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Annapurna base camp – Part I

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Day 1 : May 30th : Bangalore  —> New Delhi  —> Kathmandu

It had been over a year since I had been on a flight. That I missed the sight of whizzing above the ever puffy cotton candy clouds was no secret, and I realised how I had stopped marveling at little things. The layover time between flights was just enough for us to explore a bit of New Delhi and I probably had the best Chole Batura and Lassi that I’ve tasted my entire life at a place called Aggarwals close to T-3 terminal. We were in Kathmandu by evening and the international airport, though bare basic, overlooks fantastic scenery. Now Indians have the privilege of entering Nepal visa-free but a lack of stamp on the passport meant that my first abroad trip made the entry on my passport look stupid and incomplete. On reaching Thamel and some roaming around to buy maps and few other knockoff gear, we headed to House of music. It’s an amazing place to spend the evening if you’re in Thamel and I highly recommend the place. Now not knowing from where we were supposed to catch the early morning bus to Pokhara, we headed out and somehow managed to find the place.

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Now having done zero research on Kathmandu prior to arriving, we had no idea as to where to sleep for the night and all the hotels we went to charged exorbitantly and we weren’t willing to spend more on the very first day of the trip, it was to be a budget trip afterall. Having had to wait just 6 hours for the morning bus, we decided to spend the night in the bus stop itself which happened to be in front of election commission office of Kathmandu. Having seen us trying to sleep in the bus stop, a good samaritan guard invited us and made us sleep in the beautiful lawn of the election commission office. That was a night well spent with lots of interesting talks and a couple of power naps.

Day 2 : May 31st : Kathmandu  —>Pokhara  —> Nayapul  —> Birethanti

The buses to Pokhara were scheduled to leave at 7.30 and we found a decent bus for 600 NPR. The bus ride was nothing much to write about except that the power naps the previous night was never enough and we slept during most part of our journey. I did have the ever-so-popular-in-blogs Dal Bhat for lunch, which would eventually be my goto lunch during the trek. On reaching Pokhara after 7 hours of sitting idle, we rushed to the permit office on Lakeside to get our ACAP and TIMS done. We could procure only ACAP but were told that TIMS can be procured from Birethanti as well. The plan was to reach Birethanti by night fall, and boy did we rush.

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Catching hold of a bread loaf shaped Tata bus, we reached Nayapul after an hour only to be  greeted by heavy rainfall. Hot lemon tea and a couple of Samosas later, we started our descent to Birethanti and the walk didn’t last long. We stayed in a hotel overlooking a river right in front of the TIMS office at Birethanti.  After having a really good dinner, others crashed while I tried to capture the night sky. Due to inadequate equipment and after repeated attempts to capture a decent picture, sleeping made more sense.

 

To be continued…..

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