The Longest Day
This morning we hit the trail at 8:15 a.m. and were in for a loooong day. Today we had the longest distance to Trek in order to reach Manang, Nepal.
The first part of the trail was flat for about half an hour, which gave us some time to warm up before the steep incline that came after. People often say that this part of the trek is really hard, but by now I could feel my body getting stronger and so it wasn’t a struggle. I was really proud of myself and the progress that I had made.
When we made it to the view-point it was a well deserved and amazing reward! The best view on the trek so far!
We made sure to spend some time, appreciating our accomplishments so far and admiring the surrounding landscape. We stopped to take a group photo – with Annapurna 1 and Annapurna 3 in the background.
There was a women here selling samosas and apple pie for dirt cheap. I couldn’t resist. Pricilla and I both didn’t want to stop for a heavy lunch and so decided to have a samosa each and share an apple pie while enjoying the view. The rest of the gang trekked on.
I am happy that I stopped here and I urge you on your trek to also take moments to stop and let the moment sink in. It is easy to want to always be pushing forwards, but remember that this is not a race. You have worked hard to get to this part of the mountain so make sure to enjoy it. If you see something beautiful, stop and enjoy it, you may never get the chance to see that beautiful thing again.
The view was energizing and samosas were to die for – we ended up grabbing another one each before continuing on.
There was some more climbing and then the path flattened out. While walking through Ngawal we ran into the others who were at a restaurant eating lunch. We said hi but then went on our way. I almost felt lighter just walking with one other person. I think a lot of this had to do with the fact that she too liked to take moments on appreciating the journey and was not just focused on the destination.
I noticed that eating smaller meals during the day actually gave me more energy because my body wasn’t working so hard to digest – which becomes more difficult at higher elevations. You will learn a lot about your body and yourself during two weeks of walking in nature.
Pricilla and I took the lower path to headed to Manang and passed through an a tiny town, Bhraka, that had an ancient monastery built into the side of the mountain. As we passed through we could hear the monks chanting and drumming.
After this point, nothing exciting happened. The road was flat, dry, boring and long. With the lack of stimulation, we were more aware of our aching feet and shoulders. We were exhausted and wanted to be done with the day.
We finally saw a gate and were so excited thinking that we had finally reach Manang – were we would be spending the next two days to let our bodies adjust to the altitude to prevent altitude sickness. However, as we approached the gate we read the words written on the side of them and didn’t recognize the name. Our hearts sunk.
I continued walking, feeling the heavy weight of my backpack. Then I heard Priscilla yell at me to come back. Curious, I walked back to meet her at the gate – she was studying the words and trying to say them out loud.
It was Manang! It turns out that they had combined the word ‘to’ with ‘Manang’ and in our exhaustion we thought it was one word.
We were so excited that we screamed with joy and hugged each other! We were so proud of ourselves – two young women – for making it here today on our own. This was the longest day of the whole journey. There was no turning back now – we were officially on our way to the highest mountain pass in the world.
Total Daily Distance: 20 km
Read about my journey from Day 1 here!