Category: Travels & Places
Published on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 09:47
Written by Begoña García
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Several years ago, in October, I travelled to Nepal with a group of seventeen friends. October is the best month to visit this country because the monsoon is over and winter hasn’t come yet. We wanted to see Kathmandu and some other cities but our main goal was to do the Annapurna’s trekking and to cross Thorong La, a hillock situated at 5,416 m over the sea level.

We started our hike in Bashisahar (800 m) with the help of two mountain guides and ten carriers. Little did I know the magnitude of that adventure till I was there; so after the first day I though: “Fifteen days walking and walking for eight or ten hours. Perhaps, It can get its toll”. Nothing further from the truth. On the one hand, we scroll on the side of a big river and the sound of the water flowing turned to an amazing company from morning to night. And, could you imagine us crossing the large suspension bridges? At the beginning we were cautious but, after two days, we passed through them in a hurry. On the other hand, while the climbing went on, the scenery was changing as the vegetation had to adapt to the altitude; and this happened everyday.

After four days, we arrived at Manang (3,540 m) and we rested for a day, trying to prevent the altitude sickness. Some of us suffered a slight headache as if a ribbon was pressing on our foreheads. In this town, for the habituation we climbed five hundred metres and we went back to sleep lower. The Gangapurna glacier moraine view was wonderful from its base.

And then, after three other day’s journey, we arrived at Thorongphedi (4,450 m), the last small town before climbing Thorong La. Were we ready to cope with that challenge? By all means! We were excited although a little unnerved too. The following day, we got up at four o´clock in the morning because as all hikers know “you have to win the mountain in the morning” and because eight hours later, the wind in the hillock was so strong that to be there made it rather uncomfortable. Slowly and carefully, one step after another, all of us climbed that point exhausted, a little sick but most delighted. There, after taking a large amount of photos, we continued on our trip till Muktinath (3,800 m). That was a very long day indeed.

You can envisage the rest of our trekking with the same good feelings but without the pressure of the main target. The scenery was very different since we were crossing the valley between the Annapurna’s chain and Dhaulagiri’s chain. This valley is wider and less steep than the other one with very different kind of vegetation and really windy. For instance, Jomsom is a town where planes can land but usually from eight to twelve in the morning; the rest of the day, the wind make them fly under risky conditions.

We arrived at Pokara five days later but before that, from Ghorepani (2,860m), we left the main path to climb the Poon Hill (3,200 m) and to enjoy a marvellous and indelible view of those two mountain chains. When we arrived at Pokhara, our surprise was tremendous; we found out that our hotel was in the middle of Pokhara’ Lake, a gorgeous place for a full day rest. It was the best way to finish a journey that I have always described as unforgettable, a once in a lifetime experience.