Dec. 14:Maggie: "We're bustin' free from Pokhara!"
John: "We're leaving the warmth of Pokhara."
Bustin'out of Pokara was not very easy. This picture kind of shows one of the many HUGE lines of vehicles waiting for petrol. The blockade along the Indian border is really causing problems for Nepalis.
Yes indeed we are on the trail again! I think I am allergic to cities.....no honestly I have been experiencing itchy eyes and a runny nose ever since we arrived in Pokhara and it only continued to worsen. I was hoping that getting up into the hills at a higher elevation would improve my symptoms but it seems like my symptoms have turned into a chest cold. Luckily this trek will barely breach 13,000 feet lowering the risk of altitude affecting my health.
So we are currently on the Anapurna Sanctuary trek. This trek starts at a much lower elevation making the vegetation far more lush than the Khumbu Valley (Everest region). Not only is the vegetation a contrast but the local people living in this region are different. The Kumbu valley is home to the Sherpa people who mainly practice Buddhism and more Hindu Gurung live in the Annapurna region. So far we have been greeted with open arms and kindness just like in the Khumbu valley but there seems to be more of an urgency for our business than we experienced in the Khumbu. We began our hike at Phedi (1130 m/3706') which was a 45 minute drive from Pokhara. Our hike today was a ton of climbing totalling over 3,100 feet! It sounds bad but our bodies were well trained for the challenge and we felt great when we arrived at Pitam Deurali (2100m/6888'). The views from this village were amazing and we didn't realize it until this morning after the clouds cleared!
I have so many friends to meet and talk to along the way!!! Goats, chickens, roosters, baby chicks, dogs, cats, cows, yaks,.....and yes monkeys! (Poor John!)
I woke up to a beautiful sunrise of the sun piercing through a layer of clouds far below me in the valley! Amazing!
And not To mention the the orange rays it cast upon Annapurna South mountain! Unfortunately all that we climbed yesterday was going to be lost with a whole bunch of downhill today. This trek might not be as high as the Everest region but sure makes up for it in the ups and downs! But no worries.....it's still beautiful! Today we hiked to Jhinudanda (1780m) and really had to work for the last hour because the trail ascended up a steep hillside. We were easily distracted by some monkeys feeding
In the trees above us! Yay! I love monkeys!!! And yes I did think of you guys... Rebecca Joy, Jack junior, and Juju Bean Dugwyler! (These are my young friends who call me "Maggie Monkey.") ooh ooh aah aah! Another amazing day to be thankful for!
Our room is just above and to the left of this sign in Pitam Deurali.
Kitchen in the lodge we stayed at in Pitam Deurali. Most places have to cook with fire because of the blockade situation with India. The food has been amazing!!
Hauling a bag of cement in flip flops. Btw.....he is carrying this for hours, not just around the corner.
The bridges are a little more sketchy here.
.....but the flowers make up for the bridges!
We walked across that terrace and then down the right side just before climbing up to Jhinudanda. This is where we saw the monkeys but I couldn't get a picture because of the sun. :(