- Time-5hrs 41m
- Distance-20.17 km
- Elevation-ascent 1550 mtr /descent 1162 mtr
- Fun score:
- T-1.7 ( blisters and dodgy ankle)
As a side note: Both of us are very uncomfortable with heights. For me the rope suspension bridges ( like Indiana Jones style) are nightmare and with Trey it’s the narrow steep trekking paths with no guard or edge to a vertical drop. Unlucky for us, as we are to discover, this trek had both.
As another side note: It’s possible to drive up the Annapurna Circuit all the way to the town of Manang instead of hiking it, which helps with supply the towns with food and supplies. Throughout the 5 days we saw countless jeeps speeding through the track with locals and hikers who wanted to start the trek at a later stage or for those with limited time who wanted to walk one way and speed back (this would be us in a few days). Generally the jeep drivers were quite respectful of the hikers and remained in the centre of the oath, allowing the hikers the step aside graciously. However, we did experience 2 drivers who intentionally drove towards our side of the road to push us into the wall (dicks).
Wherever we had the choice we avoided the roads due to dust but in some parts we had no choice.
For this first section we had mixed terrain dusty road/ paved paths through villages/ rocky paths and steep waterfall rainforest at the last km.
Sun was hot around 25 C and it was hard getting back into hiking after the GR20. We definitely felt it in our legs walking up the roads with switchbacks and dust.
Funny thing we noticed was that although there were very few markings on the trail, the ones we did see were a red and white stripe just like the GR20. Funny right?
The route is really easy to follow and it’s not necessary to have a guide. There are villages sprinkled every hour or 5 km which shadow the route so you’re never too far away from a toilet, fresh water or a curry.
Mid way through the first day, Trey’s ankle flared up (from an old running injury) with his trail runners and he regretted not bringing his hiking boots on the trek.
That night we stayed at Super Rainbow View Guest House (great name) . It had a hot shower and extensive menu (Nepali and western food) so we were happy.
Owner called Ass (Aaaas) was very friendly and cut us a special deal on the room: he’d even throw in some blankets. Unfortunately the blankets were crawling with bugs so we declined the blankets but took the room.
Cost for room and board was 2870 nrps-$24
Pre hike research suggested we should allow 2500nrps/ pp for room and board $21/pp (5000nrps/$42 for the both of us) so already we were coming in under budget.