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Last Trek Report

I Anapurna Trek – February 26 to March 18

Annapurna TrekJohn Apolino was waiting for me at an outdoor table in the Nirvana Gardens hotel when I arrived. Sue flew in two days later. We met Ruth at our hotel and she decided to join us for the first few days of our trek. Great mates like Niru, Dorje and Mangal turned up one b y one. The bus to Pokhara was a breeze, with no police checkpoints and a petrol shortage, the roads were relatively clear. The customers enjoyed the paddle across the lake and climb to the Peace Stupa. Views were hazy at best but it was good to test out ones trekking gear. With everyone kitted out, we hit the road. Minibus to Nyapul, nice tea and pee stop at Birethanti and a great vegie noodle soup along the way all helped break up the first long day.

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The participants – Ruth (Switzerland), Sue (Brisbane) and John (FNQ)

Annapurna TrekThe wheat is up and the weather was warm and soft. The creaking old wooden lodge at Tikidhunga reverberated to the sound of the porters singing in the kitchen as we drifted off into our first night’s well-earned sleep.

Climbed into Gorepani through two hours of snow. Rhododendrons extremely prolific this season. Danced up a storm at the Sunny Lodge (as usual). All made Pun Hill next morning for the FIRST CLEAR MORNING OF THE SEASON!! Lucky??

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View from the top..........and Ruth decides to stick with us all the way!

Annapurna TrekWe met some lovely locals on our way down to Tatopani. The farmland was bright green with new crops and nights were cool enough to appreciate the stove at the Moonlight Lodge in Sikha. Pic-nic lunch in the shack at Dubin Danda. The temperature rose by degrees as we descended so we were hot and sweaty and in dire need of a Sprite at the bottom.

Annapurna TrekWe snuck across the barbed wire barrier onto the big bridge near Ghar Kola and walked into Tatopani down the new road.

The walk to Ghasa on the new road was ‘hell on earth’. The surface was ankle-twisting rocks and it seemed to go on forever. The old trail is definitely the way to go next season (well spotted John and Ruth!). Comfortable night at Ghasa. Simon (the baby) is a huge menace and Siva made his great pumpkin soup.

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Beautiful girl and grandmother

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No special reason for this, its just a lovely picture of Mangal.
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Used the new road from Rhupse Chahara to Ghasa
– but it wasn’t quite finished.

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Ruth made friends with some local kids ….
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As did Sue.

Annapurna TrekThe walking was much easier to Kalopani. Clear, clear day and another great ‘hot table’ at Sweety’s. Sweety’s baby was finally called Sonic (…I don’t know either!).

The dawn on Daulaghri, Tukche Peak and the Anapurnas was as good as ever, hot chocolate helped us stay outside for half an hour to witness the remarkable sunrise. The trail is tending away from the new road now with ‘alternative trekking trail’ signs here and there. Picked Sandthorn (sibuckthorn) berries on a brush-covered ‘island’ in the middle of the Kali Gandaki. Fossils were found too.

This lady lives in Tukche, near the distillery. She is 82 years old and thinks she may die soon. She is a second wife and didn’t have children. She feels she has nothing to complain about in her life. ‘A good life’ she said.

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Early morning light on Tukche Peak, behind Sweety’s lodge.
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The Daulaghiri Icefall never looked so good.

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Saila (bottom) and his kid brother (??) from the Tukche Lodge. Great kids.

Annapurna TrekThe distillery was closed temporarily but we looked at two old gompas with Saila. We crossed the Kali Gandaki just outside Tukche on the new bridge. The small trail on the other side is lovely, no donkeys, no motor-bikes, no jeeps! Took a long lunch at Marpha and then a long, windswept walk into Jomsom, broken by a tea stop at Mangal’s mum and dad’s house. Their baby goats were very sweet.

The customers had to set off for the ride to Muktinath without me in the end, my hip just couldn’t take a day in the saddle and I had to take care of myself with two more treks on the agenda. Sue rode back to Kagbeni on a motorbike and it was quite a bit more hair-raising that she expected. Nothing a stiff whisky couldn’t fix!


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Looking back to Tukche from the ‘other side’
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Jerome and Anna

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Sue sets off for Muktinath
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Dancing with the porters!

Flight back to Pokhara looked doubtful at dawn but by 8.,30 it was clear enough and Sita Air sent our little 16-seater up from Pokhara full of clean, smartly-dressed trekkers. Pokhara was so warm and soft. After a huge breakfast and a hot shower everyone has gone into ‘recovery mode’ and disappeared. Great to sit on the bus and relax back to Kathmandu. Nothing to do but look at the view going by with your feet up. Lovely! Kathmandu was a frenzy of shopping but we found time for a lovely dusk visit to Bodanath, when the Tibetans come out to circle the great stupa, prayer beads or prayer wheel in hand. It is a great sight to see.

Phew! That was great. Thanks Sue, John and Ruth. See you next time.

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Teresa or   
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Read also trekking report – 2006 and 2007