Annapurna Circuit - DAY SEVEN

Weather: Cold and Very Cold At Night
Checkpoint: Gurung
We passed by so many crystal clear streams this morning

The view in the morning

The start to this day was a breath taking one. First off, my guide pointed at the sky as the golden rays of the morning sun touched Fish Tail Mountain which we saw is the opposite side we saw from Poon Hill . Then our trail starts by going through the mossy forest and I took A LOT of photos for this particular morning. There were many streams as well. It was very enjoyable to begin with as the trail was gradual, pretty and cooling. It was quite easy going today, or at least, until noon which for me is saying a lot. I had no complaints and was feeling really good like I could perhaps conquer this mountain... for today, at least. Oh boy, was I so wrong.

We passed Himalaya, topped off my water bottles and continued. I saw locals doing weaving for rooftops and one just napping on a thin mattress in the open. It was really nice to see the simple life. It's not a complicated lifestyle but a very hard working one. I truly respect these people. So hard working yet down to earth. It was afternoon and still no lunch. I was still feeling optimistic but not for long if I may be so bold. We took a break in this.... I wouldn't call it a cave. A cave implies a chamber in the hills. No, this was more like a shallow shelter by gigantic rocks. It started to get cold as the clouds start creeping in and we can't see the top anymore. Dheuli is the opposite of where we were and I was like, "Great! No biggie!"... Well, you know how distances may seem closer than you expect? It took an hour's walk to get there. I was starting to feel absolutely exhausted but once I reached, I felt a crashing wave of relief. Due to the cold weather, I craved something hot and soupy. We stopped at the Shangrila Guesthouse and Restaurant.  I ordered egg vege noodle (and that will soon be my favourite dish in these mountains). It tasted nice and I shall add a bonus because it was nice and HOT. I ordered black hot tea as well. I watched a movie when I was little; this old couple had a bucket of hot water for their feet during winter. I never could appreciate their actions but I could now at this very moment. The owner/cook was very friendly and we made conversation for a little while.

Clouds are creeping in as it gets a lot colder now

We continued our journey but from here, it will be no easy pickings... The trail just kept going up, add to that my period.. Oh, everything was so uncomfortable. On our way, I actually saw a glacier! My guide pointed it out to me, it's slightly off the track, I thought it was a big bed of white flowers. As my guide and porter wait for me on the track, I walked towards the glaciers to snap photos. Unfortunately, the clouds made everything look foggy so I can't snap a clear photo of it but I made the best of it. It was cold and water was flowing from the ice.

water dripping off the glacier

We kept going up for what seemed like hours and hours that my groin muscle started to ache (I know what you're thinking but no, the term is quite misleading. It's the muscle between the groin and hip, the one that controls leg movement. At first I thought I sprained it along the way but when I returned to Malaysia, I sought out a GP and he told me it was a lymph node. Lymph node is, to put it in simple terms, much like a filtration system that stops infections from going any further as it traps the infection there and sends white blood cells to battle the infection. He asked if I was bitten by an insect on my right leg and I was-- the leech. I guess I was sorta allergic to them. This really made the hike so much harder).

This is the kind of sight towards the end of today's journey
I was near the end of today's journey but I was walking ever so slowly now. Climbing up really made my groin muscle hurt as I tried to lift my leg. When I manage to see my checkpoint, I realised the amount of beauty around me. There were long grass all over with cute tiny bright flowers and streams washing down. It was so magical. I imagined it to be like my journey in Middle Earth but in Asia. hehe. I met an Argentinian guy at the top, he was taking everything in with his camera as he walked down and walk back up. He was really fit, he told me he reached the place at 1400 hours and I was like.. wow! because I reached there at 1700 hours. He was pretty far out from the checkpoint when I met him, so we walked together back to the checkpoint and when I say we walked together, I meant he walking ahead of me and eventually disappeared from my sight. The misty clouds were circling us now and it was getting very cold.

Finally, this was the place where all my cold clothes were put into good use. When I settled down, I wore my jacket, rain coat pants and gloves. I ordered tuna cheese sandwich for dinner. I thought that I reached the top, I should indulge myself into something a little more luxurious and a tuna cheese sandwich is always awesome. Tuna meltz... Mmmmmm~~ In the mean time, I took a hot shower and when I was finally clean and fresh, I put on my packed sneakers. My feet felt so much better after wearing sneakers and it kept my feet warm too. This place has dorms for four people. If I were unlucky as my guide told me earlier in the day, I would have to share it with other people. Fortunately for me.. This isn't quite the peak season so I had a room of four beds all to myself. And yes, I made use of all of them ;) well... maybe half. So I got my warm clothes on and I took my book out and enjoyed the glorious scenery. It was quiet and I never felt more at peace. I took with me my favourite chocolate-- Whittaker's Roasted Almond Gold Chocolate with me for this hike and for this specific purpose. I had two with me and I opened one here as I took a bite of my favourite rich cocoa, roasted almond expensive chocolate a few thousand feet up in the mountains in amazing cold weather and in a quiet peaceful environment. If ever was I in a zen mode, this would be it. If only dad were here.... Even then, I felt the cold was slowly piercing through my gloves because my hands still felt frozen. I had to sit on them to gain warmth. From a hot country, this feels amazing but slowly it started becoming too cold for my taste.

I love that there's so few people here. I sat here, ate my chocolate and enjoyed the serenity

When dinner was ready, my tuna sandwich may not be what I was expecting. For one, it was chapati instead of bread and the amount of tuna and cheese given was paper thin. I wouldn't mind that if the price were lower but the for the price stated, I expected at least more tuna. Oh well, I are in slight quiet disappointment. A German couple was here too, their porter spoke German to them. The lady was nice. I missed my dad. I was hoping I could share this experience with him but at least I get to show him photos as I'm sharing this with you now. This place has quite nice facilities. Hot shower with good water pressure and seated toilet. Their lights are bright too. It was so cold that night, I slept with the doors and window shut. 

More photos:
One of the many beautiful streams we passed
... And another :)
walking through the thick forest
the trail in the forest. Very gradual in the beginning
I was totally mesmerize by the sun in the forest
Nice mossy branch with some back lighting
wonderful scenery of mountains, clouds and waterfalls
More cold streams :D
a sign that asks people to not spit from here on out
porters were taking a break at the stream, they placed their items down
moist vegetation growing on rocks
more moss, I think
I like the mysterious like trails
found a spider cob web :)
Love the rich blue sky and mountains and clouds
So this is where we rest and the blue buildings were the lunch place.
Nama-- my porter
Shiva-- my guide
pretty little bees getting nectar from cute yellow flowers
nice water falling from natural sculpted rocks
The big glacier
It looks quite magical
after climbing up, I looked behind and the view looked like something out of a fantasy novel
pretty pink flowers everywhere
long grass and flowers everywhere!
Some of the sights around my guesthouse
I love this.. Such a mysterious view
What a beautiful sunset for the day


  1. One of these pictures is now my work PC wallpaper! Cheers


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