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Trekking the Annapurna Circuit

Muktinath, Nepal


After a HUGE travel day involving trains, planes, and automobiles, we arrived at the start of the famed Annapurna Circuit in northern Nepal. The last bit of the journey was an eventful five hour taxi ride in which we very nearly made dreadful impact with, in sequential order: a dog, a two year old girl, a chicken, a duck, a mule, and a water buffalo. Our driver was in a hurry, and thankfully the brakes worked as well as the accelerator in that little Toyota Corolla.

I'll use this blog entry to give the overall picture of the trek, and then fill in some interesting daily details in entries to follow.

Katy and I started out carrying packs weighing about 40 lbs each. We didn't have an opportunity to leave any gear behind because we ended the two-week hike in a different location than we started. So, we carried everything we had packed for the entire trip. Feeling young, fit, and invincible, we declined many offers for hiring a guide or porter (sherpa), determined to be "independent" trekkers. By day two, Katy was dealing with leg pain that was cause for concern. It was at this point that I realized she was carrying about one third of her body weight, so I took on an additional 10 pounds or so. On day three, we decided to really charge it and marched 14 miles, over 9 hours, and 2,500 feet of elevation gain. My calf muscles have been sore ever since, and that was 14 days ago.

In short, the Annapurna Circuit is certainly one of the most gorgeous, rewarding, culturally-diverse, and fun hiking experiences on the planet. We walked a total of 15 days, covering more than 130 miles. The highest point of the trek was over Thorung La pass, which is 17,768 feet high. We slept the night before at 14,500 feet, which is higher than any peak in Colorado.

We met many wonderful people on the trail, and made some new friends along the way. In addition to the peaceful and hospitable local Nepali people who fed us great meals and provided a bed to lay our heads at the end of the day, the Circuit is populated with a fascinating blend of international trekkers. We met people from over 20 different countries, so we were learning about many world cultures in addition to the varied sort dwelling high in the Himalayas.

If you're looking to heighten your world view, your physical fitness, and your relationship with nature, go trekking in Nepal.

permalink written by  Katy and Mark Lewis on April 26, 2009 from Muktinath, Nepal
from the travel blog: India and Nepal
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Katy and Mark Lewis Katy and Mark Lewis
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We are two siblings from Colorado (aged 24 and 26) who find ourselves simultaneously between a job and a graduate school program. We both came down with a case of itchy feet, so we're going searching for the cure while we've got the chance!

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