Oh. My. Word.
If you ever have the chance to experience the Himalayas, make sure you grab it with both grubby mitts people. They are simply breathtaking.
Just seeing the different types of terrain we passed through for 3 days on the way up to Annapurna Base Camp was spectacular, let alone the views at the top.
We went from green and fertile terraced farmland:
Through misty, rainy, mossy forests full of gorgeous waterfalls and streams:
To finally snow, ice and really bloody big glaciars up top:
This is Ali and our porter, Purna (legend), at the Machapuchare Base Camp, just 300m from the top:
It’s really very difficult to describe the majesty of the ‘Annapurna Sanctuary’ – at the Annapurna Base Camp (4,100m) you’re basically surrounded 360 degrees by absolutely FREAKING ENORMOUS 8000+m mountains. There’s a constant low rumble of small avalanches and rockfalls through the mist that drifts past and swallows up whole sides of the bowl. These photos definitely do not do it justice.
A pretty sobering memorial to one of the many mountaineers lost to the Annapurna range:
We spent a freezing night up at the top and got up to see sunrise over the mountains the following morning, before legging it down about 2000 metres (knees: ouch) back to warmer climes.
This is one of the ‘teahouses’ we stayed in – they’re very basic but pretty okay accommodation for about $4/night, with hot showers retailing at $1.50!
And lastly, possibly the most random sign I’ve ever seen:
It was very hard work cramming the trek into 5 days, but we loved every moment of it and feel really quite privileged to have seen Annapurna up close and personal – definitely one of the highlights of the trip!