Wanderlust in Annapurna : And the journey continues
December 9, 2016 04:40 AM NPT
After a trip to the Ice Lake, we headed back to our hotels. We had decided to rest for a while and then head off to Tilicho. But we had to change our plans because a) our bodies felt numb due to excessive walking and b) the weather and rainfall forecast for the next few days didn’t look great. We were sad that we had to leave Tilicho for another time but were, at the same time, excited to move towards the world’s highest crossable pass – Thorong la Pass.
The next day we bid farewell to Manang. Although vegetation became sparse as we gained more altitude, we got closer to the mountains and the view of the valley was beautiful. I also had my first sip of sea buckthorn juice and it was incredible. I had it till the last sip and I highly recommend it especially when you are on a trek in the mountainous region.
Moving along, we had few interactions with other fellow travelers and it was a slow paced walk until we reached Yak kharkha. It was not difficult to get lost in thought in that wilderness. The sense of peace and quiet really gets your brain whirling on all things you have let slide. For me, it was also a day when I tasted new things. I had Yak momos and loved every bite of it and though the price – Rs 800 for a plate – felt a little too much, it was totally worth it.
The night was frigid but tired from all the travel we had been doing in the last couple of days, we slept really well. We woke up to warm sun rays coming through the window. Soon, it was time to leave for Thorong la high camp. Continuing along the trail, we did not need to ascend much to reach Thorong la phedi. The trails were somewhat narrow with gravel every now and then but we reached Thorong la phedi with ease.
We rested there for a while, filled our bellies and soon after, we were on our way to Thorong la high camp. The distance from phedi to high camp wasn’t much but it took approximately 45 minutes to an hour due to the steepness of the path. While hiking up, we came across wild blue sheep grazing just beside the trail. While traveling, there are moments where you get the feeling that all your problems simply don’t matter because of what surrounds you, because of where you are and what you see and experience along the way. This moment was one of them.
When we finally reached high camp, there was only one lodge there. The owners of the lodge weren’t as friendly as the ones in the lower regions but having no choice we booked our rooms, dropped our bags, and then headed towards the high camp viewpoint. The stunning view took our breath away. Surrounded by mountains while enjoying the view of Thorong la phedi way below, I can’t describe how I felt at that particular moment. It’s something I can’t put into words. One has to experience this wonder for themselves.
Back at the lodge, we had dal bhat with a large group of fellow travelers who were just as excited as we were for the next day’s adventure towards the mighty Thorong la pass. We crawled into our warm beds during the chilly night at high camp. Most people find it difficult to sleep at high altitude unless they are accustomed to it. We were no different. We became extremely restless after a couple of hours of sleep. I plugged in my earphone and cranked up the volume. The iPod played “Born to be Wild” as I willed myself to sleep.To be continued...