[Chia sẻ] - An journey in Annapurna, Nepal (English) | Phuot.vn

Heat from a cup of hot ginger tea I got at a lodge on the way up to Ice Lake (4620 m) helped me recover after 3 hrs ascent. Outside the lodge, the cold wind blew severely into the wall, making the sound like animal roaring. In front of me, through the window stood the spectacular, soaring Annapurna III with its summit covered in white snow. Impressed by the spectacle of nature, I enjoyed my tea, trying to absorb all of energy from it.

It's been more than one year since I made the 15-day trip to Nepal. It is the most beautiful vacation I have ever made, an epic journey for myself. Buddhist prayer flags flying in the winds coming from huge mountains covered by snow in Himalayas are among wonderful things that I will never forget. Today, at my leisure time, I would like to go back a little in time to show off my adventure in Nepal.

Nepal is an Himalayas country where the main portion of the highest mountain range in the globe located in. The idea of me travelling in Nepal was inspired from a friend of mine who had made the Everest Base Camp (EBC) trip one year before. She had shared all her plan, preparation steps and experiences to me. So my trip was supposed to be the same as her, the only difference was that I went alone.

An afternoon, 18th October, 2018, I took the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu with quite a few concerns. I worried about what was going to happen.

I arrived at the Tribhuvan International Airport in the evening. It was a small, crowded airport. I bought my visa for 15 days in Nepal at the immigrant counter. Here I met a group of Vietnamese who also headed for the EBC but their hiking would start one day later than my schedule. My guide, GN, had already sent a car driver to pick me up at the airport. Moreover, he sent me a message that said he could not join me and his friend, Sonam, would accompany me along the hike instead of him. GN is a well-known guide and highly recommended by Vietnamese backpackers. Now, I had to hike without his guidance, my worries grew more.

Next morning, Sonam came to the hotel, driving me to a domestic airport where I would fly to the small town of Lukla, the starting point of the route to EBC, and where one of the most difficult problem happened. Although the flying distance from Kathmandu to Lukla is short, it is usually delayed due to high winds, cloud cover, or changing visibility. Travelers need to book the tickets early especially in the high season. After having waited for three hours, my worries came true, the airport was closed all day due to overcast weather. At that time, I faced a tough decision: should I come back here tomorrow, finishing my trek one day faster, but nothing make sure that tomorrow I can fly, or should I join GN with another journey, the Annapurna Circuit.

That night, I wandered around the capital city of Kathmandu, asking myself the same question: what am I doing here? Seeing the legend Everest was what I dream of. But, I had gave up my dream just at the first stage of the quest, which left me feeling disappointed. The question kept pursuing me, then all of a sudden, I realized that I was in the middle of a religious ritual. I had no idea what this was. There were two man dressed in special costumes, walking back and forth a street and people surrounded, trying to touch them. The festival was decorated by music created by local bands with their homemade instruments. Finally, I had the answer: 'I am here, in this chaotic old town in the heart of Kathmandu with medieval Hindu temples, to enjoy the colorful diversity of the world'.

Around 10 pm, I came back the hotel, studying about the new route. I knew little about Annapurna; it had not been in my original plan. I learnt from Sonam that the trek reach its highest point at Thorong La pass, 5416 m, which is the same height as EBC. It would be the highest peak I have ever been in my life and a worthy alternative for EBC.


The second morning, Sonam came with a porter, Mr. T, who would carry my luggage on Annapurna path. Mr. T looked small, but solid and muscular. He told me in basic English that he used to work in Dubai. After breakfast, we (me and Mr.T) departed to Besisahar by a car arranged by GN. It was 6 hrs drive with poor paved roads and beautiful views of mountains. From Besisahar, we took a jeep to Dharapani to catch up with GN team, those had hiked 2 days earlier. Around 5 locals joined us on that old jeep, driving on a narrow trail across a scenic river valley, going up to the high land. Our lives were on the hands of the skillful car driver; with a mistake, all of us could fall down to the gorge below.

It took us more than 6 hrs to complete a distance just around 50 km. Around 8 pm, I finally met GN at a teahouse in Dharapani. GN's figure looked like Mr. T, but he was darker and his eyes was brighter. He talked to me in a soft English, showing me my room where I took a very good hot shower. After that, I went to dining room to join with the team made by a friendly German father and daughter and one more porter.

'What is your motivation for the trek' asked the German father.

'I want to conquer Thorong La Pass'

'That's your target ?'

'Yes. What about your motivation ?'

'My target is to enjoy every moment of the trek.' replied the father, taking a sip of beer.

I came back to my room early that night. I was exhausted after 12 hrs sitting on the long road and much needed to rest. The bumping journey kept passing my mind. Through the road, I could have a glimpse about this country. I had seen many difficulties in transportation and in people lives mostly due to the mountainous topography. Then I thought of what the old German had said and fell asleep without realizing it.

I woke up early in the morning, feeling refreshed after having a deep sleep. I took a walk, studying the view around: few houses on both sides of the road surrounded by subtropical trees. Then surprisingly, there was something amazing appeared in the far horizon, a gigantic mountain with pure whiteness on the top stood out on the blue sky. Yes, it was the first time I've seen white snow. An immense joy flooded my feel. On the fourth day in Nepal, my trek eventually started. For next 8 days, I would walk across two beautiful valleys, passing several Tibetan villages, ancient Buddhist temples, pine forest, mountain ices and rocks. I was no longer worried about what was going to occur. Everyday was a surprise, a peaceful time with no phone, no email and no work.

The trek in Nepal is the longest trip I have undertaken. It was a necessary pause after long days of work, a relief to the monotony of my routine life. Someday, I will come back to this beautiful country with another longer journey.

Annapurna III

Annapurna II



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