Annapurna Circuit Trek

I left Pokhara solo on a bus with a map, not knowing much about trekking around Annapurna. What followed was one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. At times it was quite physical; specifically Tilicho Lake (4919m) ascent and descent in a day from high camp; also descending to Muktinath from ThorungLa high pass (5416m). 

A few days of acclimatization and downtime was needed at certain altitudes. The total journey, including Tilicho and a couple day hikes was approximately 236km of ups and downs. Around 22 days of 4 to 7 hours hiking with a total of 26 days was spent in the massive Himalayas. The landscapes and climates changed rapidly throughout the journey. To see the diversity powered by foot and inclination was incredibly humanistic. It was easy to forget any thoughts beyond these mountains.

I met some great people and shared good company along the way. A trekking family had developed by the end of the journey however, I spent most days walking alone to enjoy mother nature at her finest. Almost every night I met up with the comrades to enthusiastically speak about everyone’s daily experiences and share some laughs among many other traveller’s tales.

I’m hugely nut-shelling this experience and will also do so with the following photographs and comments. I just wanted to give a bit of info for my friends and anyone who might find some interest in giving this trek a try.

The food is mostly amazing from the minimalist Nepali kitchens, with an arguably limited selection for some palates, especially at higher altitudes. Many kitchens with a “didi” (sister or mother) were serving up mostly veggie dishes with staples like momos, tanduk, various soups, veg curries and the occasional yak meat dishes. The Nepali famous and always reliable dal bhat (lentils & rice) was my go to; usually served with a few small dishes usually consisting of sag (similar to chards/spinach), veg curry & curd (yogurt) and sometimes pickled veg. 

Something worth mentioning, this trek was from May 16th to June 10th during low season. It is considerably quiet and gets you free accommodation at the tea houses as long as you buy your meals there. Rooms are basic and completely adequate as long as you don’t have princess syndrome. I’ve been told it’s a bit of a shit show during high season and probably should try to avoid if you can, however, better weather conditions are the biggest draw. During this late season trek, the early morning skies were clear of clouds usually not moving in until mid-day. The weather was pretty decent for the duration with a few days of rain. Most days were hot and spent in a T-shirt or long sleeve due to the strong sun. After sunset, high altitudes were cold enough for a few warm layers; occasionally gathered around a stove.

All photos taken with a 6D & phone camera. If you have any questions about the trek please feel free to message me. I’d be happy to speak more in-depth and help with some possible planning.

In conclusion, after 26 days of walking, getting into a car was a strange, slightly uncomfortable and a completely welcomed concept.

Some more basic info in the photo set.