You never walk alone

And in my case I started walking with Carla, Ed and Carl. Three of my six friends from Nyalam (Tibet).you never walk alone... We’d spend a short but fun time together in Kathmandu, filled with lots of food (ahh… pizza, chips and burgers…) and my birthday party that even included Tenzing, a Buddhist monk!Carl, Ed & Thomas at the checkpost

I enjoyed the lovely warmth of Nepal in December only a short time, I must have missed the cold, the dry cough and thin air of Tibet ’cause for some reason I decided to walk (!) back from a comfortable 800meter above sea-level up to 5416….Anapurnabanana
The Annapurna circuit, according to Carl it’s widely regarded as the most beautiful trek in the world. Haven’t done every trek in the world (yet) but I have to say it is absolutely phenomenal.yep, thats a view We started of on a cloudy day across villages and up a river valley on both sides forest and paddy fields. On our 2nd day our company grew to a number of 5 when Thomas, a young mountain ranger from the states joined our party. It’s handy being in a group in the ‘off-season’ because many lodges and hotels desperate for business offer you free rooms as long as you eat in their restaurant. Not a problem for us.Mustang Secondly there is still a slight change of Maoist attacks in the area who see tourist as n easy source of income. We, luckily, didn’t encounter any of them.chicken

Quickly after we started the road became just a track where all traffic consist of Mules and Donkeys loaded up with all sort of stuff and people carrying enormous loads in baskets on their back strapped to the head.transport This way they can carry up to 100kg on tracks where I would have trouble just walking…Dhaulagiri
As we got higher, climbing through dense forest with waterfalls and animals all around us,eagle (I think)heavy traffic we even spotted some monkeys! passing prayer wheels and stupa the surroundings slowly changed to needle forest.fields
At one stage there was work being done at the trail and we had to climb around it, scramble up steep rocks up the mountainside over an improvised ladder and down the other side. One wrong move and your down in the river down 100 meter below… Carl reckoned it’s the most dangerous thing he’d ever done. I did feel a bit shaky too. We heard later that some other hikers turned back because a landslide took down half the cliff right in front of them… urgh.

It’s great (and a bit cold) getting up early to witness the sunrise and smelling incense when you walk through a village where cows and chicken are wondering the streets without a worry in the world. village on the trailAround us the big snowy peaks of the Himalaya towered above us and no more trees at this stage, the views became more beautiful every day and we spend the night before the pass huddled around the fire wondering what the next day would bring.wrong turn
The big one, ‘crossing pass day’ We did meet a few people turning back telling us the weather was bad or too much snow… the way upSo we planned to leave real early. But of course, getting up, having breakfast all took a while so the walking didn’t start till just after 7.pass-day
There was a bit of snow, and we had to make our way slowly trying not to lose our balance and turn into a giant snowball rolling down the mountain. It was indeed a ‘proper pass’ which in my world means every time you think you nearly there another hill appears and the struggle in the ice-cold wind isn’t over yet…. But after 5 hours Carla and me where the 1st to get up there. WHOOOHOOO, It’s like with cycling a great feeling! And that without loosing any body parts to frostbite, Carla was particular worried about her nose, but it’s still there and we ‘rocked that pass!’ 😉WHOOOHOOO!!!

Coming down the other side was easier than expected, not much snow and completely different from where we came up. Great extras on this side of the trail for example a Dutch Bakery in Tukuche where we enjoyed Douwe Egberts coffee and ‘wortelstampot met appelmoes’ during a three-hour lunch break. Great bread! They had an oven to bake proper bread. That oven weight 130kg and had to be walked up there!!!Namaste!

villageAnother plus where the hot springs at Tatopani, spend an extra day there in the warm waters after having all together just 1 warm shower on the whole track.Kids on the bridge
From this point I continued up myself. The entire walk took me not as long as I expected so I figured I might as well walk up to Annapurna Basecamp before heading down to Pokhara for new years…rope bridge

I still wasnt alone though, A dog kept me company all the way up to ‘poonhill’ a viewpoint where you have spectacular views over the Annapurna range especially with sunrise and sunset. The dog would walk ahead, wait for me and continue when I came into view. Made me smile.pretty valley

One thing that’s difficult on the trail is communication. for TamarNormally that wouldn’t bother me much but my sister was due on the 25th of december. So when I arrived at poonhill and came across an internet cafe I excitedly checked to found out if I’m an auntie yet. And yes I am! She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on the 15th. But the greatest news became instantly the worst when I read on an heard that the little girl named Tamar was stillborn.
With no way of contacting them and constant power cuts I figured going back to Pokhara would be the best thing to do where at least I’ll be able to speak to the family.

So,
I have been here in Pokhara for a while and it’s an easy place to just stay…peddling
It’s also one of the best paragliding sides in the world which makes me think.
My parents are coming to Nepal in April and untill that time I can do whatever I like. My bicycle is still in Kathmandu and it might just stay there for a bit.
Getting a motorbike in India still sounds like a plan… Everest base camp is another…
Maybe I’ll make up my mind. But not untill next year 😀

Have a good one
-xxx-Incense

 

13 thoughts on “You never walk alone

  1. Wishing you all the best with your journeys in 2008. Great photos as usual. Sorry to hear the news about Karin and her little one.

  2. Hoi Mirjam!

    Ook al zie ik je vanavond nog voor een steak in het Everest Steak House, wil ik je toch alvast een gelukkig nieuwjaar wensen!

    Top blog van een top meid!

    Liefs, Debby
    (p.s: neem je die fles water vanvond ook weer me…?)

  3. Hoi Miriam!
    Keileuk oud en nieuw gevierd met jullie!
    We zijn nog steeds aan het nagenieten!

    Mooie foto’s! Leuk om onze bekenden te zien 😉

    We zullen je tocht blijven volgen.

    Greetz,
    Frank en Margot

  4. He mirjam, kzit in Mumbai, jij? Ik ga denk ik mijn motor terugsturen dus als je nog een stukje wilt samen touren moet je als de wiedeweerga hierheen komen 😉
    Anders moet ik achterop jou enfield haha

    Hou je haaks en het beste het komende jaar!

    Teus-Jan

  5. What a horrible news about your sister and her little Tamar… I’m so sorry for them! From here I would like to wish her and her husband/boyfriend all the strenght in the world to learn to live without their little girl.
    It seems that 2007 wasn’t a lucky year for you and your family… 😦
    Therefor I wish that 2008 will bring you more beautiful moments then 2007 and that 2008 will bring you less bad moments.

    ps: Again beautiful pics and a great video!

  6. Hallo Mirjam,
    Je kent mij niet, maar ik ben een nieuw ZAG-lid. Misschien gaat er dan een lampje branden. Ik heb het genoegen gesmaakt de 29e bij je ouders thuis oliebollen te bakken. Opsturen is helaas geen optie.
    Ik volg je al een tijdje op de website en je schrijft erg leuk en pakkend. En schitterende foto’s. Je kunt straks wel een boek gaan uitgeven!!!
    Al in Chitwan National Park geweest. Erg touristisch, maar leuk touristisch! Pokhara is een leuke stad, gezellig. Ben benieuwd wat je gaat doen in de periode voordat je ouders komen. India is leuk! Wel totaal anders en even omschakelen.

    alle goeds voor 2008 en take care!!
    Zwaantje

  7. lieve Mirjam we zijn alweer een paar dagen in het nieuwe jaar en we willen je een heel goed gezond en liefdevol twee duizend acht wensen.wat fijndat je met de kerst zo fijn met je ouders en zussen kon praten en dat karin er ook was met michiel .het was allemaal wel triest wat er gebeurd is,maar toch mooi dat jullie elkaar konden berijken.Nieuwjaarsdag zijn je ouders hier geweest en toen kwamen Karin en Michiel ook.maar nu zijn al de dagen weer voorbij en gaat het gewone leven weer verder.En jij blijft nog een poosje genieten van al het moois wat Nepal te bieden heeft.Ook de fotos zijn nog steeds geweldig mooi we bekijken ze wel een paar keer.De winter begint hier ook al te komen maar niet zo als jij het hebt meegemaakt.veel liefs en een knuffel van ons,oma.en opa

  8. Ha Mirjam,
    als eerste een prachtig 2008 gewenst!!!
    Leuk om weer eens wat van je te lezen.Doe het rustig aan.

    Groeten Erwin en Anneke

  9. Nice, nice….btw. if you staying longer on east…if India was not place to meet, come to Shanghai 😉 . Will be there for a while.

    Good luck. Plenty of smiles and crazy momments,

    Marija

  10. Wow. Gorgeous and inspiring photos as usual.
    Your adventure just gets better and better.
    When (not if) you get to NZ you’ll have to be sure to walk the Milford track. Then you’ll have done the two most beautiful walks in the world.
    (it’s much easier than the annapurna circuit looks, too)
    Happy travels!
    x

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