The night I met my husband Geoff, we sat around a camp fire sharing travel dreams including trekking in the Himalayas. On our second date we saw the breathtaking film “Himalaya”. Our wedding vows said we would “paddle the oceans, climb the mountains and travel the world” together and so our honeymoon was a month in Nepal.
Kathmandu was an incredible assault on our senses. The sounds, activity, smiles, smells, and vibrant colours. Our idea was to spend a few days exploring then make a trekking plan.
My favourite memories include eating breakfast on a roof top cafe looking across the city to the mountains; shopping for textiles to decorate our home, and eating “momo” for the first time. We were in Kathmandu during the major Hindu Festival, Maha Shivarati which was unforgettable.
We then travelled to Pokhara to trek in the Annapurna region. Low cloud obscured the famous views of towering mountains but Pokhara was still a beautiful experience. We decided to hire a local guide Ram, we liked his honesty and humility.
The Annapurna Circuit is a classic trek through villages and into the mountains as far as the Annapurna Base camp with a maximum Elevation of 4095m. This trek can take 7 – 14 days depending on detours, hours a day walked, fitness and weather. We walked on average 6.5 hours with good weather and completed a 7 day trip.
Our first lesson was you must walk down to walk up. The typical day is a climb up, a steep descent and then a steep climb to arrive at a higher altitude than the night before. ‘Santi Santi’ Ram would say to us, which roughly translates to ‘gently gently’ or ‘slowly slowly’. The first few days we walked through local villages with terraced fields, yaks, rivers and rhododendrons. Low cloud still obscured our mountain views. Geoff and I were welcomed into Chhomrong local school and we were as delighted as the children.