Annapurna Circuit Trek, My Experience
I and my friend planned Annapurna Circuit Trek, Manang. Before we kicked off our shoes and started this trek, we gathered at the top of the hill to research Manang trek with a lonely planet book and trekking map. We made 2 weeks itinerary for the trip. The date of October 2019 was finalized for the trek. We planned that we will hit the rough terrains of Annapurna after celebrating our main Hindu festival, Dashain. On 2019 October 14, we were on a taxi heading to the new bus park to catch Toyota Hiace Vehicle to Besisahar. 8:15 AM was the time when the vehicle started in Kathmandu to Besisahar. Besi Sahar is a gateway to the Annapurna circuit trek. Another traveler in the vehicle was my friend, and I enjoyed his company. We sang songs, made laughs, revisited some memories and talked about travel, exploration and life. We took a lunch break in Mugling at around 11:15 AM. We ate Nepali traditional local food dhal, bhat and tarkari(Steamed Rice, Pulse soup and mixed veggies. After 15 minutes of rest, we continued the drive to Besisahar. We were a little tired, and we fell asleep for an hour in the vehicle itself. We reached Besi Sahar at around 03:00 PM. Upon reaching Besisahar, we had a cup of tea and some biscuits. After a short food break, I stood and went to find a nice condition 4WD vehicle with a good driver. Luckily I found one, then we put all our belongings in the vehicle and then started the drive to Chame, which was the second drive for the day, but was short and full of off-road adventure experiences.
From Besisahar, our second trip to Chame started which was entirely off-road in a 4WD Mahindra Bolero. We crossed our country’s first underground tunnel road through our vehicle. Our driver was so young and energetic that he played a Nepali pop song. The route was off-road and bumpy and accompanying was the Marshyangdhi river on our left side, flowing very fast with a high current. We reached Chame at 9:30 Pm. We were exhausted and hungry too. The local guesthouse served delicious local food. The hotel staffs were so humble. They lit a campfire for us because it was cold. After the campfire, we went to bed to sleep. The next day we planned to trek to Upper Pisang.
The following day, we had breakfast and packed our bags. We were excited. At 8:00 AM, our trek from Chame starts. There were many foreigners on the trails for trekking. We rested for a while, and we smoked Manang purple haze, were high and were trekking in some amazing terrains of Nepal. After 3 hours hike; we found a big apple farm in Brathang. They served fresh apple juice, breakfast and apples to us. It was Nepal’s first big government run apple farm. We had fresh juice, fresh apple and some baked items. After resting again, we continued our trek carrying our back packs. I was walking ahead, and became lucky as nice view of big curve mountains unraveled in front of me. I said to myself that Rock climbing is possible here. We snapped some photos, crossed a suspension bridge and took some more pictures. After crossing suspension bridge, a slight uphill followed. As this part of the journey continues, we passed through pine forest. After a three-hour walk, we reached lower Pisang and had a delicious local lunch in the guest house. We rested for a while, played music, made jokes and rock danced. We talked, and made some basic plans for trekking ahead to Upper Pisang.
Today was the day to get to beautiful Upper Pisang. Upper Pisang is a beautiful site offering a fantastic view of Gangapurna peak(7445m), Annapurna(8091m), Himalchuli(7893m) and many more mountains. We went sightseeing in the upper Pisang monasteries and the village. We ate local food with delicious barbecue at the local tea house. We campfired for a while to warm ourselves because the temperature was freezing. We were exhausted, and we went to bed early. Early morning, we woke up, had our breakfast, packed our bag, and got ready for Manang. Finally, we started our Manang valley walk at 8:OOAM. We passed through mind-blowing trails and pine forests with clear blue sky, savored breathtaking view of mountains on our left side. We walked through a suspension bridge, and we hiked almost 2 hours uphill to reach Ghyaru which is small community village. We ate some food, and our heads rested in Ghyaru Gumba. On our front view, there was mind-blowing views of mountains. After 30 minutes break , we started walking again. We continued on the mountain ridge track, which was incredible. There were a lot of yaks, horses and other animals in Nagual here. We stopped for lunch in Nagual. We met with a meeting point called Tangla pass on route to Manang valley. Tanga pass starts from Dharapani and ends ta Nagwal. We walked for two hours and finally reached Nagual. We ate delicious local lunch, which is of course Dal Rice and Curry. There is popular saying among travelers in Nepal, which is Dal Bhat Power, 24 hour. We found a plant of marijuana purple, which looked so lovely in the place where we had our lunch. One of my friend offered to buy some Purple Haze to hotel owner and we were more than happy to find that, they accepted our offer.
We again continued our hike to Manang valley. After walking two hours from Nagual, we finally saw the humid airport from hill tops. We were excited to see beautiful Manang valley and Junji Bara village from the top of the mountain. My friend wanted to smoke some weed, so we decided to make blunt and stay for a while at the edge of the hills to dissolve in beauty of amazing landscapes and mountains. Even though we were tired, we planned to walk non stop until we get to Munji Village, Braga. We stayed in Munji lodge with campfire giving much needed warm company in chilling weather. As this day ended, we planned for next day’s hike to Shreekharka. We were starving, so all of our friends ate dinner. We were very excited because we found the next group in our hotel. Next was our acclimation day for our group, so we decided to walk to the ice lake, which is at 4500m above the sea level. We packed our lunch and headed towards ice lake trails. I was suffering from altitude sickness because, as compared to my friend, I walked a little faster. I strolled, and my friend helped me, and I finally reached the ice lake. From the ice lake top, we saw amazing view of Manang valley and the trails of Tilicho lake. We were lucky because we saw a shadow of the Annapurna peak in the ice lake, which looked out of this world. Slowly we walked down because I was suffering from altitude sickness. As I was walking down, I saw recovering. We stayed in Munji lodge and had some food.
Next day, we woke up early, and Mukhiya dai, the owner of Munji Lodge, offered blessing of mountains. Mukhiya dai’s hotel was so lovely and excellent. The hotel has a big apple farm, and we can all enjoy amazing view of mountains and barren landscapes.. Prakash dai(brother) was a lovely person and made delicious food in Munji lodge.
I was aware during the walk because I was suffering from altitude sickness. I recovered and strolled as altitude got lower. We saw an old Braga village and an old stupa and Gumba on the way to Manang. We walked for 45 minutes and reached Manang valley. After walking for 1 hour, we found a diversion point from where trails of Tilicho and the world-famous Thorong La Pass would divide. We took left as our destination was Tilicho Lake, which is the highest lake in the world. After one hour uphill hike, we reached hill top to see a beautiful view of Annapurna lake. Again we rested for a while, and my friend again wanted to smoke weed, get high, and start our hike to Shreekharka. We again did some uphill hike on this journey to Shreekharka. After two hours hike, we reached Shreekharka. We had some food here , got fresh and again started the hike to reach Manang. On route, we saw herd of blue sheep which ran away upon seeing us. Again we came back to the hotel on the way; we met some sisters from Kathmandu who were going to Tilicho lake. They were students of Kathmandu school of law. We played cards with them, sang songs, and enjoyed campfire for a while, We made ourselves warm and went to bed. I didn’t slept the whole night as the weather was getting worse. One of our friends went back to Manang. My friend encouraged me, and let’s go; I will help you and support you. Finally, the time has come to departure for Stilicho base camp. We had breakfast and started our hike to Stilicho base camp.
We passed through a suspension bridge, and we found a landslide area. The landslide area was too much dangerous. One mistake, life was gone. Small stones fall from the top of slide hills with air. Hazardous trails. There was quiet in the landslide trails because September and October its trekking season in Nepal. Many local and international tourists visit Stilicho lake and Annapurna circuit trek, a world-famous pass called a through the pass. In front, there was a person with regular shoes. He slept in the trails, and I got scared even though my shoes were with an excellent grip. Slowly I walk into the landslide area. Meet many foreigners in the landslide area; we click photos with them. Finally, walking 5 hours from shreekharka, we reached Stilicho base camp. All the hotels were packed, but we were lucky and found one room. We ate and went to bed. In the dining hall, many people are sleeping in the group. Dreaming of Stilicho lake, I sleep in—the early morning at 4:00 AM. My friend and I are getting ready for Stilicho lake, which will be more adventure because I decided to ride a horse to Stilicho lake. One of our friends hiked to Stilicho lake. In my life, I have ridden horses for the first time, which was more adventure. My and my friend’s names were crisp and sere. We ride horses and start our trip to Stilicho lake. On our way, we saw Khansari peak, Stilicho peak, etc. After two to three hours, we finally saw our dream place, Stilicho, with beautiful blue water. Tilicho is the world’s highest lake at an altitude of 4900m.
My friend and I had a cup of tea and enjoyed the view of Stilicho lakes, which was worth it. Slowly we walk downhill to Stilicho bae camp. We had a delicious lunch at base camp. We rested for a while and packed our bags. Our overnight was Manang valley, so we started our trek. On the way to manage in the landslide area, I got altitude sickness, and I was tired, but I never lost hope. I slowly walked and finally reached heaven on hearth village manage village overnight. We plan for a nice party at munji lodge. Our master chef, Prakash dai, cooked delicious food for my friend’s party, and we stayed one more day in Manang valley. We went to a lovely lake in Manang valley near Junji lodge the next day. We chilled in the lake area the whole day. We ate food, danced and talked to each other, and enjoyed looking at mountains and landscapes with a blue sky view. My friend played guitars and song Nepali songs. Some were busy taking photos. There was quiet in the trails of the Annapurna circuit trek. I request some tourists to take some pictures. I meet tourists from London and America. They were calm, and they also smoked marijuana with my friends. They dance with our gang, and we share our lunch with them. Finally, after 1 hour of chilling, we separated from each other; they were heading towards Manang valley and moving towards Milarepa cave which was at an altitude of 3900m. It was just opposite Munji lodge. We need to cross the marshyandgid river. The people of Manang plant vegetables in the field. We travel that part and slowly walk uphill. Finally, after two hours’ walk, there was an ancient cave. Many tourists went there and stayed there and did meditation. We can see the beautiful Manang valley. Last night at Manang manji lodge, Prakash dai cooked delicious food, and there was a campfire in the backyard garden weather was so cold. We ate dinner and went to the hotel’s roof, carrying our blanket from the room because outside was cold. We lie on the top and see the sky I can’t describe the view. It was just amazing. There were many colourful stars. I haven’t seen those many stars with my natural eyes in my lifetime. We saw many uncountable shooting stars in the sky. the sky looked gorgeous with colourful stars. The moments were just awesome one of the life the memorable night of my life, so manage valley was just a fantastic and mysterious place on earth which is also famous for the world’s highest trek Annapurna circuit trek.
Finally, we had a delicious local breakfast with mukhiya dai’s dad. He was so a kind, humble and calm person. He plans for an excellent farewell to us. We created many memories in our minds, and finally, we packed our bag and waited for a 4Wh jeep for besishsar—the mysterious manang valley trek. Manang is rich in bio-diversity. They have their own culture and celebrate our festival. The mountain’s culture is just incredible. They live in community groups. They help others in the community. The local people are kind, humble and calm. I sat in the front seat, and my friend sat in the back seat. The 4WH Mahendra bolero was best for offroad drive. Our driver was so skilful he drove very smoothly. The road was on the riverside of the wild fast-flowing river marshlands. We were tired of going, and we stayed break in Besi Sahar. We had lunch and headed toward Kathmandu.
Finally, mysterious Manang valley treks end with creating fantastic memories in our minds. I hope I will travel to manang again. So I suggest people do visit manang once in life.