17 July 2015

heading to high camp (more pictures of mountains)

we spent a rest day in the village of manang at 12,000 feet to allow our bodies to acclimatize. the vast majority of trekkers on the annapurna circuit do the same, so the teeny mountain town boasts some luxuries up that high – shops full of gear and candy and tang (totally saved us as we worked to stay hydrated), restaurant menu options beyond the 5-6 things on every menu in every other village (there were even a couple of bakeries!), laundry services, and a movie theater! we spent our time in manang on a day hike, having our own little “church meetings” surrounded in some of god’s most spectacular creations, taking hot non-bucket showers (there was just one for our entire guesthouse, but it was pretty awesome) and taking a break from the strenuous hiking of the days preceding –  hoping to get revved up for topping out across thorong pass two days later!

{for more information on hiking the annapurna circuit, check out trekking in nepal’s comprehensive guide}

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^^ manang’s bustling city center ^^
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^^ we watched the movie into thin air from a dated projector downstairs in a rock and mud house, sitting on yak skin covered benches. our $2 tickets included popcorn! it might not have been the best movie to watch (all about people dying all over the place on everest…) but it was a really fun experience. ^^ we also had our pick of day hikes! ^^
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^^ some scenes from our guesthouse. lots of places we stayed had book exchanges like this one. our two nights in manang were our first experiences with really being cold on the circuit. we had our down sleeping bags under those awesome blankets. ^^
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^^ the common room/restaurant at our guesthouse. trekkers from all over the world! ^^
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^^ amazing views on our day hike. ^^
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^^ here’s the spot where we had church! check out that glacier! ^^

after a bit of rest in manang, we hit the trail again on our first super cloudy day. by now the landscape was looking prettttty desolate. we hiked to thorong low camp, and along the way we felt an earthquake. we had no idea what this meant for the amazing country of nepal and its people. it wasn’t until after we crossed the path that we realized what an enormous tragedy had hit. (click here to read more about our experience with the earthquake)

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^^ mountain lakes and kissing selfies. both good things, right?! ^^
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^^ as soon as we got to low camp, it started snowing pretty hard. we laid on the bed in our little room perched on the mountainside and watched the snow fall fall fall. we had been so nervous about bad weather while we were crossing the pass, so we were hoping the snow would pass on through, but it was pretty cool to be wrapped up in that white swirling magic. ^^
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^^ our first double bed on the trail! ^^

we had a short but intense hiking day from low camp to high camp. the path was hard to distinguish among the rocks and snow, and it was pretty much straight up! but we made it to the completely snow-surrounded high camp and were glad to have some time to prepare for crossing the pass starting very early the next morning. it was pretty cloudy when we arrived but when the clouds parted a bit we were astonished by the views! it was pretty exciting to feel so in the middle of the himalayas.

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^^ the excitement about crossing the pass was palpable in the restaurant/common room at high camp. it was neat to have this shared experience with so many diverse people. ^^

to be continued…!

4 comments :

  1. I'm swooning with envy. What an incredible experience! Thank you for sharing!

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  2. I guess I'm naive to what's out there in the world, because I am super impressed and amazed that there are restaurants and lodging on Mt. Everest. I always visualized people sleeping in tents on these mountain hiking adventures. Awesome photos. Thanks for sharing your journey. -Lisa

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    1. hi lisa! :) we weren't on mt. everest. we were hiking around the annapurna mountains (in the top 20 highest in the world) - and definitely *around,* not *up*! :) it is pretty amazing still though that there are so many communities and that kind of accommodation that high in the himalayas!

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  3. Yes, it is amazing that there are so many accommodations that high in the Himalayas. I was thinking, "How do they get food to those restaurants?" Because from the photos, you look like you are pretty much *on top* of the world right there at the top of those snowy, snowy mountains. I'm sure the *around* the mountain still had plenty of *ups* :) I love the amazing pictures you share. Lisa

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