Annapurna Base Camp(8091m/26545ft), one of the planet's 10th high elevated peaks, is a heavenly combination of sparkling beauty and a great mystery in itself.
Spending my adulthood in the bustling city of crowds and modernism, The Kathmandu valley, and had never footed into such a mystical place earlier. Trekking at Annapurna Base Camp offered me an exhilarating journey that is beyond explanation.
Being encircled by the majestic mountain peaks of Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhre, and the entire Annapurna massifs, I have dipped myself in the Himalayan ambiance. As we were already at 4130m above sea level, trekkers around me advised me to take extra care of acute mountain sickness. However, I was so busy exploring and inspecting the prominent Annapurna Sanctuary, forgetting the rest world behind.
Before a day, we had arrived at Machhapuchhre Base camp after a long day hike (approximately 6 hours) from the town of Dovan. Getting up early in the morning, we packed our bags and began to hike upward continuously for 2 hours.
Early in the morning, overwhelmed with misty weather, following the footsteps of fellow trekkers, we climbed 400m and walked flatlands reaching another base camp-Annapurna Base camp.
But, when the sun's golden rays began kissing the elevated pinnacles, everyone indulged themselves in the experience of an explorable scene, dramatically changing from black and white to a colorful one.
Everyone was busy capturing that alluring photogenic scene in their gadgets. Right after the early morning, we were constantly facing large piles of snow, and it was extending as we passed 2.9 kilometers/1.9 miles from Machhapuchre Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp all on the way.
Instantly after that, the sun rose dazzlingly, making the environment warmer and adaptable. Everyone started relishing around the Base Camp with the sun's rays. Everyone seemed overwhelmed with joy and was sharing best wishes for the victory. I then desired to sip a hot cup of tea and explore and survey more around the valley.
We plunged into Annapurna Guest House nearby and ordered some cups of tea. I was sitting in the yard of the teahouse mesmerizing and questioning myself that is it real? Is everything fine around me? How wonderful may it look as a photo hung on the walls of trekking agencies, shops, restaurants, and hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara? I was immersed in the scenery until my friend called and told me to have tea on my table.
Meantime, my mind seemed unclear, and I couldn't perceive where I was, what I was thinking and looking around. Although the harsh wind was blowing gradually, the weather was fabulous. Rising heat was slowly beating the freezing atmosphere. We stayed in the same teahouse till 10 in the morning, consuming almost half a dozen local delicious tea.
I had heard rumors that the weather in Annapurna worsens after 10 am; however, it was not applicable that day. The sky didn't have even a single cloud, and everything was so humbled and pleasant to be encircled by these high elevated mountain massifs.
Just after lunch, we began to explore and observe the valley. Then, walking towards the south, I could see the breathtaking panorama of the awe-striking scenery of golden sun rays softly touching and hitting the peaks of Annapurna massifs, including the Annapurna South (7219m/23684ft). With the feeling of gratitude to be at this point that I was just above the world's high mountains with the presence of thin air. I captured these marvelous and majestic natural wonders moments in my camera and headed back to the teahouse for lunch at around 12:30 pm.
We then roamed and circled beyond and above Annapurna Base Camp, sightseeing prayer flags, natural resources, and local people. Prayer flags are the Buddhist prayer flags hung in remarkable areas with special worship beforehand. They are in five different colors and ceremonies for those who lost their lives during their climb to Annapurna. A bit further eastward, there were around a dozen tents set for the climbers who desired to summit the actual peak of Annapurna. I started to interact with them and learned that one needs strong dedication, physical and mental determination, months-long rehearsal, and favorable weather conditions to conference any peaks.
The fluttering flag in the open air was a mind-blowing experience. Now, seeing the valley full of visitors enjoying their way overwhelmed me. Valley was full of foreigners, guides, porters exploring the stunning environment of Annpurna. I again headed back to the teahouse took some rest before taking some snacks and coffee.
In the late afternoon, the wind was increasing gradually. The sun dawning was about to start. We saw the last rays of sun over the giant peaks just above us. We were afraid of getting affected by the cold, so we stayed inside the teahouse rest of the time.
Due to the heavy flow of tourists and high demand, it seemed impossible to get single rooms in ABC. Therefore, my friend and I needed to share a room. The room was neat, with two twin beds, a mattress, a pillow, and a blanket, and with a sound environment. We also had our sleeping bags, which helped make it more comfortable for good sleeping. That sleep was the highest elevated sleep of my entire life, so it has been one of the memorable days for me.
As the first rays of the sun descended in our rooms, we woke up and reached the yard of the same teahouse to feel the warming and healthy sunrise on our bodies. Retaking some photos, we had our first local meal of the day and headed downward following the same ascent route.
This small barren valley of the Annapurna region- Annapurna Base Camp Trek can be the top bucket list destination for adventure seekers and thriller lovers. The Himalayan ranges have stunning and magnificent views such as Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Dhaulagiri I, Dhaulagiri II, Machhapuchre, and Himchuli peaks.
Hospitality offers a traditional welcoming and greeting to the trekkers, making them overwhelmed during the trails. Some teahouses provide basic amenities on the trekking trails. Trekkers can rest their exhausted muscles, get locally prepared food and spend the night in the same place.
Trekking to Annapurna Base camp is relatively more precise and easy. The journey starts after a short and scenic drive from Pokhara to Nayapul. Then, passing the settlements of Ghandruk, Sinuwa, Deurali, and a couple of others, trekkers reach Machhapuchre Base Camp and further to Annapurna Base Camp, spending only four working days from Pokhara. If you wish to extend your journey, you can have a side trip to Poonhill- a famous viewpoint spot. It takes around 6 hours' drive or 25 minutes' flight to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu.
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