Annapurna Circuit - DAY THREE

Weather: Sunny, Hot, Humid.
Rained at Night

Checkpoint Reached: Laxmi Guesthouse, Ulleri

One of the many countryside views

Nepal faces electricity shortage. During both day and night, there are times that there will be no electricity. This night, I woke a few times and found the air-cond was off although the lights in the toilet would work as emergency. (* I just did a quick research and apparently, although its most significant energy resource is water, less than one percent of the potential 83,000 megawatts of hydropower is currently harnessed. Firewood is the predominant energy carrier, counting for more than 70 per cent of consumption. However, its use is inefficient and poses a threat to the country’s forests. At the same time, the indoor pollution caused by open hearths in homes presents a hazard to health. Mains electricity is generally only available in urban areas and some 60 percent of the population do not have access to it. Even my guide says that the forests are depleting because of the use of too much firewood and I remember that Nepal has winter which makes it worse for the environment.)

the only decent photo I could get from the balcony of the sunrise

We woke at 0600 hour. We managed to catch the sun rise. It didn't seem very extravagant until I decided to head back in then I saw the mountain on my right. The golden rays of the sun touching it's peaks. It was beautiful and only a sight I manage to only catch a glimpse of. It was mostly blocked by clouds but it was a great start to the morning, with motivation pouring in me knowing I will see something magical in my time hiking up. We had breakfast downstairs, it was excellent! They served potatoes, tomatoes, vegetables, bean stew and bread. All of which, I could say was delicious. I ate all of it! Their butter and honey tasted different from the one back home. It tasted.... clear. I don't really know how else to put it. As in, it tasted more intense, it just tasted much more.

little school children along the road
Dad had to buy a new bag because they do not carry luggage bags. We are not veteran trekkers, you see. We would use ordinary bags if we could but we've never been on a trek this long. My dad bought me a proper hiking bag considering all the hiking I would like to do in the future but for himself not being as keen on hiking decided to just use a luggage bag for this rare long trip. We were hoping they could tie the bag in such a way that they could carry it. Unfortunately, they do not so we had to go out on this morning itself and buy a bag and transfer all the stuff. Another note was how insufficient money we had for the journey as noticed by our guide. Because supplies (naturally so) gets more difficult to reach the top, things will get much more expensive. As we would figure out later, it would be at the very least 10 000 rupees per person depending on how you spend and this was me trying to be thrifty at the time. It was about 0830 hour or so and many shops still haven't open. We kept walking till we found one that was open and managed to exchange a couple of our American Dollars. We then walked back to our hotel and took a cab to our first checkpoint. The cab ride took about an hour or so to reach and it was filled with beautiful sceneries and quite a lot of school children along the road.

some of the beautiful sights along the drive

our first village in the trek. form here, you can't use cabs so they use jeeps
Once the cab dropped us off, we started our trek and had to go through some villages. We reached a check in point for the trekkers, we must have our trekker ID and whatnot  It was much hotter than we anticipated and because we were in the mountains, it was humid and we were already sweating like stuffed pigs. There were many stops along the way which was fortunate because of what was about to happen. The trek started to get steep and the sun was getting so hot. My father requested to sit down and I knew something was off. I knew that look and knew it then what was about to happen, something I feared would happen in this long and perhaps arduous trip, he closed his eyes and he lost consciousness. He's a diabetic, did I tell you that? Type One too if I may add. Diabetics cannot produce insulin from their pancreas which is essential to the body and results in low blood sugar and high blood sugar. My father and I did not know the trek was going to be difficult, we thought it would be a walk in the park and so he overestimated the amount of insulin he injected into him and depleted the amount of sugar in his body. The moment his sugar level is low, he will lose consciousness as all the organs are trying to fight for energy, if he doesn't get what he needs which is sugar, he may die. Due to modern medicine, the insulin he had has made him almost like a normal person, he even climbed Mt. Kinabalu with me (highest mountain in South East Asia) without having a single episode. Thinking this trek would be a walk in the park, we thought it would be okay for my dad.

the beginning of the trek is more like a road, here is where Dad went under
I admit I panicked at the situation but I did what I was drilled for since a kid. We didn't have sweet liquid but we brought a plastic bag filled with chocolates. Chocolates won't bring him back as fast as liquids but it's either that or..... well, I wouldn't want to dwell on that thought. He is awake but he is not exactly there. His eyes are open but his mind is not active. In other words, he was on auto-pilot mode. One thing amazing about the human body is that, it switches off the conscious mind as it uses so much energy to think that it goes into auto pilot mode so it can still consume sugary things to come back to it's better state. So when I fed him the chocolates, he may not know it but his body does and eats it. One by one, he slowly came back but it was getting harder for him to swallow because his mouth was dry and the chocolate became difficult to swallow. The sun was on him so we tried to get him up into the shade to lessen his sweating, this took some energy out of him. When I wanted to give him a little water to help moisten his mouth and throat, he went into a tiny seizure which was bad. Because the chocolate is solid, it's slower to breakdown but luckily it was working and he came back again and I gave him water. Mr. Nama stayed with us while Mr.Shiva went to buy Cocacola for my dad. We then gave him the sugary drink and he came back to normal faster. That was one of the scariest moments of my life, to think of all the possibilities if I failed him then. After that, we bought 2 cans of Redbull and some sweet coconut biscuits from a stop nearby. Mr. Shiva and Nama was very helpful, although we apologized, they said we needn't apologize because it was something we couldn't have predicted. They were very understanding. I insisted to my dad that we call the whole thing off but my dad insisted otherwise, assuring me that he would lower his dosage now that he knows how difficult this path is.

I never had corn bread before, Nepal's corn bread is really good
In my positive and humble opinion, with modern medicine, many things that a diabetic couldn't do can now do it. My dad has been dreaming to climb Mt. Kinabalu for years and he would tell me that since I was a kid but he never could because of his condition but ever since he found this new insulin, we managed to fulfill his dream before he's gotten too old. I really think diabetics can climb this provided they know the correct dosage of insulin to take, bring a lot of money to buy Redbull and train a lot because it's going to take a lot out of them. It would be costly (because of the amount of exercise, you'd need a huge sugary supply) but if there's a will, there's a way (but my dad did not continue this trek which will be explained later). We continued our trek but it was more difficult for my dad. After an episode like that, the body gets exhausted after trying to fight to come back to reality.We decided then to have lunch nearby so we can have a reasonable amount of time to rest and so he can gain his strength back. After that episode, I was very cautious and vigilant of him. We had Corn Bread and a pot of milk tea. Nothing like a pot of hot milk tea with such delicious corn bread and a wonderful scenery to make you feel better. My dad bought our guide and porter lunch as a token of gratitude for helping us.

stone walls, grassy fields, crystal clear water
cows grazing on a wide open field. You can see a lot of these
There were many stops in between which was good because my dad's body has taken a toll and is in need of many rest stops in order to continue. The view was simply exquisite on our first day of trek; stone walls, crystal clear water, village people and farm animals. There were hills with such contrast as the sun pierced through the clouds and shone on the hilltops. I noticed that the sky here is always so blue. If Malaysia's skies were as blue, I can tell you it is no longer. Nothing but haze remains in the very air we breathe now. Everyday the sky is nothing but a white background and cities slowly fade into this poisonous and foul air and still, our government wants to build highways right through forest reserves. It hurts to know what is becoming of the country I live in. Although I love it, I wish I was proud to call it my home.

On one of our rest stops, we saw a girl behind a booth with a donation box for education. We donated 500 rupees. As I placed the notes into the box, she told me to wait as she placed her thumb in a container filled with red powder and wipe it on my forehead and then tied a pale yellow scarf around my neck. It felt nice. Although I didn't want to remove it but I had to because it was so hot and I am already doused with sweat. After all the internet research of how cold Nepal is, we packed for more than a slight chill. I had much desire for bermuda shorts and thin T-shirt right then. We reached the guesthouse area where there are several guesthouses along the road. We met a couple of Canadians ladies, a Singaporean lady and a German family (a mother and two daughters). Girl power, am I right? They were all so friendly and will meet a few more times. Most of the people go for the Poon Hill trek because it's about 4-5 days. Not many working people can take such a long break for Annapurna Base Camp (ABC). It was a major relief to reach the first guesthouse but to our disappointment, it is not our guesthouse. So we had to walk a little farther. If I'm not mistaken, we reached the last one, Laxmi Guesthouse Restaurant.

Laxmi Guesthouse Restaurant
In camps and treks, after a long day.... Removing of shoes from the feet is one of the best feelings ever, aside from the cold shower after a very hot day and fresh clothes. We had dinner downstairs, we shared a plate of Dal Bhat (it's like an all-in-one dish, generally comprises of rice, dal, vegetables, small portion of pickle and miscellaneous additions) and a bowl of tomato soup. We did some stretching then went to sleep. Although, we didn't sleep all that much. I suppose we're not used to the beds. We asked for blankets when we arrived, their blankets are nice and thick for the cold. Although it wasn't cold that night, it was cool but not cold. When everybody was asleep, I woke and saw the stars in the sky. It was beautiful, so many of them. It reminded me when I was a kid and my cousin and me would try counting the stars in the sky but we'd always lose track. That was then though, back home, you'd be surprise if you do see even a small group of stars. So seeing a sky with many stars was amazing. I stared at them for a few minutes, hearing the sound of nothing but the rushing of water in a nearby stream. I woke again with a sensation of going to the toilet to empty my bladder. When I came down, the people left the lights on which was nice of them. I brought my torchlight with me and everything but I guess I didn't need it anymore. I also kept waking to check on my dad. That day's episode left me vigil and so I woke a few times to see if he broke into cold sweat but he was all right that night. Phew.....

More photos:

chicks at the first village
people sunning their harvest
crystal clear water running down the stream
I love how paddy fields are grown behind stone walls
 stone wall entrance
I love how the people love their animals, the farmer cut the leaves for the cow to eat
more beautiful sceneries
porter carrying items on the right
little chickens out and about
view from the first guesthouse
paddy view from above
sun piercing through the clouds and onto the hills
view while walking to our guestgouse
our room


  1. How Nice Picture it is really awesome thanks for sharing as
    I am trekking guides and Tour Operator in Nepal if you would like visit in Nepal I will guide you and so the best mountain on the himalayas of Nepal
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    1. Thank you Sanjib for your compliments. Really appreciate it and also for your kind offer :)


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