Annapurna, Around the world travel, Backpacking, Bucket List, long term travel, Nepal, Travel

Annapurna Day 2 – Chamje

On Monday morning, I was up and out of the hostel by 6:30 am. I made my way by taxi to the local bus station. It was dusty and dirty, not to mention chaotic. I had just enough time for a coffee and then boarded the bus to Besi Sahar. This was your typical local bus, stopping at every junction to pick up more people, despite being full then stopping to pick up rice and other goods that were thrown to the top of the bus.

A few other westerners were onboard, and we debated the length of the bus journey. I had been told 5 hours, but others thought it was 12. I prayed it wasn’t 12, but was glad I had a book. We stopped for Dal Bhat and 2 hours later we arrived in Besi Sahar.
It’s possible to begin the trek in Besi Sahar, but the route is now a somewhat busy road, so I was happy to share a jeep to Bhulbhule and start from there. After registering at the checkpoint, I crossed the first suspension bridge and began the trek to Gnadi. This only took one hour and I was happy to keep going, but the sun was starting to set quite quickly so I stopped at the end of the village and got a room at Sky High Guesthouse for 50 Rupees ($0.60).
I had managed to break a sweat trekking and despite it being cold, I opted for a shower and hairwash, seeing as I don’t know when I will do it again. I bundled up and sat outside with two ladies from New Zealand who had been on the same bus earlier. We exchanged paths and estimated trekking times over cups of tea. A bit later on, Luke and Lucy, both British, showed up and we had dinner together.
By 5:30 it was pitch dark. My four hours sleep the night before hadn’t cut it and I knew I was in for some long days, so by 7, I had crawled into my sleeping bag. My first thoughts after laying down were that my sleeping bag was pretty weak – this has me pretty nervous for what’s to come. Luckily, I had filled my water bottle with hot water, so I cuddled up with it, and snoozed.
The night felt like five 2-hour consecutive naps, and by 6:30 I was up, eating breakfast and getting packed up to go. I paid my $6 bill, which included accommodation, dinner and breakfast, and by 8:00 I was on the path again.
I managed to cover 6 hours today, and I felt good the whole time. It was a gorgeous day, warm enough for shorts. I passed through a couple of villages this morning, and the only sounds were birds chirping, my footsteps and the locals calling out “Namaste.”
I stopped for a water break in Bahundnda, and got chatting to Emily from NYC. We spent the better part of the afternoon trekking together. We stopped for a lunch of momos in Syange, which took about 1 1/2 hours, so we only had 3 hours of sunlight left, but by the time 5:00 rolled around, I was happy to call it a day.
I managed to get a free room, so long as I eat dinner and breakfast here. I think they’re doing this as it’s end of season and there aren’t that many people on the trek. Works for me! So far, I feel good and I’m still excited about it all, although my feet are talking to me a bit, and given that I just finished dinner, I’m already thinking about breakfast!
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