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Steamy Jungles, Hot Springs and Monstrous Mountains – Annapurna Base Camp – Nepal

 

Do you want to adventure amongst the world’s largest mountains? Be surrounded by spectacular scenery of rapid flowing rivers and waterfalls? Would you like to emerge yourself into a culture of kindness and simplicity?   If yes, then the trek to Annapurna Base Camp is an adventure and a half you need to put on your bucket list!

This trek begins in a steamy hot jungle surrounded by rivers and waterfalls . As you work your way up to base camp  you will pass through small villages with welcoming ,friendly locals. Upon arrival to Annapurna Base Camp you will be rewarded with the opportunity to be up close and personal with the monstrous Himalayan mountain range.

PS. Be sure to pack your camera as you can see below mother nature puts on a magnificent show

 

 

.Pokhara, Nepal

 

photo: Ryan Mazure
photo: Ryan Mazure

Located around 200km West of Kathmandu Pokhara is a good starting point for those planning to trek around the Annapurna region . This smaller city boasts incredible views of the Himalayas soaring in the distance, along with a peaceful lakeside. You will find many places to stay and eat for all budgets and it’s always a good place to do some last minute shopping before you head off into the mountains. If you have some time to spare you can enjoy day hikes, paragliding, or  white water rafting.

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Day one: Sayauli Bazzar to Jhino

 

Photo: Ryan Mazure

After a two hour taxi drive from Pohkara we arrived in Sayauli Bazzar ,this is the last point you can reach by transport.  Because we didn’t arrive here until noon we decided to cut the day a little short and walk just four hours to the next village named  Jhino.  The beginning of our trek consisted of walking in a steamy hot jungle and being infested with blood sucking leeches. Despite the muddy trail , it was nice to be out of the hectic city and into the calmness of nature.

 

Hot Springs in Jhino
Photo: Ryan Mazure

After arriving in  Jhinu (1780m) we found a basic guest house  (costing around $2.00 USD per night). There are tea houses scattered all along the trail so finding a place to stay is never a concern ( This is a bonus because you can pack lighter and leave your camping gear behind)

The next morning, a couple of friendly locals suggested we check out the local Hot Springs. After a 20 min hike we came to this incredible secluded area boasting four steamy hot springs and a rapid river flowing near by.  Who needs a 5 star hotel anyway?

 

Day 2- Jhino to Bamboo

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Photo: Ryan Mazure

Photo: Ryan Mazure

 The following day was more jungle and ALOT of stairs to climb and descend.  It was possibly the most difficult day of the trek.  After a long hard day of trekking we finally arrived in the village of Bamboo (2345M) On days like these the simplest things such as rewarding yourself with hot cup of lemon tea can feel like the biggest luxury.

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Photo: Ryan Mazure

After a couple long days trekking in the jungle, leeches began to disappear and the scenery started to become spectacular with the Himalayas coming into sight.

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Day 3: Bamboo- Machhapuchre Base Camp

 

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Photo: Ryan Mazure
 It was a long 8 hour day to our next destination:  Machhapuchre Base Camp ( approx 4000M ) as we got higher in altitude it got a little harder to breathe which made the trek a little harder. It was worth it though because at this altitude mother nature sure puts on a spectacular show.   We headed to bed early that night for our 4am rise the next morning  to our final destination – Annapurna Base Camp.

 

Day 4- Maccapuchre Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp

 

Photo: Ryan Mazure

We woke up at 4am  in order reach Annapurna Base Camp in time for sunrise.  I can remember the moment I stepped outside I was so memorized by the stars.  There were millions of them covering the whole sky and they felt so close it was almost as if could reach out and touch them. The silhouettes  of the monstrous mountains soared in the background. It was truly incredible. At this point I began to realize that maybe the 100s of stairs and blood sucking leeches were worth it after all.

 

Photo: Ryan Mazure
As the sun came up the mountains appeared and glowed with hints of pink and purple. It was truly incredible. The trek from MBC to ABC was certainly the grand finale of the adventure.

 

We did it ! Annapurna Base Camp 4130M

 

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Photo:Ryan Mazure

Photo:Ryan Mazure http://www.ryanmazure.com

 If your interested in doing this adventure yourself please read below for more details or if you have any more questions feel free to email me at danyrixon@gmail.com 

 

Annapurna Base Camp Height:   4130M

 

Trekking Level:  Moderate

 

Time:   Average  6-7 days

 

Transportation:

  • To get to Pokhara you can hop on one of many tourist buses from Kathmandu. Book your tickets though a local hotel or agent. They usually cost around $7.00 USD.
  • To get to Sayauli Bazzar (where the trek begins) you can go to the local bus station in Pokhara ( at any time of the day) from there you have a few options:  Hire a private taxi , hop in a shared taxi, or take the local bus.

 

Before you go:

  • You must obtain a Tourist permit/ Tourist Information Card ( $40USD total) found at the local tourism center in Pokhara .
  • Although we went on our own it is possible to hire a guide. A guide will cost you around ($30 USD per day).

 

What to Bring

  • Hiking Boots
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • Loose clothing (it can be HOT),
  • Waterproof rain jacket and pants
  • Warm jacket
  • Winter Hat
  • Baseball cap
  • Thermal underwear
  • Dry food (noodles /snacks can cut the cost down signifanctly the higher you go the more expensive it is to purchase food)
  • Sun Screen
  • Toilet paper ( none will be provided , however you can purchase some at many of the tea houses along the way but again it will be more expensive)

 

Please note: I went in early October , if your planning on trekking in a different season you may need more or less than what I have suggested above. Judge accordingly.

 

Extra Tips 

  • If you are traveling and don’t have any winter gear you can rent almost everything in Kathmandu
  • Do not wait until you go to Pokhara to rent gear- there is limited supplies and it’s more costly.
  • I do not recommend renting hiking boots- they will really hurt your feet
  • In my opinion it’s always better to bring your own high quality clothing or rent of someone who carries real brand name products .
  • Buying “fake” brand name clothing can lead to problems especially if you get caught in snow or rain. Although the sellers claim these products are “water proof” or  “wind proof” this is usually not true. My last experience buying a fake Northface “waterproof”  jacket lead to me being soaking yet within minutes of being caught in a rain storm. Not fun.

 

Health Concerns:

  • Bring Antibiotics in case of stomach issues, or chest infection ( You may want to visit your doctor before leaving your home country)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Cold/Sinus tablets

Remember : there are no pharmacists or doctors available on the trek. In the unlikely case of emergency make sure you get some good travel insurance. I usually go with World Nomads. They cover a ton of adventure activities. http://www.worldnomads.com

For more information on altitude sickness read this article : http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/altitude-sickness-topic-overview

 

Budget :   Withdraw before you go! There is no where to get money up there.  We budgeted around $20 USD per day but actually spent about $10USD per day- it’s  better to take more than you will spend just in case.

 

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