Finally – mountains!

I went on a shorter trek to Poon Hill. I started on Friday when I left Pokhara with bus towards the most western part of the whole Annapurna circuit. They threw me out of bus seemingly in the middle of nowhere, at just another small village by the road, around 1000m high. I started to walk in the middle of the day, so it was really hot. Besides the path was going up and up, so I was sweating as if I would jump into a pool with all my clothes on. For that reason I stopped in a guest house in a small village by the way already around 2 PM and stayed there for a night. There were 3 guys from Holland staying in the same place. We smoked some Himalayan stuff and played cards, and in the evening the family owning a guesthouse prepared a small party. We all ended up dancing on Hindu music, including guys’ sherpas (porters and guides). So the afternoon and evening went fast.

I started the trek next day early in the morning, fearing the heat later. First part of the path consisted of really steep steps. I went really slowly and stopped often, but I reached 2000m peak already at 9 in the morning. And surprise – they had an internet café there, in the small village in the middle of nowhere! As I used the opportunity I went further. The next part of the trail was a bit easier and the weather up there wasn’t so hot anymore. Altogether I made that day 1400m of height. I spent a night in a village Ghorepani (with wifi!) on 2800m, just under the Poon Hill, my final destination.

The next morning I woke up before 4 in the morning. Already the nightsky was breathtaking since there were no lights around and no clouds above. Too bad that I don’t have a professional camera (again!) so I wasn’t able take any photos of millions of stars above. I needed around an hour to come to the Poon Hill (3210m) and then waited for the sunrise. It was really cold, probably around 0, so I wore all my warm clothes, but my hands were still freezing. However, it was worth it. That was one of the best sunrises I’ve seen so far (along with sunrise in Bagan in Myanmar, Huangshan mountain in China and probably some sunrise in summer by the lake in Finalnd). But let the photos tell more.

That day after breakfast I continued my trek and came again quite far, up and down the high slopes, to a village Tadapani. Since my knee started to hurt I wasn’t sure if I should continue already next day or not. But the weather made that decision for me, for today in the morning it was raining heavily. So I have a break day in a cozy guest house on a top of the hill (around 2600m), with a better wifi than I’ve seen since I left Kathmandu.

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That’s how my trek started, on around 1000m heigh.

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Buffalos in mud are happy buffalos.

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The view to the rest of the village (Hile) from a guest house where I stayed the first night.

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That’s how the villages here look like

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“Himalayan train” I heard they call it. This is the only way to carry things to the villages and houses.

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The path followed some mountain streams

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On first two days of my trek there were bloodsucking flies. When they bite they actually leave you bleeding, and after few minutes the spots become so itchy! And I heard it lasts for 3 weeks. Oh well.

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On my way to Ghorepani. Soon after that it started to rain and it didn’t stop for the whole afternoon. This is actually one of my favourite photos so far, thanks to the woman walking in front of me.

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The amazing view from Poon Hill next morning. On picture from left to right peaks Annapurna South (7220m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Machhapuchhare or Fish Tail Mountain (6993m). Note that Machhapuchhare is a sacred mountain in Hinduism and thus haven’t ever been climbed yet.

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And the other side. The highest peak (in the middle) is Dhaulagiri (8167m)

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Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhare

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Daulagiri and prayer flags

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And here it is, the rising sun!

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The view tower and mountains

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The path to Tadapani with rhododendron trees. The picture was taken on a 3000m pass. If you are wondering – the snow cover starts at around 5000m.

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As I started to descend, the path followed a stream for quite a long time.

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