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Annapurna base camp – Part II

Day 3 : June 1st : Birethanti —> Sudame —> Hille —> Tikendunga —> Ulleri —> Ghorepani

We were a little ambitious, wanting to reach Ghorephani by night fall. Not that it was impossible, but we weren’t expecting what we faced. After getting our TIMS, we took a right from the checkpost and walked onwards to Ghandruk. We realised our folly after walking for half an hour and had to walk back towards the checkpost, get our ACAP and TIMS checked and took the left.

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Now the way to Hille is pretty simple and it’s just walk which goes through small villages. There are small bridges and certain parts of the trail truly resembles the Shire from LOTR. By the time we did Sudame to Hille and Hille to Tikedunga, it was noon and that meant time for lunch. Our unanimous choice was Dal Bhat for obvious reasons. And then it started pour, and the toughest part of our trek lay ahead of us. We were yet to climb the Ulleri section, with stairs that will make you hate stairs for the rest of your life.

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We had to reach Ghorepani nevertheless, so we marched on and finally reached Ghorepani, battered, freezing and just wanting to change to our warm clothes. Never once had it stopped pouring in those 4 grueling hours. A small stop for hot lemon tea on the way had helped us much. We checked into a room, changed to warm clothes and sat by the fireplace while waited for our food. Another set of trekkers were discussing on how to handle leeches and we pitched in and gave advice as to how salt helps. We deserved some sleep, and boy did we sleep.

Day 4 : June 2nd : Ghorepani —> Poon Hill —> Ghorepani —> Banthanti —> Tadapani —> Chuile
It was my birthday, yay. Our rooms and the corridor was filled with our wet shoes, clothes and what not. We woke up early at around 5 a.m and headed to Poonhill. It’s just 45 minutes of stairs and after doing the Ulleri stretch, this was nothing. Due to it being off season, there weren’t many people around. I had to bow down to the beautiful view and was tempted to spend a lot of time there, but alas, we had much to cover.

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Todays stop was Tadapani and we were told that we could reach the place easily. The route was nothing short of scenic and involved walking through forests, uphill and downhill. The route after Banthanti got a little tiring as I got hungrier but nevertheless made it to Tadapani, right on time for lunch. After a few days of no network coverage, Wifi in the hotel was a big boon. The overwhelming number of bday notifications managed to a alleviate my tiredness and the Dal Bhat ofcourse calmed my tummy. Since we still had loads of time to kill, we decided to stop at the next destination, Chuile. A beautiful view awaited us and I request anyone planning on doing this trek to make a stop at Chuile and spend time here. All in all, my best birthday ever, period.

Day 5 : June 3rd : Chuile —> Chhomorong —> Sinuwa —> Bamboo
Oh sunrise, you are such a beauty. The Machhupuhure peak never looked better through my eyes. After my first head bath in over 4 days, I was fresh as a daisy. Something about todays trail had gotten me all excited. We pushed on never once feeling exhausted, maybe it was the trail coupled with views to behold. We reached the beautiful, I must emphasize beautiful, village of Chhomorong. Food in general is expensive as you gain altitude but we found biscuits being sold for MRP prices here which was a surprise indeed. We packed in as much as we could. And also, this was supposed to be our stop for today according to the original itinerary but since we had covered one extra stop yesterday, our goal was to repeat the same and end up at Bamboo by evening.

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After having our lunch at Sinuwa, the climb down to Bamboo was a joy. The trail which runs through the rhododendron forest is a trekkers paradise. But also to keep in mind was this, nothing is flat in Nepal, if we climb down, we will be punished later with a lot more elevation. We stayed at a hotel where we met some Indians who bragged a lot and my sleep was not a satisfying one as they dint have blankets.

To be continued…..

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