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My trek to Annapurna Base Camp – part three

Day 7. MBC – Chomrong, running hooome!

The morning is beautiful! It seems I repeat myself, but now I see something unbelievable: huge white mountains, which saw hundreds of years, are all around me. Only white mountains and blue sky.
And the frozen water in tubes. And the frozen shoes. And the freezing air: I sleep in 2 t-shirts, a fleece top and trousers, and and fleece jacket – all my clothes! The only morning I would prefer to have something more…
This is why we are hurry up – down, down! The air is thin, so I feel apathy and weakness, but all my motivation leads me down! So we are almost run: MBC, Deurali, Hinku Cave, Himalaya… The guys from ABC leave us behind, running even faster: as our bodies feel oxygen, we feel so much strength and will!
In Bamboo the cell gets back to life, and we try to call to one of the lodges in Chomrong: the phone numbers of all lodges were discovered in Deurali! I assume every lodge has all phones either: it is really clever to call from one lodge to book a room in the next one! Usually it’s something a guide will do for you, but as soon as everyone in logged speak at least some English – why we won’t do that for ourselves? Unfortunately, my cell still can’t cope with Nepal network, and the host of a Bamboo lodge we stayed in before does that for us. Thank you, kind lady, we are now allowed to go as slow as we want 🙂
By Shivalaya we start to feel really tired, but the idea of having a dinner in German’s Bakery and a nice lodge in Chomrong still inspires us! Being tired is also good for the bridge crossing: I have no energy for panic! Mr. Cat guides me by his hand, and the last serious challenge on our way is just an ascent to our lodge! Seems good 🙂
Seems, but in 1,5 hours we are still ascending – no talks, no complains, one step, another step… Never underestimate the ascending in the mountains! It is always more hard than you guess it will be 🙂

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The lodge host welcomes us with an expression on the face asking “will they die in my lodge?”, but we are actually happy! Plenty of hot water, the dry place for clothes, comfortable bed! It was worthwhile to ascend and descend all 10 hours!
Day 8. Chomrong – Kamrong
The truth is, we are tired from this trek. The clean clothes ran out long ago, Snickers are almost finished, and we feel exhausted from walking and walking all day. So our first (and the most ambitious) plan to go to Poon Hill before return is cancelled. However, we are not enough weak to descent to Modi Khola and to have a comfortable (and boring) way out of valley. We decide to go by mountains – Kemrong, Kamrong, Ghandruk and to Nayapul. We can make it today!
Being the last to leave the lodge, we are saying goodbye to German’s Bakery without any bakery: sometimes you just need a sign of civilization, not a real croissant 🙂 We step into the forestry area by the donkey’s path (poor animals, for what’s sake you are smelling so bad?!), walk into the transparent forest, which remind the forest around Moscow. The trekkers here are many, but between them I notice something interesting on the way:
Meow! Just when I start to feel lack of wild nature, here we go! Pity I never saw something more than that… I think I would try to hug it!
Besides that, the forest is just a typical forest. But I like the nature of the Annapurna sanctuary: sometimes it reminds my home and Moscow countryside in all plants and habitats. And after a while I see something different: bamboo + rhododendron forest, which is tall, transparent and hot, or the mossy wet forest full of greenery and birds songs, or the rare life on the snowy rocks… And now, crossing another river by the small donkeys’ bridge under a big scary bridge for trekkers, we step into a strange forest.
This, I should say, is the most strange place on the whole trek for me! Empty path, ascending to Kamrong, lies between old quiet trees, so high you can hardly see what’s in the branches, and there are monkeys! All these trees are something special, and all the quiet forests makes a freaky impression of impatience while you still here: leave us, human being! Faster!
The secret of this quiet waiting opens by the top of the mountain: a rain comes! And it’s not a small rain, so typical for our trek we almost don’t notice it. This rain transform a path into a river in a second, and, although we are hiding under a tree, in couple of minutes we feel all wet! We run above, slipping on the way, and we run into a first lodge noticed.
This lodge becomes our last shelter on the trek: the rain didn’t stopped that day and was too strong even to reach Ghandruk, which we saw in a window. However, this stop was a real tour in a natural villager’s life! A small and empty guesthouse, with chickens in the hall, a nice and immediate host Nisa, simple food and apple pie – everything leads my thoughts to the time when these mountains were less touristic! However, I can’t hide – sometimes I preferred this way to be touristic, means safe and comfortable!
Day 9. Kamrong – Nayapul – Pokhara
That evening was good, but we are impatient to get back today, the earlier the better! By the chilly morning we walk with Nica to her cow and go further to Ghandruk. This is a biggest village of the region, with the museum, restaurants and a school!
Passing by, we are also amused by the curious fluffy villagers, and the children who didn’t ask a thing (uff!).
And the donkeys. These little workers are in charge of building all these stone houses, feeding hundreds of villagers and trekkers… If in Deurali and higher locations all the heavy things they have are brought by helicopter, here and till Himalaya everything depends on donkeys. The cleverest, leading the caravan, usually have nice outfit!
After Ghandruk the trekker way becomes more and more civic: no feeling of a challenge anymore, and it’s a pity to see you are not anymore an adventurer – you are a tourist. By Siuli Bazaar we passed the bus station, where the drivers were keen of idea to put us inside for 600 rupees to Pokhara (instead of 20 rupees from Pokhara to Phedi), but we decide to walk by the very end.
This was endless: the way, not anymore trekking – the dusty way for cars and buses, the feeling we’ve done everything and the only one step is between us and Pokhara. The joy of return changes to a pity, and I say goodbye to Modi Khola almost sadly. No matter how hard it was sometimes, and how tired we were from this trek – it was sad to say goodbye to the mountains!
The last check point officer almost run for us to put the stamps: so tired we were by Nayapul! But ok, guys, we don’t want to be considered as missing! And Nayapul welcomes us to make a short break: from that, it is almost 1 km to the bus station, where we plan to sit for 30 minutes – but we were lucky this time, and the bus waited for us seeing our very last ascent to the road!
And just in 40 minutes we were back to Pokhara – we are looking forward to meet the ginger tea and sandwiches, the hot shower without rush, and future travel. It is still sad to leave the mountains, but we will be back – for sure!

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