Day 8 – We finally made it to Annapurna Base Camp today! We woke up around 5am and left our heavy bags at MBC for the hike to ABC. It was freezing but the 2 hour uphill hike wasn’t too awful since we were surrounded by mountains and were so excited to make it to our final destination. By the time we got there the sun was up, there were hardly any clouds, and the views were amazing! We couldn’t believe we were actually there with the mountains all around us. The whole trek was definitely worth it for this and we felt really proud of ourselves. The sense of community on the trail was really something special. It was cool to keep seeing familiar faces along the way. Whether it was just passing by and giving words of encouragement or spending time with people in the many teahouses which we stayed at, the people we encountered was a great aspect of the trek. With a few exceptions, everyone we met was very nice and were easy to chat with since we all shared a common goal: reaching Annapurna Base Camp. It was a long trek, but it really felt like everyone was in it together, so that was encouraging. It was nice to share the feeling of accomplishment of getting to ABC with some of them.
We stayed at basecamp as long as possible but we still had a pretty long trek day ahead of us back down the mountain. Today was the only day that we really wished we had hiking boots instead of just running sneakers since the snow made it slippery going down the mountain but we survived. Before we knew it we were back down in the forest again and the air was easier to breathe. We were pretty tired by the time we got to our guest house for the night but it was a fun atmosphere since everyone else staying there had also come down from ABC.
Annapurna Base Camp (13550 ft) Round Trip: 4 Miles
Machapuchre Base Camp (12139 ft) to Bamboo (7581 ft): 6.6 Miles
Day 9 – Today was the last full day of trekking and it was a pretty tough day with lots of uphill and downhill steps. Our legs felt like they were going to give out on us but we pushed forwards and knew we were so close to the end. We were exhausted when we got to the guest house for the night and were feeling ready to be back in a hotel the following night. We could still see the mountain at this point and spent the night reading and hanging out in the dining room. At the guest house it was only us and a large group of Malaysians. At dinnertime, the group of them shared some of their family-style dinner with us and got us singing along to some of their favorite Malaysian tunes. It was a nice last night to end our trek on a good note.
Bamboo (7581 ft) to Chhomrong (7286 ft): 4.6 Miles
Day 10 – We couldn’t believe this was the last day of the trek! We made it to the last stop a little after 12 and had our last meal of the trek at the guest house. The last leg of the journey was a local bus back in Pokhara. The bus ride down the mountain was pretty terrifying – it was super bumpy and it felt like we were on the edge of the cliff the whole time. We got back to our hotel in the late afternoon and we couldn’t believe it was over, but it felt good to have a nice shower and bed again. Overall the trek was an amazing experience and absolutely worth it.
Chhomrong (7286 ft) to Siwai (5020 ft): 6.1 Miles