We’ve pretty much based the dates for the whole year’s adventure with the kids around the trekking seasons in Nepal, so, you can imagine the levels of excitement as we piled into our massively overpriced jeep (there’s a fuel shortage you know, and getting hold of petrol is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive) and were driven at suicidal speed out of Pokhara, and up into the mountains. The excitement lasted a full thirty minutes before a small voice from the back of the car was heard to say
“Mummy, I feel sick…”
One emergency stop later, and Evan had been dosed with travel sickness pills, and plonked in the front seat. Sam was happily relegated to the boot, with the luggage.
Evan managed to keep hold of his breakfast for the last 15 minutes of the trip, we arrived safely at Nayapul, and were unceremoniously bundled out of the jeep. Niraj-me, our porter/guide picked up our bag, and marched off down the main drag of Nayapul. It was scorchingly hot, and even though we were on the flat, we were soon sweating as we hurried after him. It didn’t take us long to cross the river and climb out of Nayapul heading towards Ghorepani. This was a bit of a detour to allow us to take in the famous sunrise at Poon Hill. The trekking was hard, with an evil combination of baking hot sun, massive humidity, and steep climbs through the forest.
We were worried about the kids’ ability to cope with the amount of walking, and the altitude, so we’d planned to take 14 days for the trip, rather than the standard 10-12 days. We shouldn’t have worried, their young bones were much better equipped to be dealing with everything than our aged frames. The days quickly fell into a standard pattern of getting up at about 6am, stuffing ourselves with as many calories as we could find on the breakfast menu, hiking for 6 to 7 hours and then arriving at a lodge, re-stuffing ourselves with the dinner menu and then collapsing into bed at about 7 pm. We managed the whole 62 mile trip in a break-neck 11 days – which is pretty good. But given that we had to take a whole day off as Sam managed to pick up a tummy bug, I think that our achievement is nothing short of amazing.
It’s been an amazing trip, with fantastic scenery around every corner. Each day has brought different terrain – jungle, valleys, river crossings, plains, and of course, the final day at Annapurna Base Camp surrounded by it’s breathtaking mountains, glaciers and the occasional avalanche. The final couple of days on the way up were really hard, and personally I was ready to give up more than once. But each time I got a glimpse of the mountains, my spirits were lifted, and the boost was enough to get me over the next ascent and catch up the pesky kids who were sat patiently waiting for me.
There are too many moments to single any out in a short post like this one, so I’ll let the photographs do the talking, and proudly present our first ever bit of video footage – 1 yeti, 11 days and 62 miles of excitement and exhaustion squeezed into 70 seconds.