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Archive for May, 2007

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Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Day Nine: Dry the Rain

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

It had been a restless night’s sleep, with the fierce storm keeping me awake, and, when I finally slept, thoughts of horror movies racing through my mind.

I continued to doze in the morning well after the sun had come up; half awake, half asleep. It was around 7am when I turned in bed from my side onto my stomach, pushing the pillow to one side.

That was when I saw it. I began to lay my head down onto my arms, but stopped, frozen, shocked. It was massive. The biggest fucking spider I’ve ever seen in my entire twenty-seven years, sitting on the bed’s head-board. And I’m from Australia, so I’ve seen some big-arse spiders in my time. But this fuckin’ monster was HUGE. I’m talking the size of my entire hand. Its body was the size of an egg, and it’s legs bent up and out like the type of spiders you see in horror movies where they’re the size of houses. And it was just inches from my head. I thought it was going to eat me.

[read on]

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Day Eight: Black Sheep Boy

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Upon leaving the village of Sinuwa, the first half of the day was spent retracing our steps from a few days earlier back to Chomrong. This meant a forty minute descent down one side of the valley below Sinuwa, and a solid hour’s climb up the other side.

Herds of buffalo again blocked our path along the way. A gentle stream flowed beside us where there had been only dry rocks previously. Waterfalls jumped down the cliffs around us where before there had been only trees and hard rock. The monsoon wasn’t far away.

As I climbed up the stairs to Chomrong, straining to put each foot on the next stone step and lagging a little behind the others, I was overtaken by six or seven kids in their best school uniform bounding up the steps, as though each step was a mini trampoline. When they reached Salik, our nineteen-year-old porter, the two littlest kids, perhaps aged five or six, grabbed his hand and he helped them up the final few steps to their school.

As if he didn’t have enough to carry already!

[read on]

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Day Seven: I Made a Lovers Prayer

Monday, May 28th, 2007
Twice through the night I had to rise and rush to the bathroom, but not before putting on a couple of layers of clothing. It was awfully cold up there at Annapurna Base Camp. Despite my headache I stopped outside ... [Continue reading this entry]

Annapurna Trek, Day Six: Thin Captain Crackers

Sunday, May 27th, 2007
Day six, it was the day we would reach our main destination, Annapurna Base Camp at 4130m. But to get there we would have to climb over 1200m through bear-infested forests, life-threatening avalanche routes and cloud so think you couldn't ... [Continue reading this entry]

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Day Five: Breathless

Thursday, May 24th, 2007
Shafts of sunlight dissected the dark morning sky, shooting straight and bold from behind the glorious fish-tailed peak of Machhapuchhre. It was 5.30am, and I was stood on the balcony of our guest house, once again rising before the big ... [Continue reading this entry]

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Day Four: Beat of Your Drum

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007
I woke after a peaceful night's sleep. It was just starting to get light outside. Abs was already up and brushing his teeth. I ventured outside and stood on the lawn gazing up at the silhouetted mountains. I looked at ... [Continue reading this entry]

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Day Three: Company in my Back

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007
The huge Annapurna range was visible from my bedroom window. All I had to do was turn my head whilst lying in bed and there they were; giant seven and eight thousand metre high peaks. I didn't wake up to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Day Two: Blame it on the Tetons

Monday, May 21st, 2007
The second day's trekking would be one of our easiest. A simple three hour climb up to Ghorapani. Technically, we weren't actually on the Annapurna Sanctuary trek yet. Ghorapani lies on a path known as the Jomson trek. But just ... [Continue reading this entry]

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Day One – No more crap tunes. Please!

Sunday, May 20th, 2007
I've just returned to civilisation after ten days trekking in the Annapurna region of the Himilayas. Surprisingly, my legs aren't actually sore. I seriously find that really weird. I've just spent five hours a day climbing up and down stairs, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Trisuli River: Float on

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007
Kelly poked her head around the door and in a thick, serious Irish brogue asked: "Dave, can I please see you for a minute?" Kelly is the volunteer coodinator at Umbrella, and I felt as though I'd been called aside by ... [Continue reading this entry]