Welcoming in the 20th day, our last day trekking the Annapurna Circuit, we were rewarded once again by somewhat clear skies and spectacular views of the massive Annapurna Mountain Range peaks.
Standing on the terraced garden of “See You Hotel” with Dreadknot, while admiring the view, I yawned and rubbed my eyes and when I looked up, the mountains were obscured by clouds.... the weather changes that fast up here. As we packed up our backpacks and prepared to leave, it became increasingly more overcast and the sound of heavy thunder reverberated through the mountains.
Leaving Pothana we had to check in again with the ACAP tourist police after we said goodbye to the large group of Dutch trekkers who had their trekking completion party last night which we enjoyed observing, where they thanked and had a very heartwarming dinner party with their many guides and porters. Everyone was having an absolute blast, dancing and being happy together and the feeling of good will and friendship building was absolutely beautiful.
Our route today was to be via Australian Camp (AC) and then on to Kande. Half way along the trail to Australian Camp, the heavens opened and we were pelted with rain and hail. Fortunately we had our trekking umbrellas at hand, rain covers for our packs and we could take refuge in the dining hall of AC. Accompanying the rain was a very fierce wind, driving the rain sideways, leaving us with drenched pants.
The heavy rainstorm lasted two hours after which the sun came out, the wind abated and we continued our downhill walk to Kande where we ended our trek.
On the local bus drive to Pokhara we enjoyed the company of two Swedish hikers and once the bus came to a stop Lakeside in Pokhara, we got out onto the street and I asked a woman we saw whether she could recommend a place to stay. She was from Russia, lives here part of the year and very kindly walked us 1km to the hotel/ family stay lodge she stays at which was perfectly located for all the amenities of this very hip and cosmopolitan part of town.
After an afternoon of shopping for clothes to wear, getting our laundry done and catching up with awesome trekking friends who are also in town we feel satisfied and accomplished.
We’ve been following the red and white blaze, marking the Annapurna Circuit since the start of our journey at Besisahar. According our map “ Around Annapurna” , the official full Circuit follows the path we are taking, while most trekkers end on an alternate, shorter route. This map is a ‘ must have’ and for weight purposes there is a smaller pocket version.
Hiking the Annapurna Circuit and walking on foot for 20 days through this region of Nepal, has not only been an incredible and challenging physical feat but also a great journey in learning about this beautiful country, it’s people, culture, geography and history. The kindness we have received along our journey has been wonderful. Most of the tea houses we’ve been accommodated and fed in, have been smaller family enterprises and we’ve felt as though we have been welcomed into these families homes and have had the privilege of being exposed to their daily lives. All of our hosts have been gracious and genuinely interested in where we come from, how far we’re going and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed having warm conversations with them.
The Circuit has taken us over 230km/150 miles on foot through verdant subtropical farming climates, jungles, alpine forests, high arid mountain terrains above the tree line, through deserts and river beds. The route is a circular journey through the Annapurna Mountain range, giving us an almost 360 degree view of all of the massive peaks. We’ve hiked in the blazing sun, being snowed on and been pelted with rain.
The telecommunications system here is really good and we are amazed at the availability of WiFi in virtually all of the most remote mountain villages. There is also massive infrastructure development here at present, most notably with the construction of new roads, which at this time requires jeeps to be able to drive on, but no doubt in the future, more of them will be paved.
Thank you to the beautiful people of Nepal who helped make our journey such a pleasurable and memorable experience.
This trek has also been dubbed a “ world party” and has lived up to this reputation as we have met and interacted with fantastic travelers from around the globe, all united in an epic quest to hike this incredible trekking route.
It has been worth every step of getting out of our comfort zone. When you travel through a country on foot you experience it in a very deep and personal way, as you are moving through it slowly and experiencing it with all of your senses at all times. The difference between being a traveler rather than a tourist is that you assimilate your experiences into your being in a deeper way.
We are eternally grateful for this opportunity!