Annapurna Circuit, Nepal – 4

Part Four – from 30 years ago.

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On the western side of Thorung La, the climate is much drier and in places the scenery is very much that of a desert landscape.

 

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As you descend, though, you soon come across settled areas where meltwater from the snows and glaciers higher up enable vegetation to grow.

 

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Mani stones plus a fine set of argali horns on top of a wall in Kagbeni. The argali are the wild sheep of the Himalaya.

 

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In Tukuche, at 2590m – less than half the altitude of Thorung la, which we had crossed just two days before.

 

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It was in places like this, that we really felt we could be in another century. Buildings of stone and beautifully carved wood, ponies for transport, no wheeled vehicles, and the two fellows to the right of the picture are busy crushing lengths of bamboo to a fibrous pulp, ready to make into paper.

It was in places like these, actually, that I felt I could just leave the world behind and spend the rest of my life. Yes, totally impractical, I know, but…

 

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We came for the high peaks, but the mountains lower down have a breathtaking beauty of their own.

 

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Sunrise on Poon Hill is a treat most trekkers ensure they don’t miss. Unrivalled mountain views, and in the spring the massed flowers of the rhododendron forests.

 

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Ah, yes. Did I just mention the rhododendron forests?

 

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Photos just don’t seem to do them justice.

 

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And then a few days later it was over, and we were back in Kathmandu…

…and that is a different kind of wonderful…

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40 thoughts on “Annapurna Circuit, Nepal – 4

  1. Gosh, this is just stunning. I love the idea of escaping the world and living with the ponies and rhododendron forests. But goodness only knows what my mum would get up to if I wasn’t around to keep an eye on her.

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  2. So many people feel that the Himalayas are the best escape available to them. Even now, Instagram is full of travel stories from the Himalayas. Pictures from this region are incredibly popular. Thanks for the great write-up, Mick

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      1. Yes, I just remembered a grade school project, messy and fun, using cardboard scraps, etc. I have writing papers in my desk at home, made from hemp, linen, papyrus, and elephant dung, among other things, but not bamboo.

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  3. I am really enjoying these because I am hoping to round up a chum or two and take the Trek there – including Shimla, of course. But its a great travel guide for me, so thanks
    BTW – enjoying the Book of the TW Writers. Brilliant bedtime reading….

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  4. What a fantastic look into another world ~ another time. You write of a dream with these old photos and memories, wonderful work Mick. The moments you describe in this post is why travel and embracing new cultures is so valuable, it creates dreams and you have a line I’ve said many times before in my life “It was in places like these, actually, that I felt I could just leave the world behind and spend the rest of my life.”

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    1. It was another time, certainly. I think there would be a different feel now, although there would certainly still be some of the original feelings. Nepal is still very special, even with the various changes over the last 30 years. But, yes. That feeling of being able to just walk out of the modern world and into something older, is wonderful.

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