Hello, everyone! I am back from Nepal since November 28. I stopped updating my blog because it has gotten so cold, I think even my brain froze when I was on the mountains. I got requests and inquiries about my trip so I’ll try my best to give as much information as I could.
I drafted this entry a month ago and finally, I intend to finish it now. I guess I’ll just post the sequence of my trip so you could make your own itinerary should you decide to go. For the costs that I would be mentioning here, RP100=USD1.
I arrived in Kathmandu November 6, around 8 pm. The next day, I went around Thamel to buy some trekking gears like a daypack backpack, trekking poles, etc. Also just to go around Thamel and see what everything is like. The following day, we (me and my roommates) went to the TIMS office to get our trekking permits. It took us about an hour then we went our separate ways. I went to the Kathmandu Durbar Square, a place where temples for different gods are built. I also explored Swayambunath Temple, one of the places where the movie, Dr. Strange was shot. It has lots of monkeys and lots of stairs. I considered it my pre-climb warm up. I went back to Thamel and back to the hostel after that.
The next day, I went to the local bus station to start my trekking journey. The trip from Kathmandu to Bhulbule via local bus was RP650. The trip was almost 10 hours. I slept in Bhulbule, in the Everest Lodging house. Cost of accommodation is RP100 plus the food and water. After that, I basically followed the map recommendation. Except for the Day 8 because I went to Upper Pisang after Chame. Best.Decision.Ever.
It snowed the night before I left Upper Pisang and I was advised by the lodge owner to go to Manang via the Lower Pisang route. It is the shorter and easier route. I had an altitude sickness the day before so I decided not to risk it and follow his advise. If you are healthy enough though, the views are better on the higher route, go to Gangapurna and Ngawal.
From Manang, we (I did not hike alone from here) did a side trip to the Tilicho Lake. I swear, it is the highlight of the whole Annapurna Circuit! You have to do it. If you can walk fast enough, you would only add a day to your itinerary. Without the sidetrip, the usual would be Manang to Ledar then Ledar to Thorong Phedi the next day. With the sidetrip, you could do Manang to Tilicho Basecamp. The next, Tilicho Basecamp to Tilicho Lake in the morning. Stay on Tilicho Lake for viewpoint for about an hour to acclimatize. Then Tilicho Lake to Shree Karkha in the afternoon and then Shree Karkha to Thorong Phedi the next day. So worth it, I swear!
From Thorong Phedi, you would have to cross the Thorong La Pass (5416m), the highest point in the circuit. When you are about halfway, look back to the camp. Look around you. That would be the best view you will ever see that day.
The Thorong Phedi-Thorong La-Muktinath walk took me about 11 hours to complete. That’s the reason why guides would insist to their clients that they start around 4 am or even as early as 3 am. You would not want to be walking in the dark. Getting to the pass, a thousand-meter ascent from the camp, is just literally half the journey. Going down to Muktinath is just as long and strenuous.
I did not do the full circuit as I did not have enough time. I slept in Muktinath then I rode the jeep to Jomsom. There were seven of us in the jeep and we split the RP5000 cost between us.
From Jomsom, there’s a bus to Beni. If there were more people and if it was earlier, some buses would have gone straight to Pokhara. It was already late though so we had to ride a taxi from Beni to Pokhara.
The costs would be around RP1000-1500 per day until Chame. It goes up to around RP2000-RP3000 per day after that and a little bit more in the Thorong Phedi because there are only two lodging houses there and another one at the High Camp, another hour walk with probably 200m more elevation. After the Thorong La Pass, the costs would start going down again.
I was told that I am not the best story teller so this is so much effort for me. I hope you guys appreciate it. Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow ’til you find your dream. So original.