Walking The Path Under The Sun
After I took a good rest in Pokhara, recharging both my body and mind back to their full condition, I finally went back to the mountains, this time towards the Annapurna massif. The original idea was to do the walk in Annapurna Basecamp, then proceed to the bigger trek in Annapurna Circuit and if possible, continue further towards Upper Mustang. But of course when I plan something, I never take it too seriously. Planning each step on my journey is like trying to beat my opponent in a game of chess. My moves always depend on how my opponent position his pieces on the board or in this case, my plan always change according to the external factor. The weather has always been good to me nowadays, so I have the chance to have a beautiful walk in the Annapurna mountains.
After some 2 hours of car ride from Pokhara, I reached Nayapul, the door of my adventure in the Annapurna mountains. From there I started my journey on foot together with my guide, Dinesh, who is a Magar people from Solukhumbu, the Everest region. I was quite surprised that it was quite a climb even on the first day, there were thousands of stairs which is quite steep and seem endless towards Ulleri. Reaching Ulleri left me exhausted. Its always hard the first day, especially after many days of rest and being lazy in the lowland. The good thing is, my physical body got really tired and I got to sleep early again, as early is 8pm. My most favourite time of the day is when I wake up while it is still dark, while every other soul is still not connected with their physical body… its so quiet and peaceful… time moves slower at this time and I have all the time in the world to do my reading or writing. The sun appears on the eastern sky only around 6.20am, thats where I started to hear human voices communicating with each other, starting a new day. After a quick breakfast, I proceed to Ghorepani on the second day, so that I can witness the beautiful sunrise the next morning from Poon Hill…
After sleeping a night in Ulleri, I trekked for a few hours the next day to Ghorepani, ascending almost 1000m in altitude. This time I walked faster and Im not worried anymore about altitude sickness since Im already acclimatized in the Everest region and Ghorepani is still below 3000m anyway. Early in the morning on the third day, I started trekking towards the top of Poon Hill to enjoy the view of all the peaks of Annapurna mountain ranges. It was straight forward with excellent path but packed with so many people. Once I reached the top, I quickly moved away from the crowd and found a good spot for myself to enjoy the rising sun coming from the eastern horizon. Its always a pleasure to witness the changes from night to day, on how the colours of the sky changed slowly from dark blue to purple and finally to shining gold, to see all elements on earth, the grass, the trees and the mountains turned into gold shined by the nearest powerful star that we often refer it as the sun. All the high peaks in the Annapurna massif are clearly visible from here at the top of Poon Hill which sits at 3200m altitude.
My walk here in the smaller circuit around the Annapurna Basecamp is a lot different than my previous journey in the Everest region. One good thing, I dont need to worry about altitude sickness here. The highest I will get is only about 4000m and I probably will only stay a night at that height before going down into the lower land again. But I found the trek here steeper. It was always a climb in Everest Basecamp trek but I was climbing gradually there. But here I always found myself climbing endless stairs. There are more people doing this trek too compared to the Everest trek but thats probably because Im trekking here in the middle of November. I found myself mostly walking in a forest here since Im mostly still walking below the tree line. Tea houses are everywhere here, there is always a place to stop for a tea or coffee every few minutes of walking along the trail. Food and accommodation here are much cheaper too compared to those in Everest region.
After Ghorepani, my walk which was mostly climbing for many hours put me in a small guesthouse somewhere in the middle of the trail between Tadapani and Kimrong. Walking uphill on a steady climb for many hours can be exhausting. Being exhausted can be a good thing because it forced us to stop to catch our breath and when we stop a while, we have the chance to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. Watching the lush forest, the flowing water on rivers and falls and birds flying free in the sky really calm us down… its a medicine for the soul. All these elements are lit by the sun, the same sun that shines to give life to all. The sun that sits alone 150 million of kilometers away from us, yet it is so important, the light that it shines contains millions of unseen things that are essential for us in order to keep living and grow and experience existence. How beautiful every elements in this universe are connected to each other. Something so simple that we often take for granted because we get it all the time, yet when we think about it, each elements are so important to keep the balance in existence. As in each element in existence is like a line of code in a computer software system. Each line of code comes with a purpose… contribute to the main system. A line of code which might seems very simple and unimportant but without it, the whole system will produce error and crash. Often when I feel exhausted from trekking or cycling, I would divert my mind to think about something else so that I could ignore the pain that my muscles endured… letting my subconscious mind to take over the job so that my legs can keep moving automatically to bring me forward often to new places. And this is when my conscious mind could travel to realms that excite me… to wonder, to experience, to explore one magical word…. existence. Something come out from nothing…. a topic that Ive been exploring for many years yet I never get bored of it.