Miles

Altitude Gain:~400 meters

Although some people we talked to along the trail only went up to Annapurna Base Camp (A.B.C. for short) for sunrise before heading back down, we wanted to stay the night.  We woke up for sunrise at M.B.C, and had a slow morning before hiking to A.B.C.

Although the hike was short, it took a lot of energy, given the altitude was about 4130 meters at the highest point.  At the top we enjoyed the view (even the view from our room was amazing!) and drank lots of hot chocolate (a theme throughout this trip).  We were just insanely happy to have finally made it to the top.

Day 6:

A.B.C. to Sinuwa

14.3 Miles

We woke up early to watch the sunrise over Annapurna, which is a view that I will never forget.  It was so beautiful, so peaceful, so cold, and I loved it.

We were running pretty low on money at this point (there are no ATMS on the trail), so we wanted to make it down the mountain as fast as we could.

The downhill was a lot harder on our joints, and I managed to twist my ankle for the 525070 time, but we somehow managed to make it to Bamboo in time for lunch.  At Bamboo, we made the hard choice to continue on, despite the fact that we knew there would be both uphill and downhill ahead.  I was pretty spiteful towards the stairs, and that really fueled me, so we somehow made it to Sinuwa.

Day 7:

Sinuwa to Pokhara

16.3 Miles

This was probably the longest day ever.  We wanted to make it out of the mountains and back to Pokhara before dark, so we really pushed ourselves.  There were so many stairs, guys, I can’t even tell you.

I fell at least twice, and we were convinced we were going the wrong way multiple times.  I almost cried when we made it to Siwai, where there are jeeps that take you to Pokhara.  We hit the ATM’s as soon as we got back, and treated ourselves to an ice cold beer and Calzones.

So was it worth it? Of course! The views were incredible, and the hike, although painful, was definitely rewarding in the end.  Honestly, even though I was exhausted the entire time, it made me want to do more trekking and hiking.

Have you ever been on a trek? Are you planning one? Tell me about it in the comments below!

2 Comments

  1. Suzanne Tuck

    November 13, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Sarah, love reading about your adventures!

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