The Annapurna Panorama Trek, Day 2

After breakfast the next day, we start with the next part of the trek.

We leave the road behind and traverse a trail that takes us through a forest and some mountain villages, occasionally passing by fellow trekkers and young Nepalis coming from the Holi celebration in a nearby town (I’m assuming Ghorepani).

The start of our trek on day 2 has us walking through a trail that take us through the forest.

Spring sees rhododendrons blooming; the rhododendron is Nepal’s national flower.

The village of Nangge Thanti is a 90-minute walk from Ghorepani.

The trail nearing Ghorepani takes a bit of a climb but has some nice views to offset the effort.

The good news is that, having bypassed the hard parts, which are the ascents between Tikhedunga, Ulleri, and Banthanti, the trek this day is relatively easy and shorter — we’re expected to be at Ghorepani by lunch.

The bad news is that said trek goes to more than 2800 meters above sea level, almost as high as Mt. Apo, the Philippines’ highest peak. And because we were unsuspecting trekkers who thought a “basic” Nepalese trek is basic, we have a hard time with the ascents as oxygen levels are a bit lower here. The highest I had climbed was Mt. Pulag (that was the climb that made me swear off trekking), and Ghorepani’s elevation almost comes close to that.

But the scenery along the way mercifully helps forget the rapid heartbeats and the headache from the altitude. Midway through the trek, my sister asks us to stop at a store, where we eat a bowl of noodles and supply our system with water.

After four hours, we reach Ghorepani.

Upper Ghorepani, which involves a few minutes of further climbing, is geared mostly to tourists, with lodgings and restaurants lining the streets.

A plate of momos and a bowl of vegetable curry provide fuel after a morning of trekking.

We finally reach Ghorepani just in time for lunch. Ghorepani is a pretty place that has become a tourism hub, as the clusters of inns and tourist restaurants lining its stairways attest. We have lunch and I spend the rest of the afternoon exploring its alleys.

After dinner, I immediately go to sleep to prepare for the very early day ahead.

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