Annapurna Base Camp
What will you find after a gruelling week of climbing endless steps, hiking winding trails leading you up and down foothills through extreme climates, and reaching levels of altitude high above where the tree line stops? A breathtaking base camp nestled amongst stunning mountain peaks, of course. Annapurna is a mountain range situated in the heart of Nepal, which has attracted avid hikers for decades. Though not conveniently marked, it is possible to navigate the trail to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) without a guide. However, if you choose to hike the 3 week Annapurna Circuit, this is much less advisable! If you have any hesitation it may be best to hire a guide or at least get very well drawn out maps prior to your attempt… ahem.. speaking from experience, and having NOT done this, there’s a few forks in the road which you really have to flip a coin to decide which way to go. There are a number of towns and villages, mind you, along the entirety of the trail. Most of these towns have guest houses and restaurants (often two in the same), with more than friendly faces to welcome you.
Ironically enough, after miraculously finding the base camp unguided, and without a map (or a clue) of how to really get there, a familiar statue stood a top the end of the trail, welcoming me to Annapurna Base Camp. An Inukshuk is a landmark made of stone, often large enough to be seen on the edge of a horizon, which traditionally have been built by Inuit, and other Native North Americans living in the Arctic regions. It is suspected that they were once used for Navigation, a marker for travel routes. I probably could have used many more of these along the hike, rather than just at the end destination.
The feeling of accomplishment, mixed with the unparalleled view from the Rooftop of the world, however… worth every wrong turn, sprain, cramp, and complaint I ever could have had, hundreds of times over.
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