The Annapurna Circuit

The Annapurna Circuit

While we read a lot of Blogs about Nepal, we just found out that there are so many nice treks to do. And one of the most beautiful but also most challenging should be the Annapurna Circuit. That’s why it was clear for us: we’ll hike this one 😀

Thanks also to Bine and Burnsi (www.bineundburnsi.reisen) for all the tips and the motivation from home haha

At first there are some special tips we will give you before starting to hike:

  • If you have dinner and breakfast at your guesthouse, you will get the room for free if you ask for it
  • Dhal Bhat is refilled – this is the only meal you that really makes you full 😀 DHAL BHAT POWER – 24 HOUR *hahaha*

From Kathmandu we started our bus ride to Besi Sahar really early in the morning because it takes at least 8 hours to get there.  The ride was really nice and we loved the tea stops, where Bina first fell in love with Masala Tea 😀

We got our Trekking Permits in Besi Sahar (You have to get the ACAP and the TIMS permit for that trek, for each you pay 2000 Rupies and have to bring 2 photos) and bought a shaver and a toothbrush (YEEESSS we forgot the charger for our toothbrush and we did not want to loook like YETI after the 2 weeks of trekking so we bought also a shaver *g* – a really bad but cheap one)

Day 1: Kathmandu – Basi Sahar – Bhulbulle

The weather was really bad when we arrived in Besi Sahar and everyone just told us they will get a Jeep to skip some days of trekking but we said: NO WAY- we will walk it from the beginning. So we started our first day of a 2 hours hike to Bhulbulle. Besi Sahar is at the height of 800 meters, Bhulbulle has 840 heightmeters… so just 40 meters up, cannot be that challenging we thought. But it was not as easy as we thought because our backpacks were 14 and 16 kgs and in combination with wind and rain it was not really a comfy walk. Alltough we just did not think of descents, we thought it will be just a 40 m ascent haha. so all in all we did about 300 heightmeters in ups and downs (according to Mapsme – a very helpful app for this trek by the way – it saved us a few times from taking the wrong way). As we arrived in Bhulbulle the heavy rain started while we chilled in a dining hall enjoying a Masala tea and an awesome dinner. After an refreshing ice cold shower together with a beautiful big spider (this was SARCASTIC), we went to bed early because we wanted to start the hike at 6 the next morning.

Day 2: Bhulbulle – Ghermu

It was day with ups and downs through amazing landscapes and we were so happy that we did not take a Jeep. We loved getting used to the weight of our backpacks and we also love the feeling when the ways get more and more challenging.  Especially the ones with steps were great and we saw them as a booty workout 😀 We made short break in Bahundanda for – guess what?! – a Masala Tea :D- and after 6 hours of walking we reached Ghermu at the height of 1130 meters. We stayed there in a really great guesthouse called Chrystal hotel and enjoyed a HOT shower and a delicious lunch and dinner there. we spent the rest of our day chilling in the sun, playing Poker and reading there and went to bed early again for being fit for the next day.

Day 3: Germu – Karte

Today the weather was great in the morning so we started early without having breakfast to get to our goal destination Karte at the height of 1870 meters. After half an hour walk we reached an awesome bridge and started to take pictures. Exactly in the middle of the bridge Martin gave the Camera to Bina to make a picture and suddenly the “Stöpsli” (the thing that protects the lense of the camera) fell down, through the bridge HAHA and it was gone. Bina said okay… the cam will survive without it, but Martin was aready on the way to look for it. She thought he will NEVER find it, but he prooved the opposite. He came back with the “Stöpsli” in his hand, SMILING all over *gg*

We lost half an hour by this crazy action, but it was fun – and so typical for us. We Had a tea and breakfast break in Chamche and enjoyed the time there with PHIL, a nice man from England we met on the way the day before.  After our break the weather got bad and so we nearly ran to Karte and did not really notice that our backpack is heave and all these things 😀 We just arrived at the guesthouse when the rain started to get really heavy and enjoyed that our timing always seemed to be quite good.  We had a chilled evening in Karte and as usual went to bed early – no we#re not getting old, we just hike 6 or more hours a day 😀

Day 4 Karte – Chame

This day was gain a mixture of ascends and descends and when we stared our walk, it was so beautiful and sunny. The first 500 height metes were just steps, but we loved it. It was callenging and it was great. the view got better and better the higher we climbed. But as we reached the top- guess what?! – the weather was BAD again haha. So we decided to have Lunch in Tanchowk where we nearly froze! We were waiting more than 1 hour for our food and so we decided to walk on directly after we finished lunch. After a steep climb, we reached the next village that is called: Tanchowk *haha* – now we knew why we had to wait so long for our food before. it was not the real Tanchowk – it was just a small pre village where normally no one stops for eating 😀

After a nice tea break and 7 hours of walking we reached Chame at the height of 2710 meters and enjoyed our hot shower and dinner there. Today it was time for an Anti- Yeti treatment so for shaving the hot shower was amazing 😀

Day 5: Chame – Dhakur Pokhari

We again started really early this day because we thought the weather is always nice just in the morning and this is how it was exactly on day 5… for the first 10 minutes. Then it started raining heavily and so we jumped into a small teahouse to have breakfast. People were so friendly there and it was a small paradise for Bina because there was a cat with their newborn babies living in this teahouse and she could cuddle them during our breakfast. When the weather got a bit better we started again and walked through light rain to our next stop Bhratang where we wanted to stay because we were not happy about hiking through the rain. But there were so many people chilling in one teahouse there that we did not want to stay there and walked on. We did not realize that the weather was getting worse and we just walked right into a thunderstorm haha. After an endless walk trough rain, snow, snowstorm and us reaching our limits, we arrived at Dhakur Pokhari at the height of 3240 meters, where we found and awesome guesthouse with a warm fireplace to dry our things. We chilled there with some nice people and this was also the day when we first met Myriam, Inga, Laurena and Jakob (Stephen haha). We stayed there for the night and hoped that the weather will be better tomorrow.

Day 6: Dhakur Pokhari – Ngawal

When we woke up this day, we had the most amazing view we had before. The sun was shining and we could first see Annapurna 2 and Mount Kailash. WE decided to start without breakfast and stop  Upper Pisang for a breakfast break, what pointed out to be the perfect decision. Today we really had a challenging day but the weather and the views were so amazing and breathtaking that we did not even realized how challenging it was. We reached Ngawal at the height of 3680 meters after 7 hours of hiking and one magic moment after the other and had dinner there with our friends from the day before. From now on we met them every day and hiked some steps together which was really fun.

Day 7: Ngawal – Brakha – Milerepa Cave

Day 7 was just a short day because we only walked 2 hours to get to Bhraka. We came there really early, found a nice place to stay, left our things there and started a side trek to Milerepa Cave from there after having an awesome breakfast. Our guesthouse was also a bakery and Bina instantly fell in love with the Cinnamon rolls and the Tsampa Porridge there. When we started our hike to the cave, the weather was really nice but it got worse during the day and so we quickly walked up to 4100 – these side treks are important for acclimatization- and reached our hotel again exactly 1 minute before the rain started. We chilled there at the fire place for the rest of the day and got ready for tomorrows hiking day.

Day 8: Bragha – Manang

When we woke up the weather was great so we decided to do another side trek to the ice lake. We packed a cinnamon roll and a small pot of ginger lemon honey tea and started our hike. after like 10 minutes of walking, someone told us that martins backpack is losing some liquid and we found out that there was a leak in the teapot -.- So we just saw that as a sign not to do a side trek and to head on to Manang instead for visiting the viewpoint. This was also very challenging but not so far and our destiny gave us the right sign. exactly when we came back from the viewpoint and had lunch in Cyalzen and Sisters restaurant (this is the best and cheapest in whole Manang <3)  it started to rain, and 5 minutes later the rain turned into snow. Luckily we were inside at a wam fire place. We enjoyed the rest of the day eating an amazing apple crumble (Martin still dreams of it haha) and chilling with friends. We also visited a lecture on mountain sickness for getting all the improtant infos how to stay healthy.

Day 9: Manang – Yak Kharka

Martin was a bit unfit in the morning so that’s why we just started our day really slowly. But after more and more great views he just forgot about all his problems and we reached our goal the Yak Hotel at the height of 4050 meters after 3 hours.we were both really motivated to chill but for aclimatization it is really important to climb up to higher destinations before you sleep in a lower one. So we went on to Letdar without our backpacks, and went back to the Yak Hotel then for having a shower and Dinner with our friends. This was the funniest shower ever, because you just got one bucket with warm water per person and you can do with it whatever you define as a bucket shower 😀

Day 10: Yak Kharka- Thorong Phedi

The hike to Thorong Phedi at the height f 4450 meters was one of the most challenging days of this trek. You feeel like endlessly walking up and then, when you think you just reached your goal, you have to walk all the way down to walk it up again and again haha. we were kinda frustrated when we saw all the descends but it was really worth it when we saw the amazing view from Thorong Phedi and realized that there are cinnamon rolls available here 😀 We walked up to the next stop High Camp without our backpacks for acclimatization, came back for dinner and went to bed really early because the next day we had to be fit. It’s the day we cross the pass and you start this hiking day at 5 in the morning.

Day 11: Thorong Phedi – Thorong la Pass – Muktinath

TODAY WAS THE DAY – the one we were expecting since 2 weeks – the day we will cross the Thorong La Pass at the hight of 5416 meters!!

We started early, wearing all the things we had because it is soooo cold in the mountains at night. The first step to High Camp was really challenging at this temperature and trails are icy and not really safe. The air gets thinner and thinner the higher you walk and after walking for a while you start to expect the pass after every dune of snow – We were so glad we had some Energy Cakes with us – they really saved our life this day 😀

When we just got used to the air and started to really enjoy the snow and the views and the sun coming out – there suddenly we saw the Thorong La Pass. We both had tears in our eyes. This was such an emotional moment. You feel so limitless standing there with the person you love, enjoying the breathtaking view over Himalayas Mountains. WE were so lucky with the weather and enjoyed this unforgettable moment together with our hiking partners. No wind, no clouds – just sun, mountains and silence <3

After chilling there for about an hour we started our way down… and this was really worse than climbing up. 4 hours of steep descent to Mutinath at the height of 3700 meters – what a pleasure for our knees 😀 NOOOOOT

In Muktinath we stayed at the Bob Marley Hotel where we enjoyed a great shower and our second Anti – Yeti treatment (now the shaver was completely dead *gg*) and just fell asleep very early.

Day 12: Muktinath – Jomsom – Pokhara

Okay – We did not want to have another just -walk-down-and-kill-your-knees hiking day and thats why we chose to take the bus from Muktinath to Jomsom (i think we were the first people who used this one because the road was just built while our bus was driving it haha) and then catch a bus to Pokhara and chill there for a view days.

All in all we really think that hiking the Annapurna Circuit was one of the best things we’ve ever done. We would really highly recommend this experience to every person who feels fit enough to climb up there. You will have so many magic and peaceful moments there that you will never forget!

JUST DO IT 😀

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