Adventure Nomad

Adventure Nomad

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Around Annapurna 2008: Day 1

A waiter pours a serving of raksi at a restaurant in Kathmandu. Nikon D300, 18-200mm at 18mm, 1/13 f/3.5 ISO 800

April 16: Kathmandu - Khudi
I first trekked the Annapurna Circuit 20 years ago, in the spring of 1988. I’ve been back since then, doing different treks in Nepal, but the Circuit remains, at least in my mind, the iconic Nepal trek. I wanted to do this trek with my wife to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, but problems with the Maoists over the past decade delayed our plans to do it until now.

Obtaining a trekking permit was a breeze. We were in and out in less than an hour, and NRs 2300 poorer each (NRs 2000 for the trekking permit and NRs 300 for a TIMS trekkers registration fee). While we were there, we also booked ourselves into one of the minibuses that run from Kathmandu to Besi Sahar.

Laura waves off the jeep transport as we trek to Khudi. Nikon D300, 10.5mm, 1/320 f/9 ISO 200.

20 years ago, the road to Besi Sahar was paved only to Dumre. I took a public bus (which broke down 3 times) to Dumre. At Dumre, I needed to find further transport to complete my journey to Besi Sahar. This took a nightmarish 15 hours and I only arrived Besi Sahar late at night.

This year, our bus journey took just 5 1/2 hours. In fact, if we wanted, we catch a jeep ride to Bhulbule, saving 3 hours of trekking. Road improvements were going to be a two edged sword, as we would find out over the coming days.

We took a short walk from Besi Sahar and ended our day at the small village of Khudi.

Accomodation: Himalchuli View
Quality Rating: Room ** Food **

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