This is the start of our 11 day tea house trek to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) with 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking (Review). 3 Sisters is a unique company, owned and operated by women and actively promoting the training and hiring of women guides. We (my husband and myself) are accompanied by 3 young women: our guide Laxmi and two guides in training, Siwani and Jayanti who carry our packs. Well, most of our packs as their load is limited to 12 kilos each, a practice I highly support. Don and I are still carrying fairly heavy day packs, especially with the camera equipment.
See the Nepal page for links to all posts related to this trip.
Day 1 Nayapul to Tikhedhungga
October 28, 2012
After a pretty ninety minute drive out of Pokhara, winding our way through a series of valleys and mountain passes, green hills and terraced golden rice fields ready for harvest, we reach Nayapul. It’s the start or end point of many treks to ABC, as such it’s basically a row of restaurants and colorful stalls selling souvenirs.
The early part of the trail, a road really, remains populated all the way to Birethanti, the check point for trekking permits.
All the guide books say that trails in Annapurna are highly popular and crowded with tourists and locals, who use the trails for daily transportation. You are never quite alone, but the scenery and local culture more than make up for the lack of tranquility.
The road follows a rushing river far below flanked by rice and millet fields. To harvest the rice they cut the stalks at the base and lay them out neatly in rows to dry.
At around 2PM we stop for lunch at one of the many trail side restaurants/lodges. The menu offers a standard list of dishes that I think we will be seeing for the rest of the trip, generally rice or noodles with a choice of veg, chicken or mixed, meaning both chicken and veg.
After lunch Laxmi, our guide, is chattier, telling us about the languages she has learned. She explains how she learned Korean during the rainy off season at the language institute in Pokhara. She also speaks, in addition to English, some Japanese and a little German.
As we near our destination for the night, the trail becomes less of a road and more of a staircase climbing the side of the hill to our lodge.
Indra Guest House – rooms at the lodge are basic, one double bed (with one bottom sheet and pillows with pillow cases) in a room just large enough to fit the bed. A single naked light bulb hangs over the bed; no outlet. Hot showers are available in a small cement cell with a wooden shelf overhead to put your clothes and towel out of reach of the water spray.
The dining hall fills with trekkers and guides from all over the world. A group of Japanese tourists makes a banquet of the simple menu items served family style. A Canadian has brought a bottle of single malt scotch. Obviously his porter is not limited by the 12 kilo rule.