Wednesday, December 8

Annapurna Circuit Trek - Part I

With no guide or porters, mind you. In my view, unless you are disabled, old, or traveling with your mother, you shouldn't go with a porter. I will grant you a guide if you are traveling alone. I am superior and presumptuous like that.

First of all, here are the GPS waypoints collected by Marian (aka Duracell) throughout the trip.

Click to view the map of Annapurna Circuit in a larger map

Day 0. Kathmandu
When the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have Everest on the right side"

I think the weight shifted to the right, pretty much how this guy in Kathmandu looks.

I do not really want to talk about Kathmandu because it is everything I had expected of a truly asian town and more. It is dirty, crowded, poor, stinky, loud. I hated it. Compared to Kathmandu, Bangkok is a sparkling clean metropolis and a temple of silence.

We payed an overpriced 20 US per room at the Acme guesthouse - the actual good thing about it was that somebody picked us up from the airport (which by the way looks and feels like a malaysian deserted railway station), and after a welcome Nepalese tea we procedeed to get the necessary forms and permits required for the trek. I do not know what they put in that tea but we had an amazing SPEED in doing everything. And when I say speed I really mean lightning speed.

Took cab to the trekking permit agency (200RS) [it is no longer next to the Fire and Ice pizza house] and there we bought two permits: the ACAP conservation permit [2 pics needed, 2000RS] and the TIMS card [another 2 pics and another 1400RS].

These were the sights on our way to a photo studio to get the extra 2 pics that we didn't have:

At the photostudio, the guys there were actually photoshoping an inked stamp out of a photo of a Bin Laden looking arab guy (together with beard and turban). Weird and spooky at the same time.

Believe it or not, somebody is living in that car.

After the speed of rushing for the permits, taking photos, hauling and negotiating with cabbies, we relaxed with a pizza each (this trip is all about long walks and a LOT of food) at the Fire and Ice pizza house. Our trip was going to start the next day. Excited, we were!

Day 1. Kathmandu - Besi Sahar
But first ... the bus ride from hell. We bought a 600RS each bus ticket to Dumre, following that after that we were to take a bus from Dumre to Besi Sahar. It is the second bus ride that I want to talk about. The first one was un-eventful, with only the spotting of goats on buses. Yes. And people, and luggage. But goats?!

Anyway, the second bus ride found us in a local bus that we haggled to the bone. This involved us actually getting ourselves in another bus, together with our backpacks, only to get down again when they tried to increase the price. In the end we took a local bus for 500RS (for all) to Besi Sahar. We had: nursing babies, kids sitting on the floor, people smoking marijuana on the bus, old ladies puking out of the windows, people playing their songs loudly on their phones. Top this with a road that was actually a rollercoaster with un-expected bumps that pretty much made you feel like a pair of underwear in a washing machine.

The highlight was the sighting of a Yeti dressed for Earth day:

Speaking of Yeti, this is us:

WAIT! THIS is us [just checking that you are all still here]:

The next day, Marian's birthday, we were to FINALLY start the trek.

No comments: