Good day peeps, I know you have been all waiting for the full Nepal adventure story, so here it is. It all started on February 26th 2016, on a fine Friday morning more precisely 8:50 am local time when my flight to Kathmandu took off from Dubai.
I landed in Kathmandu at 2pm and almost everything was going well until the passport control officer got confused with whether I was allowed to enter Nepal given my nationality or not; this took a while until another officer just took the passport from him and handed it over to me.. phew!! Obstacle one avoided! Now second obstacle was actually getting my luggage; I had to wait for 2 hours to see my Tumi duffle bag arrive safely.
Well, here we go!!! I was greeted by my guide Madang who took me straight to my hotel to stay in the night before taking our internal flight to Pokhara early next morning .
At 7:00 am, the real adventure started; I went to the domestic airport to take the flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and frankly I was scared as hell after hearing the news about a similar flight that crashed few days ago. So you could imagine my state of mind during that 25 min flight; I couldn’t wait until we landed.
From there we drove to Phedi to start our journey with an atrocious steep staircase uphill ascend for an hour and a half non stop.. The view was amazing as we were getting into the rain forest side of the mountains and passing by small villages with locals inhabiting them. We made our first stop at a small village of Dhampus where we had lunch and rested a bit; then kept going uphill again into the rain forest as the scenery kept getting better and better around us.
At some point after reaching the village of Diwali at almost 2,300 m, we had to descent again on a extremely slippery and steep staircase towards the village of Tolka… I slip twice and probably a few other times I was about to fall because of the heavy rain. Thankfully we made it to the town where we were supposed to sleep for the night; and I noticed I was the only foreigner trekking in this village at this time… So I had my quick dinner, charged my phone and went to bed. Day 1 completed!
The next day, we left our lodge early morning at 7:30 am direction Chomrong village; I admit I never felt such pain like this before!!! the road up was again so steep and with high inclination and irregular rocks disbursed across the path making the climb up more and more difficult; also this day was the first day my right knee got injured and made my walking tougher and slower. The road we took was extremely dangerous as we were hoping mountains and walking sideways around them crossing bridges over the river.
We decided to move forward towards the next stop and final for the day up 2,300m in Sinuwa village. The walk started with a nice descend for a while and then another steep uphill walk till the lodge where i spent the night!! My room was cozy as it was a 3×2 room with a mattress and four walls 🙂
In the next two days, I walked through the villages of Bamboo, Himalaya, Deurali and MBC crossing Rhododendrons, waterfalls and snowy mountains to reach finally the Annapurna Base Camp ABC!! My best companion for the trip was my LUC 8HF as I was checking on it every few hours whether to take snapshots with the landscape or see how it is performing in the different conditions I am putting it through. Frankly, I was delighted to see the watch keeping its accuracy and top performance through the sunny days, going into daily rainy afternoons and finally reaching heavy snow and below zero degree temperature for my last 2 days at the top at 4,130 m. The extremely high frequency ticking was like music to my ears every time I brought my wrist closer to my face to feel its “heartbeat”.
One thing helped a lot in maintaining my watch was the Titanium case and rubber straps; I never felt I needed to watch out how I am moving my wrist as I knew the watch will be robust enough to sustain any shock I am going to put it through.
Power reserve was my concern at first, since the watch has only 72 Hours of reserve; but I never needed to wind it again after the first time I did before taking off – the automatic winding and my wrist constant movement kept it fully charged during my entire trip – this was one of the things I was wondering about before leaving; whether I would need to wind it again after 3 days or not!! Thankfully, I never did.
My guide kept starring at me while I was taking endless wrist shots trying to understand why am I doing this!!! but he never asked me why! and I never explained myself!
The final stretch to reaching the base camp was the hardest, as it kept snowing all the night before covering all the mountains and my final trekking path with snow!! The pros of snowing were having an amazing scenery and landscape surrounding me as you can see; however, it made the walk and the climb up trickier and more slippery.
March 1st at 12:00 pm exactly I have finally reached the top!!! I was thrilled, exhausted and so happy to see myself at 4,130m surrounded by over seven peaks each ranging from 6,000-8,000 m+. My challenge was completed and I could rest my knee for the day!
To be frank, the relief of reaching the top was overcome by the fact that I have to wake up the next morning very early to walk down for 11 straight hours to reach Chomrong village and sleep for the night before the last descent back to Pokhara. But all that was forgotten, when I saw the sunrise at 6:15 am shining its golden belt over Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre, Annapurna I, Hiunchuli and other peaks surrounding me!!! It was mesmerizing!
What was very challenging during the entire trip was the constant mental battle I was having with myself looking at the road going uphill then suddenly steep downhill before going up again!! I kept saying to myself: “why do I keep going down ,when my destination is uphill!!! That’s such a waste of energy and additional unnecessary pain!!” I kept fighting that thought daily to avoid demotivating myself and keep going up to reach base camp. Compared to my previous trip to Kilimanjaro; that wasn’t an issue I had to deal with as the road was just up. But if I compare the overall mountains, scenery, forests and waterfalls I have gone through in Nepal, the experience is definitely more enriching than the Kilimanjaro climb and much more challenging except for the Summit day.
I hope you enjoyed the trip and adventures as much as I did and you felt that you have been there with me all along!! I will be releasing the video footage on my Youtube Channel in the coming days!! so keep watching and more adventures are coming up soon!!!