This vacation included 12 days trekking, some days before and after in Kathmandu and Pokhara. I walked together with one guide/porter the Jomsom Trek. Starting from Pokhara, the trek went around Annapourna on the left side until Muktinath and back to Jomsom. A lot of people went the Annapourna circuit. All pictures are thumbnail and reference pictures. Please click on the pictures.
Starting with the train to Frankfurt and flying to Bangkok. Stopover time was three hours. So I was tired and watching our airplane loading with cargo, food and luggage.
Go sightseeing in Kathmandu for a stupa. A lot of flags waving in the air. Smelling burning sticks and watching the candles burning. My guide told me the base are the lotus flower. Each direction there is one Bhudda and one inside the stupa.
On the next tourist site, I visit another stupa. Here they sell a lot of Mandalas. On this picture you see the colors for painting the mandalas.
Here comes the biggest stupa. It is very big. The white color is just new painted for the festival. And of course there a lot of tourist shop and restaurants.
In the restaurant you can get the typical nepaless food dal bat. Rice with lentil soup, vegetable and sometimes meat. The local people can eat this meal three times a day! Of course this restaurant has tourist prices, but with best view of the stupa.
Here we already moved to Pokhara. This view is from my hotel where I eat breakfeast. You see the mount Machapuchare with more than 7000m height. The wheather was 5-10 degree in the morning and 20-25 in the afternoon.
Beside the hotel a family lives. They have a small hut and water outside. A lot of beautiful flowers are growing. I enjoyed the peace, no traffic, no dogs barking, no cars honking. Much better than Kathmandu. But shopping is cheaper in Kathmandu.
The trekking begins. Leaving the roads. No cars for transport. Often no electricity. A lot of change to my working place, sitting in front of a computer the whole day.
The trucks on the trekking highway are donkeys. If they come you better step out of the way. we moved 1000m high on the first day.
On the way there are the wonderful colors of the ripe rice with the deep blue of the sky and the snow of the high mountains. It is womens work to harvest the rice.
Beside the trucks you see a lot of woman and men carrying a lot of baggage. Even family with children carrying a lot. Porter is still a job here.
The kitchen are fired with wood. Seldom with gaz. Here is the meeting point for the trekkers, guide and porters. Ekk kop tatopani dinus. One cup of hot water please. My only sentence in nepalese. The boy was hired for cooking.
Now between 2000 and 3000m high, there lies a wonderful forest. It is raining a lot on the south of Annapourna. You see braids hanging down from the trees.
The blue spots are the roof of Ghorepani. Up the mountain was Poon hill. And the wheater was cloudy.
In Germany the rhododendron is small. Here there are giant trees at the height of 3000m. Sometimes I have to come back in spring time, to watch the blossoming.
Having paid the maoist. We climbed in the darkness up the mountain to watch the sunrise. The wheather was cloudy and the mountains mostly covered. You could see the Phewa tal from Pokhara.
Going down 2000m from Poon hill to Tatopani. From 3200 to 1200m. This was the heaviest day of the trekking. We eat some tibetan bread with nepalese tea. And it is getting warmer with every step downwards.
Coming down to the river. Eletricity sometimes available. Without bridge there is no chance to cross the river.
The hot springs. Tatopani means hot water. After the trip, this was very relaxing. I used my underwear.
Bottleneck, the donkeys come first. The rest waits. Forest is cutting down for cooking. The rain will cause landslides which causes bottleneck. But the Annapourna conservation area has already done a lot to clean up the places and plant trees again.
A beautiful old tree. In front is the baggage place for the porters for having a rest. What we have as a small flower at christmas time, is growing here as a bush (poinsettia).
Another bridge with military checkpoint. Another 400m climbing to 2000m. The forest is changing to needle forest. Resting in Ghasa.
After Kalopani the valley turns wider. It is getting drier with every step. In winter time you walk the shortcut on the riverbed.
For the shortcut, you use simple bridges. Just two logs over the water. The water is coming from melting snow and icecold. And you see the last forest.
The surrounding changed a lot. The forest is gone. We have desert with oasis. Watering is needed. Still there a lot of apple trees and apple pie. The other name for this trek is apple pie trek. And it taste good.
On 2600m there is no rice anymore. Potatoes, cabbage, carrot, radish. Everything else, especially the beer has to be carried from far away.
As soon there is some water grass is coming. The rest is desert and in the afternoon a strong wind blowing up the valley. It is the deepest valley of the world from 2000m to 8000m altitude difference.
The valley widens still more. Here is the airport and i will come back again to finish my trekking here. You see the Nilgiri mountain 7061 with Tilicho Peak 7134. Annapourna 8091 is behind.
Land is folded like paper. On the way from Jomosom to Kagbeni 2800. In the sun it is warm, in the shadow cold. And it is very quiet.
Travelling from Kagbeni to Muktinath and back. We let the luggage in Kagbeni. Climbing up to 4000m and back again. You see exactly where the country is irrigated.
Wood is rare. I met german technology. Solar energy is used to boil water. You see the water is boiling.
Arriving in Muktinath 3800m. Shops and lodges for the tourists and pilgrims. This is the only place where bhuddist and hinduist have a common destination.
Hoy temple on 4000m. Still there a big trees. The natural gas flame was closed. The temple was open.
Monastery of Jharkot. The complete set of bhuddist books are stored in the red building. Behind lies the Thorung La pass 5416m. This is the highest point of the Annapourna round circuit.
Back in Pokhara it was warm. The first thing was to the barber and getting shaved. The next thing doing the laundry. Taking shower is difficult.
Sitting in the shadow have a look at the sea with mountain. Very good fresh curry fish from the lake. I could have stayed longer in Pokhara. I liked it. Trekking is finished.
Shopping for my children. Didn't find anything of the right size. So, picking up the cloth and ordering two trousers for my children. In the evening there were ready. Very comfortable to wear and cheaper than europe. About 5 EUR for each.
Shopping in Thamel is cheaper and you have more choice. In the night dogs are barking and car and motocycle honking. It is a busy city.
Watching from the airplane you see the heavily populated valley. Only 10-15 years ago the rivers were clean. Nowadays the rivers are very muddy and smelly.
This was the first part of my holiday. The second part goes to Thailand. Have a look at beach, jungle, waterfall, caves and hot springs.
© 2005 by Jürgen Zink
Last modified 10.01.2005