The Annapurna mountain range, located in central Nepal, contains the 10th highest peak in the world and some of the most breathtaking scenery you will ever see. The area is home to many species of plants and animals and has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1979. It’s also where one of the most life-changing experiences I have ever had—climbing to Annapurna Base Camp and back down again. Here’s what you need to know if you plan on making this trip yourself (and I highly recommend you do).
Why I decided to go
It was my first trekking ever , but I really wanted the opportunity to get out of the city and experience nature. Meanwhile I got a chance to work as an assistant guide with a English group from one of the reputed trekking agency . I drove to Pokhara, which took about six hours from Kathmandu by local bus, and then I took a taxi to hotel from bus station. Next morning we picked the group from Pokhara Airport and drove to Phedi. This was how we got started our 8 days trekking trip to Annapurna Base Camp.
How I got Started
I had always wanted to see the Himalayas, but never really thought it was possible. I was not much of an outdoorsy person and my idea of roughing it is dinner on the floor in front of the TV. But when my brother in law came up with a plan for assisting the guide for Annapurna Base Camp trek I decided to give it a shot.
What I did every day
As an assistant guide , I was given the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my clients, but also had plenty of free time. In Nepal you’re never alone and always surrounded by people who want to chat and get to know you. The first night on the trek we all shared dinner together at our hotel in Landruk and told stories from our lives before this week. Our Leader had good sense of humor, he laughed when he was telling us about his previous trips up into the mountains for various seasons, either summer or winter depending on what part of Nepal he was talking about. We talked about how different it felt each season and I looked forward to experiencing it myself soon enough.
The people I met
The locals were incredibly warm and welcoming. Many of them came up to us in the street and shook hands, asked us how we were doing, and then invited us into their homes for tea. The children ran up to us on the street and wanted their pictures to be taken with us. It was like being part of a big family! The local people in Annapurna region are so kind, generous, and hospitable.
We also had the opportunity to meet the local Mother’s group who entertained us for one evening with traditional dance and music.
What I learned
I have learnt about altitude sickness and how it can be fatal. I now know the symptoms of AMS (acute mountain sickness), HACE (high-altitude cerebral edema) and HAPE (high-altitude pulmonary edema). I had a chance to learn a bit about the lifestyle of English people. I found myself that I was able to communicate in English even it was my first conversation with native English speakers.
I was thankful to the porters who walked with us on our journey, carrying the packs of clients so that we all are able to make it to Annapurna Sanctuary. I understood then why it is said ”trekking is more than just walking from point A to point B; rather, you become part of something bigger.” You are exploring nature, meeting people along the way, seeing things that most people never get a chance see in their lifetime.
How it changed me
I have felt in love with the nature and mountains. I loved the company of tourists who were experiencing the time together with me in this journey. Then, I have decided to become a trekking guide, so that I could have more experience and I could collect many more stories to tell, just like I was on this amazing journey. It is hard work, but it’s worth it when you see people fall in love with what they are experiencing too!
The writer of the story is Mountain Trekking guide from Nepal and own the trekking agency in Nepal.