The 6 days Annapurna trekking in the Ghorepani – Poon Hill area was very succesful. My team was the number one attraction, thanks to my guide, a very nice, petite, sherpa girl. It is very rare to see a woman sherpa in a world dominated by men. Ang CeCi Sherpa did an excellent job and same kudos for my porter, Bishnu, a Nepali-Hindu boy.
Initially I wanted to trek alone, carrying my own backpack. But, by hiring a Sherpa and a porter, you are not only making your trip easier, you are also helping the Nepalese people. The company I used is “Friends in High Places“.
The porters are amazing. They are so many and they can carry over 100 kg: the trekkers backpacks, tents and sleeping bags, the food for the tea-houses, big metal pots and in Kathmandu even washing machines! The system is the same. One large stripe over the front-head connected with the backpack, the bin, the box or the cage (depending of the content they carry). Some wear mountain boots, some running shoes, others flip-flops and a couple are bare-foot. The other “porters” are the ponies.
The mountains are different from what we know in America or Europe. Over 2000 m and you can spot white monkeys with black face (lemur). The vegetation is more tropical than what would you expect at high altitudes. And there are no conifers!
The trekking trail consists mostly from thousands of steps made from stones and you climb and climb and climb…
The highest point was Poon Hill (3210 m) from where we watched the sunrise at 5:30 am.
The weather was excellent: sunny and clear skies every day. Very hot, but the nights were cold. The Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Fish Tail peaks – all covered by snow and clearly visible.
The Tea-Houses were quite comfortable and all are using solar power for hot water. The food was good, but almost the same everywhere. The Nepali wine “roxi”, made from millet, was quite good (it is not strong, more like sake).
The people are very friendly, very welcoming. I spent a lot of time taking pictures of children. They always want to see themselves on the LCD screen. A highlight of this trip was the visit to a school in a very small mountain village, Uleri, where I made a donation and took photos. Later on I sent the printed photos by mail to the Uleri school.
People are inventive. Pool is expensive, but here is the replacement; the “caram-board”. The table is the same like a pool table. Instead of balls, there are discs. You give a push to the “white” disc with two fingers and try to put your discs in the holes. The pool table is peppered with flour as a lubricant! I played and I lost!
Hearing Nepalese music around my teahouse, I found a Nepali party – traditional dancing, with the dancer’s body and the hands waving harmoniously. I thought I am a dinosaur there…
And I played chess again after 20 years with my porter, Bishnu…
Date: October 2010