On October 2017, my friends and I made a pact, to travel to 4 different places within 4 years to make our college life unforgettable. Our first trip was a week-long trek to Gosaikunda and this time around, we decided to go along to see the mighty Annapurna in its glory.Our journey began on October 28, 2018. The 11 of us embarked on a journey to go along the foothills of the great Annapurna and all geared up to start a once-in-a-lifetime journey.
We kicked off the trip early in the morning and took a bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara. After a 7-hour bus ride and a short walk in the city, we took another bus to Dhampus and spent our first night there.
After witnessing the glorious sunrise from Dhampus, we began the first day of our trek. We started pretty late in the morning, not knowing the lung-bursting journey ahead of us. It took us 10 hours to reach the “Gateway of the Annapurna”, the beautiful Chomrong village, which is spread over a hillside on the lap of the Annapurna massif with an amazing view all around.
From Chomrong, we made our way down through the picturesque village as we followed the trail down to Chomrong Khola and climbed through the valley of Modi Khola. We followed the trail through a clearing in the forest then through the lush jungle with Rhododendron all around. We passed a trailside canyon and eventually reached our destination, Himalayas.
Then from the Himalayas, we made our journey further north, trekking right along the Modi Khola, the river that flows directly from the Annapurna. It was a short walk compared to other days and we reached Machapuchare Base Camp. We had half the day off for ourselves to rest. We spent the entire time passing guffs and puffs all day beneath the sun, with Annapurna and Machhapuchare mountains looking at us.
This was the most awaited day of the trip and the one I had been dreaming of for a long time. Walking along upwards a trail, in a valley surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the world, imagine that.
I could look ahead and see Annapurna, 10th highest mountain in the world shining as bright and beautiful and constantly being followed by Machapuchare from behind. The 360° view was incomparable to anything I had ever seen in my life and I doubt if I will ever see a better one. We reached Annapurna Base Camp around noon and it was already full of people. All the tea houses were full and some were even booked out weeks ago. The only available option was to sleep in a dining hall full of 50 people and to be honest, we couldn’t care less because the sheer beauty of the place was convincing enough.
We spent the entire day walking around ABC and also visited the Annapurna Sanctuary which was built in respect for the people who had lost their lives trying to climb Mount Annapurna. It was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and when I looked around I was surrounded by all those mountains, it made me think of how small I was in this very big of world. After an entire day of exploration and a few drinks to congratulate ourselves on the achievement, we spent the night half-drunk and half-awake in a dining hall full of people sleeping wherever they could fit. Another good experience.
We woke up as early as we could to be a part of quite a surreal experience to witness the golden sunrise from Annapurna Base Camp. An entire valley surrounded by mountains glittered in golden dust, it was a beautiful moment for everyone present there to witness. But we had a lot of downhill to cover, so had to leave sooner than we would have wanted. Seven grueling hours later we got to a small, beautiful village Sinuwa and spent the night there.
This was the last day of our trip. On our way back, just below Chomrong village, we took a detour to Jhinu Natural Hot Springs for a much-needed refreshment and then trekked our way up to a small village, Makhyu, and took a jeep down to Pokhara. The end to a great trip.