| June 3rd, 2023 | 39 Comments

Namaste (pronounced nuhm-uh-stey) is a conventional, and respectful, Hindu expression on meeting or parting. While hiking the Annapurna circuit I was greeted this way half a thousand times, and answered in return as often.

The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal sees thousands of foreign trekkers every year. Its route snakes through lush rice paddy tiered valleys, across roaring rivers, into Tibetan and Buddhist villages, beside large buckwheat fields, past Hindu temples, and climbs high into arid Himalayan peaks.

It can take 17 days to complete the entire Annapurna trek (or 10-12 days to do the first half of Annapurna, as we did), provided you don’t run into snow in higher altitudes.

Conversely, one can take one’s time wandering within the confines of the Annapurna circuit for weeks, and even months. In an ideal utopia you might never leave. That’s how fantastic and awe-inspiring the Annapurna circuit trek is.

Hiking the Annapurna Circuit Trek

hiking the annapurna trek in nepal

Planning to Hike the Annapurna Circuit

​When planning the trek my dear friend Amy and I decided that we would take no guide and hire no porter. We wanted to do it on our own, and we didn’t actually have the budget to pay what we considered a fair wage.

Essentially that meant we had no translator, no one to show us any cool shortcuts, or give us some background info, and most importantly no one to carry our stuff. Anything we brought with us would ride in our packs, or on our persons, from the start till the very end.

Through a strict process of brutal elimination we managed to cut our pack weight to about 10 pounds each, taking only essentials, a couple of “toys”, and warmer clothing for the higher altitudes we would enter.

The Annapurna Circuit used to be hiked in a clockwise fashion, starting at Phedi and passing Jomson before hitting the pass. Most people travel it counter-clockwise nowadays and we decided to do the same, for the following reasons:

A – There is a “road” (a dusty path) that has been under development from Phedi to Jomsom and from Jomson to Mulktinah for a few years now, making the clockwise route busier, dustier, and less pleasant than it used to be. Jeeps and buses do not make for interesting trekking buddies.

B – Tackling the pass from the east ascent is easier, the climb gentler and less steep, which is a blessing since slogging up to the pass has to be done all in one day.

annapurna circuit in nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Journey Begins

We set off for our Annapurna trek out of Pokhara early on the first day, and took one of those terrible developing world bus rides to the town Besisahar, the entry point into the circuit. This particular bus ride stands out as it introduced me to the idea of Nepalese personal space, as in…there is no such concept. The bus was overloaded, about 20 seats and maybe 40 people packed in like sardines.

​Five uncomfortable hours later we were mercifully out of the bus, ready and eager to set out onto Annapurna. With just our packs on our backs we took our first steps into the Annapurna circuit. I had waited for this moment for a very long time and the low thrum of excitement that had been building up within me made me giddy with glee.

I have a tradition of starting every hike/trek by searching out a suitable piece of wood to act as a staff. I located a wonderful bamboo pole within minutes of undertaking our journey and it, along with Amy, would be my constant companion for the next 12 days.

​The Annapurna circuit trek starts at 800 meters altitude and climbs every day until the ultimate ascent into the Thorong La Pass which looms at a hefty 5,450 meters above sea level. In comparison, the Empire State Building in New York City stands at a total height of 380 meters. Mt McKinley in Alaska, the highest peak in the USA, has a total height of 6194 meters.

One last piece of trivia – the human body process 53% less oxygen at an altitude of 5,000 meters. This, as it turns out, makes breathing REALLY HARD after you pass a certain point in the circuit. More on that later, however.

On day one of the Annapurna trek we started far below the cloud line. Since it was October the monsoon season was nearing an end, but it was humid and wet every inch in the lower valleys.

We slowly made our way through lush hills and over swollen rivers, into and out of bamboo forests, and along muddy mucky leech inhabited track. A quick side note on leeches – the little bastards are sneaky, they get on your shoe as you pass over a puddle or step into some mud and crawl inside, numbing the area they sink their slimy mouth over before sucking your blood. Finding them on our persons was always an unpleasant experience.

Sometimes the trail would vanish under a rushing stream and we’d take our shoes off and wade across, sometimes it would be enveloped by a waterfall which had to be traversed with utmost care. We skipped from rock to rock with our packs on our backs like Mario and Luigi, except without the benefit of one- ups or extra lives.

At one point, on the second day of our journey, the trail wove its way into a hillside which was nothing but gold and silver speckled mud. This giant hill of muck perplexed us greatly. Every sign of the path disappeared and when I made the mistake of putting my foot into the mud I sank down to my ankle, and probably would have lost my shoe if Amy hadn’t yanked me back onto a rock. It wasn’t until a few locals passed us that we figured out how to gingerly navigate a path of half immersed boulders.


Each night saw us staying in a different village along the Annapurna circuit trek trail. All of our “tea house” accommodations were pretty basic and we learned to appreciate small things like thicker sponge mattresses, walls without cracks to let the critters or the cold night wind inside, a “shower” that ran from tepid to warm as opposed to stone cold to still cold, a squat hole that didn’t stink TOO badly.

One place, on our 7th day or so, even had a toilet! This wonderful porcelain contraption seemed to us a gaudy throne. Amazing how quickly you can learn to appreciate things you take for granted every day.

Dinner on the Annapurna trek (and for me usually lunch) consisted of dal bhat, a local dish of rice, soupy lentils, curried potatoes, and something pickled, usually something I could not identify. It was all food found in the ecosystem around us and eating it was akin to consuming pure energy. My body grew accustomed to the fare. I stopped feeding it booze and meat, and my intestines responded in a happy fashion.

dal bhat

​Every day we climbed higher into the hills and every day we saw the climate around us change. The bamboo forests gave way to pine, the rain came only at night, the humidity declined, and the mosquitoes disappeared altogether. Low valley gave way to green foothills, muddy track to dusty path. At some point we started to catch glimpses of the snow-capped mountains looming to the north, and they were beacons. The Annapurna trail would turn and dip into a valley, the peaks would vanish, but we knew they were there in front of us, waiting. The very land seemed to expand at some point, and we walked past fields of wheat and pasture for horse grazing where before we jaunted along narrow paths amid tiered rice paddy.

​Day six and seven of the Annapurna trek saw us staying in Manang, a small village resting at 3,700 some odd meters altitude. We were advised to stay there and acclimatize to our new breathless heights, and so we did, using the day to rest, sipping tea, taking in the spectacular mountain views and reading in leisure.

manang , annapurna circuit

The road grew rockier and harsher after those two days, the air thinner, the nights colder. The frigid mountain air rubbed our throats and sinuses raw until we were both producing thick mucus and a dry persistent cough. We took to sleeping in multiple layers, under the heavy yak wool blankets, and we were still cold. I have a hard time getting real REM at altitude and my nights were filled with disjointed yet mostly epic and entertaining dreams.

At the end of each day we would consult the map to chart our progress and we would see Thorong Pass approaching, looming ahead of us like some final boss in a video game. The hardest day of the Circuit was drawing near. We knew that soon we would have to face the 1,000 meter ascent and subsequent 2,000 meter descent.

Ascending Thorong Pass

That day came on the 11th of the Annapurna circuit trek. It started at 4:30 on a frigid morning in the Himalayas, altitude 4,000 meters. Neither of us got much sleep that night, it was simply too cold, and we were both jazzed up by the thought of the next morning. Breakfast was tea and a couple of boiled eggs, my usual. By this point in our journey, we had hired a porter, a rather silent and inexpressive chap named Tashi, specifically for the final leg of the ascent.

We had heard how difficult the climb was, 1,000 meters at extreme altitude, with no time to waste. Upon reaching Thorong Pass we would then have to climb down about 1,800 meters to find the nearest accommodation. And we had to do all this before the sun set​.

​Amy and I split up our stuff, leaving one bag a bit lighter than the other, and rotated carrying it while Tashi hefted the heavier of the two. We attempted a 200 meter initial ascent in the dark morning hours but the altitude got to Amy, inflicting her with nausea, shortness of breath, and a general inability to climb higher.

We descended back down and waited a few minutes before trying again. This time we made more progress but again the altitude gain was too quick. If we had an extra day to acclimatize I have absolutely no doubt that Amy would have conquered the pass on her own, but we did not want to spend another freezing night in the desolate “village” of Thorong Phedi (really just two tea houses, a score of yaks, and some horses) nor did we want to risk an acute onset of altitude sickness so we decided that Tashi would accompany Amy back down to find a horse she could ride and that I would proceed on foot.

We split up our gear right there on the moonlit slope so that I carried as little as possible on my back. I watched Amy and our porter make their way down the hill until they became dark specks.


Alone for the first time on the Annapurna trek I ascended, step by tiny step. The going was slow, the air painfully thin. I made sure to keep my breathing under control, not too deep lest I hyperventilate, not too shallow and too fast lest the same happen. I created mantras in my head, distracted my brain from the burning in my lungs and muscles with thoughts of my favorite fantasy and sci-fi novels, and used some blaring hip-hop as motivation. Jay-Z as a motivator struck me as hilarious at that moment but the beats helped me keep going.

Hours passed, the sun came up to keep me company, and my feet shuffled slowly but steadily, my forward weight leaning on my bamboo pole. I rested often and took in the spectacular mountain views on all sides while eating my last three Snickers bars. Even eating has to be slow and methodical at altitude or you can suddenly find yourself gasping for air while chewing on a mouthful of chocolate and peanuts. My first trip into altitude in the Andes the previous year had left me vomiting and feverish, mewling like a little babe. I was determined not to let that happen again.

That is how I found myself sitting on a small rock, face to face with the snow caps and some of the mightiest peaks of the Himalayas. I was overcome with a sense of awe, a humbleness bordering on servitude. The mountain was all that existed and I was its little bitch. I exalted in the feeling, in being a small tiny creature climbing a giant king of a rock, of doing something that a year prior had bested me.

I thanked whatever willpower allowed me to stand up, and continued on.

annpurna circuit nepal

Five hours after I took my first steps that day I found myself clearing one last camel back, one last false summit, and there it was. Thorong Pass. Amy and her horse arrived soon afterwards and we both celebrated our accomplishments. She was a tad irritated with herself for having to ride a horse for the final stretch but altitude sickness is nothing to take lightly. Her shame was unwarranted, I argued. She was still a badass in my eyes.

We celebrated, took a few photos at the pass, and reflected back on the previous eleven days. Eleven days of walking, eleven days of mentally and physically preparing for the rigors of climbing the pass, eleven days of adventure and exploration on a scale neither of us had ever attempted before. Eleven days of sore muscles, aching feet, and frigid showers. Eleven days of beauty, elation, humbleness, hardship, and perseverance.

annapurna circuit

It was all downhill from there, quite literally. 1,800 meters nearly straight down, which is pretty painful in its own right. I pity anyone with a bad knee attempting that descent so quickly after the uphill slog. The trail took us down the other side of the pass to the small town of Mulktinah. Mulktinah is connected via the “road” I mentioned at the start, and its impact was instantly visible.

The town was filled with motorbikes and pick up trucks; loud, dusty, and perverse after the peace and solitude we found on the other side of the pass. On the far end of town we located a jeep depot with dozens of jeeps waiting to take us down the dirt road to the larger town of Jomsom.

We decided to take the first available ride south, somewhat disillusioned by what we found, and hauled ass to Jomson. We spent the night in a quiet hostel and engaged in conversation with its owner over dinner. He told us a bit about the history of the town and bemoaned the stingy tourists the circuit has been attracting recently. He shook his head sadly while telling us about tourists who haggled over five dollar rooms, quibbling over what literally amounts to pennies.

mulktinah annapurna

From Jomsom we booked passage on a tiny airplane that navigated its way no higher than the tops of the foothills, flying south through the valleys. Before we knew it we were back in Pokhara, (which seems like a booming metropolis to someone who had been away from modern civilization for two weeks), almost as if we had never left.

The transition was jarring and a bit melancholy. We immediately missed the unspoiled beauty of the Annapurna circuit. I was just a brief visitor and I was going back to where I really belonged, a place of machines and carbon monoxide and commerce. It was not a happy thought. But the memory of the circuit, our adventures and experiences, have stayed with me to this day.

annapurna nepal

Reflections on Hiking the Annapurna Circuit

Porters and Gucci

We met many a trekker on our journey, and for every two tourists there was a local porter or guide. Some of the porters were carrying far more than they should have been, an over sight by the tourists that hired them, and the greedy trek companies that organized the trips. We met porters who were carrying not one but two, or three, suitcases on their backs, all using a sort of sling harness that went over their foreheads.

Now, I understand that some people just NEED to bring extra food, extra fleece, extra make-up, extra selfie sticks, but really, a suitcase? Why stop there? Why not hire a team of porters to carry you upon a gilded throne? I guess what I’m saying is…leave your fucking Gucci luggage in the hotel and invest in a proper backpack, especially if you are using a porter to haul your stuff. Please! These stooped locals made their way up the path faster than the tourists, but I sincerely doubt whether the toll on their bodies was worth the meager earnings they pocketed.

Equally as bad was the accommodations these local porters were subjected too. Every hostel and tea house had a “Nepli Room” which was usually the worst room in the establishment. Lined end to end with twin beds with no room for anything else, the porters slept side by side in absolutely zero comfort, with no blankets or pillows. None of the porters I communicated with seemed to think anything was out of place and that just pissed me off more. These are people, not mules.

I took a tiny comfort in knowing that we hadn’t exploited a local in this fashion, but it was purely a moral victory. And in the end we had to hire someone for the last leg of our trip anyway. We did not haggle over prices with this fellow however, and paid him what he asked for.

Living the “Unspoiled” Life 

Local life, as I observed, was hewn from the very land the people of the Annapurna region inhabit. To an outsider like me it was like someone turned the clock back one hundred and fifty years. No Lexuses, no Rolexes, no iPhones, no scratch off lotto. You eat what you harvest, you trade for what you need, you build your habitats from the materials on hand, and you live life seemingly closer to the essences. Does simple mean better? Is there more inherent value to the lives these people lead than the one I do?

It’s a complicated question. From my observer’s perch, mine eye already sensitive to the garish nature of my culture, the crudeness of western civilization and its impact stood out like bold typeface amidst a page of sanskrit. Young Nepali boys running around with life-like plastic Glocks, shooting up the hills, the chickens, each other. Ninty percent of them wore World Wide Wrestling t-shirts. The WWF…. ambassador of Americana? In terms of culture it doesn’t get any worse.

​In one tea-house I observed a particularly disquieting scene over dinner. This establishment must have been doing well, as it sported a high-definition flat screen TV in the dining area, and even had a satellite uplink. Porters crowded around the set as it spewed colors and lights until they were dislodged by the white people, myself included, who came to eat. At that point the channel was changed to a movie channel, Starz or something, presumably in a misguided effort to make the Westerners feel at home. The movie playing was one of Hollywood’s finest productions, the cinematic masterpiece…Van Helsing. Nobody wanted it on and it went unwatched with the glaring exception of a little Nepalese girl, daughter of the innkeep. She stared at the TV in rapt fascination as monsters and grotesques did battle with one another. The screen depicted a succubus, seductive and sexual, engaging in some act of ridiculous violence with the protagonist. The little girl whirled her head around, eyes wide, to check if we were paying attention. I wanted to tell her that what she was watching, while glossy and flashy and stimulating, was trite tacky souless turd. Instead I shook my head sadly and kept silent. Who was I to say anything? As a tourist in these mountains, I was partly to blame for introducing my country’s garish culture on the inhabitants of Annapurna.

On the other hand you can’t completely discount the positives Western society brings to the table. Health care, clean water, some sort of model for an educational system (the locals were terrible at math, stumped by the simplest room and board bill). Yet as I sit and type these words they ring false. In the end, I think the peoples of Annapurna and its many small villages would be better off if we had never inflicted our culture and our values upon them.

Every month, every year, progress is made on the road that traced our route along the Annapurna trek. One day, maybe less than a decade from now, the circuit as I experienced it will be a forgotten memory; a place of buses, and jeeps, and day trips for rich tourists.

So, the sad reality which greets many a destination around the globe rears it’s ugly head here as well. Thus, if you harbor a desire to walk the Annapurna circuit do so quickly, before “progress” renders it obsolete.

annapurna circuit

Written by Michael Miszczak

Michael has been traveling the world while writing, photographing, and sharing his stories and travel tips since 2010.

He is originally from New York City, and currently lives in Prague.


39 thoughts on “Hiking the Annapurna Circuit – 11 Days on the Trail in Nepal

  1. Hey, i came here through twitter.

    I read your blog it was amazing. Seems you have lots of fun during the trek and taking back a good memories from Nepal. All the Pictures are fabulous.

    Thank you and hope to see more blog.

  2. It was interesting to read your views on the porters. I noticed you only hired a porter to go up over the pass. Not to sound snarky, but did you consider hiring a guide and porter for the whole hike thus providing work for two Nepalis? I see that you were there just after the earthquake when many Nepalis who work in the tourism industry were struggling to get by. I get that it bothers your conscience, but the Nepali people need and want the work. Your “moral victory” deprived someone of much needed income. When we did EBC, we used a local company and employed both a guide and porter (and no, we did not overload our porter or give him a suitcase to carry. We were asked to put our stuff in a duffel which our porter carried via a strap around his forehead – his choice as we had offered to provide a backpack). When we were done with the trek, we tipped them well beyond the recommended guidelines knowing that the money would go to supporting their families. For many Nepalis, the pay for being a porter or guide is better than the pay they can get working IN KTM. I implore anyone who is considering a trek in Nepal to use local companies and hire local help. We are returning back to do the AC in October and will be using the same company and the same guide and porter. Just something to think about.

    1. Kim, I appreciate what you are saying, and I agree, to an extent.

      This article was written in 2011, originally, and I was much less experienced in the ways of the world back then. What I SHOULD include is that if you DO hire a porter, research the company you are using thoroughly. Most of these trekking companies pocket a majority of the income, and the porters are given the table scraps. Guides tend to make better money because they tend to speak better English, but the porters are treated as 3rd class citizens. Finding the right trekking company, in which the porters own a share of the over all profits, is certainly the way to go if you decide to hire anyone.

      A guide and a porter are not necessary to complete the Annapurna circuit, however, and people are under no obligation to hire anyone at all. There is a joy in the solitude of a hike, for some more than for others. Hopefully those same people don’t haggle over room prices and such during the circuit, and spend that money in the communities they pass through.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject with us, and bringing up an important point! Im jealous you get to do AC so soon! You will love it. Namaste!

      1. Hi Renata,

        Hope you have a wonderful visit to Nepal and have beautiful memories to share about my country. Cheers.

      2. We used Nepal Hiking Team (a Nepali company owned by two brothers) and they are FANTASTIC. I can’t recommend them highly enough. We are using them again for our AC hike in October.

      3. Sorry to ask but I am trying
        to find some information about signal on the Annapurna trek. My son started on the 26th September and was in touch for 8 days. Nothing since. Should we be worried or can signal be that bad. We are desperate for news . He went on his own.

      4. Eileen, I’m so sorry to hear about this. I really hope you have heard from your son by now. I’d suggest that you reach out to your local embassy to find out what help or information they can offer you if you haven’t yet heard back.
        I don’t think Michale brought a phone on his hike so not sure about signals there. Really wish we could be of more help. Our thoughts are with you.

      5. Kim

        I am hiking in Oct 2018 alone, single gal would you still recommend the Nepal Hiking Team? Do you have a website for them by chance.

        Thank you,


    2. Hi Kim,
      Pretty forward of you to express your opinion over someone you never met not understand their financial situation. Did you also eat your meals with the silver spoon you shake at the trekker?

      Hey Michael, never even waste your time with the trust fund babies. You helped each and every village you trekked through by sponsoring their businesses and lodging. Part of the difficulty in doing your own deal likely assisted in the “walking in ones shoes” for the whole thing. I bet Kim had the porters and guide carry her Evian water. Boo Kim!

  3. Great read. I don’t know if there’s anything in this, but I wonder if in some places not haggling and over-development are linked. We haven’t been to Nepal, but places like Vietnam where haggling is normal, if tourists come in and don’t haggle for a room, then the tourist places are suddenly where everyone wants to build a hotel. I’m not saying this is wrong, people need to make a living, but it does kind of skew the economy, and makes every tourist place pretty ugly, which will damage its popularity in the long term (as you said). Just a thought!

  4. Hi!

    Thank you for your stories, it made me even more enthusiastic than I already was.
    I was wondering were you left the ‘rest of your luggage’, since you stated you had to obviously cut down on a lot the clothing etc. you brought. And in what you kept it, considering you both brought you backpacks on the trail with you.
    Also I was wondering if you could respond with the names of all the villages you stayed in, just so I can check out if it would but an appropriate route for me.
    Last but not least I was wondering how much ‘in shape’ you wear before starting the trail. Because I know from other itineraries you do not need a superb condition to finish the trail, but I think at least a moderate one is necessary?

    Thank you in advance,

  5. i came through your twiter.
    thanks michal for nice words about himalaya of nepal.

    wowoow what a nice artical , congratulations for your sucssesful journey that you have done. really nice words that you leave for others trekers who dosen’t no about annapurna .
    if anyboddy need a guide, porter or others help please remember us anytime , free information , in reliable , comfortable we can manage your trip anywhere in nepal , tibe , bhutan. as a friend not as a bussiness person.

  6. Hi Micheal, Im taking my 3 teenage children trekking in October,
    Could i contact you via email or phone if in UK and get some advice from you?

    This is going to be a very new concept for us so keen to get it right

  7. Hi Michael,

    I plan to do AC trek alone around middle of October 2017 this year. I am female 54 ys.
    Is safe enough to do alone?
    If you have any recommend please.


  8. Hi, Michael Thanks for your honest and well-written article. My son and I are going to do the full circuit this next month and do not plan on hiring any porters and or guides. As a former soldier, I personally think it’s wrong to have someone carry one’s gear. There is an old saying in the army, one man one kit. Either your bringing to much stuff and or have not done enough hiking to know what one really has to have, which is really not that much. I am going to make a donation to International Porter Protection Group (IPPG) and do hope that those who do hire porters make sure that they are not over recommended max weight of 30kg. Which is still a lot a weight. Cheers

    1. Hi Scott, thank you for the kind words, and for making a donation to the Porter Protection Group. Carrying my own gear was part of what made this trek so rewarding. Quite frankly you don’t even need to bring that much with you unless you plan on camping and not making use of Tea Houses. It was shocking to see how much stuff some people decided to bring along with them.

      I hope you and your son enjoy Annapurna as much as I did! Come back and let us know how it was!

      Safe Travels!

  9. Great Article! I’m heading there in a few weeks and reading this answered a lot of questions I had. Curious what you would do differently (if anything) knowing what you know after completing the trek? Oh, and would you recommend hiking boots or shoes? Thanks!

    1. Murphy,

      Hiking sneakers or boots are a MUST! I would wear something waterproof and broken in, don’t try this trek in brand new shoes/boots!

      As for doing things differently…hard to answer. We might go back next year and do this trek again, so I’ll let you know then, haha.

  10. It is an excellent post of Annapurna Circuit Trekking. I am sure it helps to other trekkers. Thank you very much.

  11. Michael, I am going in December, in a few weeks. I am wondering how much colder it really became as you climbed. Also, you talked about the suitcase thing. I have a fitted pack for myself. Are you suggesting I let a porter use my pack on their back? Instead of having them use mine, and of course instead of a suitcase, what would you suggest I bring that they could carry our stuff in?

  12. Hi Michael,

    I might trek abc on January. This would be my first time trekking solo and i’m quite keen on doing it without a guide. Was wondering if you could give some pointers like:
    1. How did you plan your route or did you ask people along the way?
    2. Is hiking shoes necessary or could i go by with a running shoe or some sort.
    3. Is it compulsory to bring sleeping bag / tent in case of emergency or there is ample of lodging along the trek
    4. Would it be easy to meet other trekkers and possibly join them? How does the process actually works. Eg) Hi nice to meet you, would it be ok to join you for the hike? (Sorry it may seem like a silly question because I’ve never experience solo travelling before so idk what to expect)
    5. Did you bring your own washing powder to wash your clothes, etc? Essentials?
    6. Any other tips would be highly appreciated.

  13. Pictures are Stunning! Just inspired me to plan for next trip.. Thanks for Great Information.

  14. Hi
    its a very nice read, i put nepalis at highest regard for their honesty and hard work. our cook is a nepali in bangalore and they are amazing people. its an amazing write up and i am planning to do this april alone without porter and guide as i want to challenge myself.

    is the track clear and do we need a gps or its fairly simple to navigate.

    Thanks for all the info.

  15. So real!! Love the way you travel and love your honesty.
    I’m looking forward most to passing this trail and I’ll remember all of your words on the way.
    Thanks Michael!
    And big congratzz by conquering as well for Amy!!

  16. Hello,
    On the amazing Annapurna circuit now! I was wondering in what town you picked up your porter? I’m still doing well with the altitude, but am worried about the pass. Thoughts on the last town in which you can hire a porter?
    Thank you for this great read!

  17. Lovely read and I am glad you two made it. I can believe the pristine vistas that must have been home for 2 weeks! But suitcases , really ? People are sometimes nuts. I had trekked for 4 days with family in pristine himachal using a trek organiser. I saw that this generates income for local people who are better climbers than tourists but we should be cognisant of the humane factor too! Hopefully one day I can do this circuit !

  18. Wow you did the complete loop of Annapurna Circuit Trek, Now you can do in 10 Days Trip with 6 days of actual trekking with Short Annapurna Circuit Trek Itinerary.
    This Short Annapurna Circuit Trek is a shorter version of Annapurna Circuit Trekking is one of the best trekking trail according to the National geographic. Due to the mixture diverse Nature, Gurung and Tibetan culture, circuit trekking trail and 3 highest peaks above 8000 meters from Himalayas makes 3rd position in the list in 2003.

  19. Nice to hear about the decisions you made along the way. Glad you both adapted rather than forcing yourselves to stick to the plan (“Amy and her horse”!)

    I too walked with a bamboo pole from day one. Who knows, maybe they were from the same grove.

    Cheers, Freddie

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  21. How do you use a walking staff like yours on a narrow path with a drop off on one side? My guide (a young man from Darjeeling) showed me what he called the traditional way of using the staff he, like you, picked up at the beginning of the trek. I’d love to have a video of this, or a photo, or even a verbal description. Thank you! Very nice description of your wonderful journey.

    1. Hi David,

      Well, to be honest there aren’t very many areas you that you will be walking on a super narrow ledge, so it never really became a problem, however in the last couple of days there were a couple of tight spots. What i did then is used my scarf to make a sling for the pole, and just stuck it between my back and my backpack for small bits of time.

      1. Thank you, Michael.
        I believe that Vivek used his staff by carrying it tilted across his body, the top of the staff pointing upwards towards the side of the drop-off, and planting the bottom on the other side. (The drop off on the left, means the staff is planted on the right, and he’d lean into the staff in that direction.)
        So he was actually using the staff, not getting it out of his way.
        And you’re correct–the paths weren’t extremely narrow…but they were narrow enough for me.

  22. wow such a refreshing blog, remembered my Annapurna circuit journey with a local company who called themselves third rock adventures, i don’t know why they call themselves third rock is there anything called third rock? anyway, I had a great time with them -I fell sick while I was heading to tilicho lake & the guide took really good care of me stayed there camping for a night later it went lot easy. Every detail was taken care during my trip, i might recommend third rock for those who are looking for Annapurna trek. ain’t for promotional purposes I am spreading the word out here, just need to share my best experience & they did organize best for me.

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