I awoke early and couldn’t get back to sleep so decided to anxiously rise. The day was quite clear and I guess it was nice that we wouldn’t be walking in the rain. I had the standard bread and egg breakfast and before long we were packing our bags and off, all the information boards along the route which give a guide time of how long it will take to get to different places we had beaten thus far and the board telling us to get to base camp would be 4 hours, we hoped to beat and relax in time for elevenses. I was quite apprehensive as to whether I would get altitude sickness at all, as on a trek, two weeks previous in the Helambu region after rising from 2400m to 3600m I didn’t have the best of nights sleep!

Start of the 'big day'

The pace was quite slow to begin with but I wasn’t going to up the tempo as I was unsure whether going quicker would increase my chances of getting ill. The climb wasn’t very steep which I found surprising seen as we had 1000 metres to climb. We crossed a lot of very precarious bridges and the path slowly started to turn away from the valley that we seemed to of been following for days. Before long a couple of houses came into view and I checked my watch and we had nearly been walking for 2 hours and I realised that we had come across the Machhapuchre base camp which is a bit of a non existant as the mountain is considered sacred and has never been climbed so having a base camp is a bit of a tourist con! Nevertheless it was a nice place to have a break and eat a mars bar! I took a video at this point and playing it back am surprised at the heavy breathing.

 

At this point we overtook a French group who had been annoying us for days and carried on walking. They weren’t too bad, we just were at a couple of lodges with them and there over joyfullness and ability to fill a teahouse was quite great due to the fact there were about 12 of them. After about half an hour the view was magnificent and it was possible to see all the lodges at Annapurna Base Camp in the distance and they looked deceivingly close. Everyone in the group was walking fine and there were no signs of altitude sickness and we carried on the slug up to the lodges and went past a rock where it said that it would be one more hour before we reached the base camp, the path really wasn’t steep and just took a while and was a gradual uphill.

The fake basecamp.. Machhapuchre. 'Fish Tail'

Eventually the path seemed to even out and I looked at my watch and we were at 4000 metres so were pretty much there. We crossed a river or two and the area was a little snow covered. We came to a sign which pretty much said welcome to Annapurna Base Camp and we carried on up a few steps and arrived at the lodge we would be staying at for the night. I took a few photos and video at the sign.

 

After putting all my bag and the stuff that needed drying on the line I relaxed and was surprised that I didn’t feel ill an had a cup of tea to celebrate. The view from the base camp were quite good and it was nice because in pretty much every direction you could see mountains and there was a lot of history at the place. We arrived there at 12 and it took us 4 hours which was surprising but we felt we did it well and at the lodge there were a few other English people so it was nice to chat to them throughout  the day. One guy in particular was a professional photographer and had been living in Nepal for 5 years making me a little jealous of what sounded like a perfect job. He had spent 2 months at Everest Base Camp taking photos of a summit expedition and also explained that it was nearly a full moon so the sky would be lit up at about 4 in the morning and all the mountains would glow if we got up. And me with my love of getting up at 4AM thought this was a good think to do.

Made it! Victory shot at Annapurna Base Camp sign!

I  set an alarm for 3:45 to check out the sky and the rest of the day was spent talking and eating. I watched the Nepali guides and porters playing a nice card game and getting quite into the gambling and took a little video.

 

We went to bed quite early because of the 3:45 AM rise and on the way to bed I saw the photographer who was sceptical as the cloud was not lifting. Who knows whether I would see the beautiful sky or not!

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