Annapurna Sanctuary Trek - Final Day
Trip Start Feb 08, 2012
22Trip End Jul 28, 2012
The 1st happened after only an hour on the track where we came to the 1st road leading up into the mountain valleys. Surely enough, there were a couple of souvenir shops and a big 4wd. And surely enough we got offered a trip to town for only 600 Rupees/person (after a fair bit of good hearted haggling)
A bit further down the hill, Jay and Tiina were in the lead when the track made a sharp left turn on to dirt road. I was a bit dubious that this was the right way, but followed without saying anything. Suddenly, I heard a high pitched shout and turned around to see a little girl point in the other direction. I looked where she was pointing and could see that the track continued downhill, partly hidden, from where we turned left. I told the others and we back-tracked to get back on the trail. The little girl was not long in bounding up to us and cheerily demanding payment for her guide services. "Chocolate?" she asked with a hopeful look on her face. The rule book for trekkers which tells us not to haggle, also tells us not to give anything to kids as they are constantly asking for sweets but in this case, I thought she deserved something so once again we broke the rules. Now I didn't have any chocolate (as it is more expensive here than at home), but I did have a full packet of local peanut cookies which I thought might cut the mustard
We got into birethanti at about 2pm and quickly found a 4wd taxi that would take all of us. Ironically, the best price we could get was the same as the offer we got 4 hours back up the trail, but that didn't matter. We'd done it! and in only 7 days (guide says 9-12 days). We enjoyed the trip back and soon found ourselves back in our Hotel. Washed and in clean clothed, we met up with the others and found a nice restaurant where we feasted on sizzling steak, chips and fresh vegies washed down with many bottles of Everest beer. And to add to the occasion, we found out that Holi (Hindu festival of colours), which is renowned as the funnest, rowdiest, messiest festival on the calendar was due to take place tomorrow. Our host Hemmint told us to prepare for a day of laughing until we cry... but more on that next post.
The Annapurna Base camp walk was such a great experience, I cannot recommend it strongly enough (if you like that sort of thing). It is challenging, sometimes scary and spectacularly beautiful. The diversity of the place and how quickly it can change only adds to the experience.