I had a wonderful 12 days trekking the Annapurna Circuit. It was my first major hike since a week in the Lake District with Tamie, Gill, Ben and others around 20 years ago and the Three Peak Challenge a couple of years before that.
Considering my lack of experience and also the elements of danger in climbing to 5400m I approached it with caution by deliberating long and hard over gear, and took along a companion, a local guide. In the main these precautions paid off as Roshan was great company and full of knowledge and experience making the practicalities of food, travel and accommodation a breeze. As the weather was perfect (if hot) some of my gear was overkill, but it’s better to be prepared. As for the footwear, well there were problems here but I’ve not yet consigned the boots to the bin; I just wonder if my feet were not fully prepared for the rigours of 6 hour daily treks at Roshan’s pace!
What I did not expect was the camaraderie that develops over the course of a couple of weeks on the road. Almost to negate the need for a guide. Many travelled in groups or pairs or joined up with others and made their own tracks and set their own pace.
We were taking the traditional route from the beginning at Besi Sahar (760m). As we were ahead of schedule by the time we got to Manang (3540m) I would have enjoyed taking the odd side trail to the Ice Lake (4600m) or the ‘world’s highest lake’ Tilicho Tal (4900m) that others had enjoyed, but with concerns over how long my feet would last we had to keep an eye on our main prize, the ‘world’s highest pass’ Thorung La which in the end we conquered with surprising ease. However, the next few days were so hard to endure. To have made it back down to Tatopani (1200m) felt like enough of an achievement for this occasion.
Please see my Facebook daily posts from the time of the walk for pictures and brief reflections and observations. I won’t repeat that here. My quick video tries to convey some of the experience of the Annapurna Circuit. Please enjoy. I did (mostly)!