Nepali Trek Talk *Video*

During the last several weeks, I took a short vacation and trekked to Nepal’s Annapurna Base Camp (ABC). ABC is a 6-8 days walk in from the nearest road and 3 days beyond a donkey ride. So, really you’re in the middle of nowhere = perfect!

Per usual, I didn’t really do any research on my trek beforehand. I had heard that the Annapurna Sanctuary route (the only way in to ABC) is beautiful in springtime with the rhododendron forest in bloom. Lovely, I thought, a flower hike!

Here’s the actual description of my trek:

Annapurna Sanctuary: A classic walk right into the heart of the mountains. This popular trek ascends through picturesque villages to the center of the Annapurna range offering dramatic mountain scenery. Standing in the middle of the Sanctuary, surrounded by towering snowy peaks ranging between 6000-8000m, is a truly awe-inspiring experience. Sunrise and sunset are magical as you watch the sun dance on the peaks of Annapurna 1, Annapurna South, Annapurna 3, and Machappuchare. The maximum altitude reached on this trek is 4,400m at Annapurna Base Camp. The trail up is often steep and the Sanctuary trek is perhaps one of the more challenging of the teahouse treks.

I paused slightly after reading the phrases “often steep” and “one of the more challenging treks.” But I thought, what the heck, let’s give it a go! As it turns out, I should have been a bit more concerned…

See, the Nepalese tend to soften bad news. I learned this first-hand several days into the hike when I started to decipher the true meaning of what our guide, Nirma, was telling us. For instance, she would tell us: “The trail tomorrow will be a little bit up.” Here’s the translation:

  • Gradual Up → Legs will begin to shake
  • Little Bit Up → Sweat will pour from your ears
  • Up Up → Lungs will be on fire

Here’s a video of Nirma, in her gentle way, lying to me about the climb ahead. Note: This is only on Day 2, so I didn’t realize the full impact of her giggle about “more than 500” steps. More like 1,500 steps.

Can’t see the video? Click on this link: Erin & Nirma Ulleri

In the end, I had a fabulous time on my trek! We had a great group of trekkers, the best guide, and near-perfect weather. And the mountain scenery is—without a doubt—the most breathtaking I’ve ever seen. And hey, so what if my legs are a “little bit” sore. The Annapurna Sanctuary and ABC were worth it!

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This entry was posted on Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 and is filed under Asia Pacific.

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