Half way around the Annapurnas

Blisters and Bliss

A trekking in Nepal is never complete without a local busride to the trailhead…………………………..

The American girl, 20 something with curly hair.

Asking if she is on the wrong bus, her ticket clearly states that she should be on a tour bus not this tatty good for nothing piece of junk, silence, she gets the seat where the seat in front is broken and reclined all the time………

The Finnish man, two meter tall and with a bad hangover.

To his Nepali Guide: This is the second time I have an iron bar up my ass, I want to get off this f*** bus now, there is no place for me, I want to take a taxi…………

2nd bus ride- Foreigners pay double price, we ask why. Try to bargain with no luck, get taken for Israeli and add to their bad reputation for bargaining………..

The Annapurna circuit  trek was once a whole trek where you actually had to walk form village to village, now the gravel road around Annapurna is soon completed and big parts can be done in jeep or bus.

The first three days me and my trekking boots got along well. Then, a blister burst and I had to do the four hour walk from Pisang to Manang in Nepali flip flop style.

Thorung Phedi is at the foot of the 5400m Thorung La, here you find the mountain maffia who nourish on tired and confused trekkers. You have two places to choose from and if you arrive late during the high season you might just have to sleep on the floor.

Four years ago we managed to cross the Thorung La during a snow storm and we crossed without seeing anything. This time things were different.

In total there were about 150 people crossing the pass on the same day as us, not really the feeling of being alone in the mountains…..

I guess the conclusion is rather a lot of snow than a lot of people.
Sliding down the steep mountainside to the holy pilgrim site of Muktinath.  Here we are closing the first chapter of our trek. The final countdown for our Upper Mustang trek with Dario, Augusto and Mattia starts.

Trekking is:

Long days on the trail

Smelly feet and armpits

Dal bhat, always

Tsampa porridge

Butter tea ( Not my favorite but when you get offered there is no way you will get away before you finished the whole  contents of the thermos)

Evening fire made of yak dung and clothes penetrated by this smell

Early evenings and early mornings

Not caring to look yourself in the mirror even if there was one around

                                                                                               Time for slaughter and folding of religious shawls, the contradictions of religion