Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fast forward: Trek Day 6

As I am already back in the US, I have gotten a bit lax with my blogging. Thus, I'm going to skip day 5 and go straight to day 6: Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp

I must begin this entry with a simple fact: when traveling, I instantly judge anyone with an American accent. Usually, my judgement is proven wrong within the first conversation. However, we sat next to some Alaskans at lunch today, and based on their conversation with a pair of Swiss men, I wanted to punch them in the face. They were a couple, younger than us, the girl still in school and the guy a fisherman. The statement that made me never want to talk to them- "I got food poisoning in Pokhara, maybe from some mutton moms I ate, or maybe that steak I had. I had the steak because, I figured there are a lot of cows around, there must be good steak." In addition to noting that there was nothing to do in Pokhara, claiming that Americans get an average of 5 weeks of vacation a year, and other such comments, I deemed them guidebookless and completely ignorant. They also mentioned no less than three times that they were "competitive people" and had made it to ABC in less than 48 hours (which is quite stupid, and not admirable).

Lame folks aside, today was a grand day in the form of scenery, but definitely my most difficult day yet. At about 11pm last night a mouse discovered that Ben had left his bag of masala peanuts out. Originally thinking Ben was getting a late night snack, I quickly realized that the relentless mouse had discovered our stash. Even after putting away the peanuts, the mouse continued to search the room, digging through pockets and skittering across our beds. I slept with my jacket wrapped around my head and my body wrapped tightly in my blanket, so as to make the least contact possible with Mr. Mouse. The tumultuous night made us the latest risers at our lodge, and when we began that morning, my body didn't want to move. At all. My breakfast was weighing me down, every step seemed to take 1,000x the normal effort, and I hardly paid attention to the scenery I focused on my own body so much.

Luckily, after about an hour and a half, we reached Macchapucchare Base Camp (MBC), I downed a Snickers, and felt a million times better. Perhaps the blood sugar was just a little low! The valleys around MBC were amazing, as only pictures and memories can tell:

After MBC, the dense forests had completely cleared and turned to alpine tundra. We followed a river up, up, up- marveling at small royal bluebirds as they flitted around the banks (still have no idea what they were...). It turned cold quickly in the cloud cover, and we frequently sought shelter behindlarge boulders that lined the path. The valley got slightly wider, and we tried to spot that sheep, but to no avail. Every so often Macchapucchare would appear (the "Fishtail" mountain), unfathomably high behind the curtain of clouds. Though we have had glimpses of the surrounding peaks throughout the afternoon, we will not be able to see the full panorama until morning. I hope to photograph the stars and the moon on the peaks tonight, if I am not too cold to get out of my bed! There is quite a long path along the glacier basin that we hope to tackle tomorrow, winding its way to about 14,500/15,000 ft. 

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