Finally, the big day! After spending the night wearing almost all my clothing at 4 am we had an early wake up call. Getting out of my warm sleeping bag was really hard. Going outside the room even harder! It was freezing!!! After packing only water and something sweet to chew on, our journey had begun! With only our headlamps and day pack we started walking towards the Annapurna Base Camp. Our aim was to view the sunrise and that meant trekking in the dark! Even though the distance from the Machhapuchhre Base Camp to the Annapurna Base Camp is only 2.9km it took us around 3 hours to get there and felt like forever!!! Cold, heavy breathing and continuous thoughts of “What the hell am I doing here” were torturing me all the way to the ABC!
The trek into the Annapurna Base Camp is stunning, the views breathtaking, surrounded by massive mountains. Eventually, it was all worth it. Standing proudly at the lodge of the Annapurna Base Camp enjoying the sunrise and the panoramic views of some of the greatest peaks in the world, gave me the feeling of accomplishment that I actually made it! This was the biggest reward! All the exhaustion, cold, lack of breath, aches all over my body were magically gone (or at least forgotten for a while). A moment I will never forget...
*The trek to the Annapurna Base Camp usually includes a night at one of the lodges on the base camp but due to heavy snow in March, most of the teahouses have been damaged during an avalanche, so it’s still not possible to stay overnight at Annapurna Base Camp.
After having a hot ginger tea and getting back to reality, we were ready to return to the Machhapuchhre Base Camp to enjoy our well-deserved breakfast before descending to the Bamboo village, where we spent our night.
After a good night sleep and a delicious breakfast, our trek continued through the rhododendron forest, crossing the Chhomrong Khola river and then climbing up to Chhomrong village (making sure we do not forget the Nepali flat: a little bit up and a little bit down) where we enjoyed our lunch.
Our descent, as expected, had a faster pace, coming across a lot of steps once again, up and down, causing so much pain on our knees! After a strenuous trek our next stop was the ideal destination, the Jhinu Danda natural hot springs. We checked in our teahouse and decided to take a hike down for around 20 minutes through the forest to get to the 3 natural hot springs. There are 3 pools with different temperatures and a natural shower to clean up before entering the pools. The pools are built into the riverbank of the Modi Khola and are surrounded by beautiful trees. We relaxed in the therapeutic hot water and enjoyed the magnificent views around us. Nothing could be more perfect than to relax and rejuvenate, by indulging ourselves in a natural hot bath.
The day ended with a lovely dinner, music – we even played Greek music –a few drinks and a lot of dancing until it was time to get some rest. To make things more interesting, a gigantic, hairy spider decided to hide in our room causing some panic! Note that we never caught it and until today I’m worried if it’s raising a family in the pockets of my backpack!!!
The last day of our trek was quite tiring because our bodies needed a break and the way to Nayapul was long, hot and dusty. To be honest, I cheated somewhere in the middle and took the scariest and craziest bus ride to Nayapul and from there returned to Pokhara. From this moment on I enjoyed being a tourist in Pokhara.
Annapurna Base Camp trek= Mission Accomplished!