Up, up and then … up some more.
The going was tough, as not all of the ‘highway’ was rideable, and the gradient on certain sections was often ridiculously steep, so steep that even pushing was exhausting.
The scenery, however, more than made up for the suffering – thundering waterfalls, one of which was about 100 metres high, some cascading their way right across the road; idyllic villages spread across a valley floor, and most of all, the vistas of snow-capped mountains in the distance that held us spell-bound.
Spectacular bridge crossings
To a very large extent, the economy here is driven by hikers who traverse the circuit. You won’t have to go more than 10kms, sometimes less, to come upon a village to fulfil your needs for accommodation or food and drink.
Prices on the trail are somewhat elevated the higher you go. We decided to try out a new strategy to eat cheaper — by asking a grocery shop-owner to cook for us some instant noodles (with eggs and vege), followed by hot cups of chia.
As we go along, the Besisahar-Manang Highway serves up a different menu of terrains and gradients to keep it interesting — from nice, steep and somewhat rideable to…
…rocky, steep and not-so-rideable, to…
… “I give up, I think I’ll just push”
And we thought we were having it tough. That’s a hardworking porter, not a hiker.
But no matter how tough the going gets, Annapurna Circuit never fails to lift up your spirits, especially with its many waterfalls along the way… like this one with a permanent rainbow.
Or this even more spectacular waterfall, cascading right across our path. This one is about 100m high.. simply spell-binding with the roar of its water rushing down, and the ice-cold spray on your face. Check out the video below…
A beautiful end to a great day on the trail. Our stop for the night, Tal, is a beautiful village with a river flowing past it, and a waterfall in its backyard.
Rooms were free, provided we ate all our meals there.
The lovely hostess of Riverside GH in her dingy little kitchen cooking our dinner
Portrait of the day #2
Next: Tal to Timang