Monday, 26 December 2011

Stairway to heaven

Day 17: Doban - Himalayan Hotel - Deorali - Machhapuchhre Base Camp
Today finally we were not going up and down the stairs but almost all the time up and there were not even to many stairs, but of course those could not have been avoided.
Most of the time we've been walking in the clouds. You could easily realise that as once in a while you had a feeling of stepping into the death cave. Cold and fog were coming in an instant and I was shivering. When we were leaving that cloud it was again getting warm and sunny.
Walk till Deorali was ok, but from there to MBC it was somehow tyring. i was not able to force myself to walk with any reasonable peace and that last part took me a little bit more than 2 hours whereas previous ones I was covering much faster than estimated.
To Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3700m) we got with Jacek and Stephen, but he went to ABC and we've stayed in MBC with the plan to get up about 4.30 a.m. and get there for the sun rise.

Blue Buddhas

Machhapuchhre with a moon. Machhapuchhre means fish tail. And indeed from Chomrong it looks like fish tail, but not from MBC. This picture was taken in Machhapuchhre Base Camp, but even though there is a base camp this peak was never climbed and now it is even forbidden to climb it, so it probably never will. 

View from Machhapuchhre Base Camp

View from Machhapuchhre. We were coming from that cloud. once we were in it and once over, but in the end it's overcame us and covered us completely.

Day 18: Machhapuchhre Base Camp - Annapurna Base Camp - Machhapuchhre Base Camp - Deorali - Himalayan Hotel - Doban - Bamboo - Sinuwa - Chomrong (21,5 km)
I still don't know how we've done it. It was not planned at all but very spontaneous. We got up at 4.30 in the morning, left after another 20 minutes to ABC (4130m) and got there at 6.10, just in time. We watched the sun rise, took many pictures, had breakfast and went back to MBC.
In MBC we packed our gear and left. We were planning to spend the night in Bamboo, but on the way we've decided that in fact it;s still early and we could go further to Sinuwa. There again we've changed plans, took a challenge and went to Chomrong. And the challenge was that although Sinuwa (2050m) and Chomrong (2210m) are almost at the same altitude they are at the slopes which are opposite each other. So we had to cross the river which was at the 1800m and we knew that it will be another 2 hours of walking. 1h will be going down and another hour will be going up the stairs.  It was thousands of the stairs. But we already knew them, from the way down couple of days ago.
Reward was there. Hot shower, laundry (since couple of days I was dreaming about washing my trousers), network reception, dal bhat.
In terms of weather we had interesting experience today. At the ABC I was wearing my gore-tex pants and jacket, warm hand gloves, heavy boots, long-johns. But on the way down from MBC I've started to undress and in the end I was wearing shorts, sunnies and I was ever rolling up sleeves of the T-shirt.
Annapurna. Sunrise view form Annapurna Base Camp (4130m)

View from ABC

Annapurna South. View from ABC.

Panorama from ABC. Lighted peak on the left it's Annapurna South and the one on the right it's Annapurna I

Jacek and myself in the sunrise at ABC. Behind us is Annapurna South.

Sunrise in ABC

Sunrise in ABC

Tibetan praying flags

Yeah, we've made it!

Last shots, taken after breakfast. As usually - apple porridge with honey and masala tea.

Frozen bamboo

On the way down from Sinuwa. Jacek is pointing Chomrong, where we need to get.

Chomrong, hotels are at the top of the village...

Annapurna South in the sun setting down

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