Tomorrow morning the adventure begins. At 10AM I will head off to the TAAN office to get my TIMS card (which I have been unable to obtain for the last two days due to various reasons), after which I will be heading out of Pokhara via road towards the “good stuff” on the Annapurna Circuit (~150-200km of it) followed by visiting the Annapurna Sanctuary(~100km). Here’s an overview of what I’m looking at, where the yellow lines are trekking and the orange are by land transportation:
1. Bus from Pokhara to Besisahar, followed by a jeep up to Ngadi to avoid two days of walking on a dirty busy road.
2. The real trek begins in Ngadi either Sunday afternoon or Monday morning, depending on how fast I make it out there. From Ngadi I will be steadily increasing in altitude trekking through the mountains, as you can see looking at the map it quickly goes from 1100 meters to 2670 meters to 3500+ meters, followed eventually by the literal high point of the trek, the Thorung La pass at 5400+ meters (almost 18,000 feet high!).
3. After the pass it’s downhill towards Jomsom where civilization begins again and the rest of the circuit is again disrupted by road construction. At Jomsom I will be taking a jeep down to the next spot.
4. In Tatopani or Ghorepani – or maybe even Chomrong (TBD based on where I can hitch a ride to) I will start the trek to Annapurna Basecamp.
5. At Annapurna Basecamp, I’ll explore for a bit then turn around and retrace my steps back out towards Chomrong or Ghandruk
6. From somewhere around here, I’ll pick up a jeep back to Pokhara (worst case I may have to walk to Birethani).
1. Back to the beginning – depending on what kind of time I make, I’ll hopefully chill in Pokhara for a day then fly or bus out to Kathmandu, chill there another day, then fly back home to the US.
So, there you have it. Once I hit the road tomorrow I don’t expect to see internet until I make it over the Thorung Pass to Muktinath or Jomsom, which should take anywhere from 7-10 days. No guide, no porter, no guidebook… just good old fashioned walking.
Here we go.