The 230km Annapurna Circuit in central Nepal is rated as a world-class hiking destination. But ever since the Nepali government carved a road through the mountains making the region more accessible than ever before, it has opened up a whole new world, not just for the Nepalis living there but for a new breed of adventurer cycle-tourers who were now able to ride the entire circuit. Continue reading
We started our adventure from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
To get to the traditional starting point of the trek at Besisahar, we endured a seven-hour, 170-km bus ride from Kathmandu to Dumre (two hours of which was just getting out of the gridlocked city), then another two hours by local mini-bus for a bumpy 50-km ride to Besisahar.
Cycling an arduous trek like the Annapurna Circuit meant we would be climbing from around 900m to 5,416m. Along the way, we would be experiencing distinctly different climatic zones with the accompanying change in temperature, vegetation, ethnicity of the people, their culture, and the ever-changing panorama of magnificent mountains. Continue reading
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 – Continue reading
The riding was getting noticeably harder, the breathing more laboured, and the number of stops increasingly more frequent. But, the vista around us was getting increasingly more spectacular as well. Just as well too, the elements were very energy-sapping. It’s only the immense beauty surrounding us that’s keeping us going. Continue reading
We had endured a very cold night, and I was glad for the -5C down sleeping bag that kept us snug and warm.
I was feeling rather knackered, not just from the hard going, but also from a boil on the butt that had decided to pop up a couple day ago. From Timang, it was pretty hard going. I was pushing a lot. The terrain was steep and not very forgiving. Continue reading
I slept well last night. Bereft of the usual horde of hikers, Thaleku was a very quiet place. The only down side wsa the lack of wifi — oh how dependent we are on the Internet even when we yet crave the solitude of the mountains. Continue reading
For the first time on this trip, I experienced one of the symptoms of AMS — the inability to sleep. We were at 3,500m, after all. I was tossing and turning almost the whole night; I just could not sleep.
Finally, around 5 in the morning I dozed off. It wasn’t sound sleep though. The temperature had also dropped to zero early in the morning. Manang, in reality, is cold all the time, even in the daytime outdoors. Continue reading