We were now on the penultimate section before the final climb to Thorong pass. From Yak Kharka, it was another short, but tough, ride. I am very sure I pushed more than I rode; it was hard going at that altitude. It was getting visibly colder too. Ice was beginning to form on parts of the trail.

From 4,000m, we were now heading to 4,500m at Thorong Base Camp. Although we were somewhat acclimatized to the altitude but we could still clearly feel some of its effects. Mike P seemed to be the only one who was comfortable enough to ride more than us.

At Manang, we had attended one of the free daily talks on altitude conducted by a volunteer doctor from the local Himalayan Rescue Association. After the talk, we had the chance to test our blood oxygen intake and Mike P surprised us all by scoring very high for his test.

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Another glorious day on the Annapurna Circuit

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It was quite an adrenaline rush riding across this bridge

 

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Especially when you realise that it’s quite a long drop to the bottom, which you can clearly see through the slats.

 

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Ice was also becoming a common feature now

 

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This was the toughest section of the ride. We had to push our way down towards the river, crossed a small bridge and struggle our way up towards Thorong Pedi.

 

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Beautiful but tough, mostly because of the altitude and cold.

 

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Thorong Base Camp — desolate, remote, and very cold.

 

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We spent all our waking hours in the dining/common room. Once the sun sets, it drops to below zero. Its yet another day, the 4th I think, we went without showers. But who cares…

 

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Next: The monumental crossing of Thorong La.

 

 

 

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