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Annapurna Circuit - DAY 3

Sleep healed our bodies during the night. No sore feet, stiff ankles or even a hint of backache manifested in my body, and even my muscles felt nothing after yesterday’s climb. However, i must admit that the back of my throat was not the happiest part of my body. i decided that now was a good time to implement the mind-over-matter strategy i knew would have to be part of an expedition like this for someone of my capabilities, so i told myself it was just early-morning scratchy throat and after using some mild home remedies, i disregarded it for the rest of the day.

We were all in high spirits and ready to tackle the day’s hike. After another morning of forests, rivers and waterfalls, we passed a new trout farm and came to a low bridge over the Marsyangdi Nadi River, at which we all took our time capturing every angle of the waterfall, the giant-sized boulders and the placid stream. When we set off from there, our porter uttered the word “shortcut”, and we knew the party was over.

This was the second most difficult part of the whole route for me, as the steps were soon replaced with steep dirt tracks. The weight of my backpack lifted my centre of gravity to my shoulders, which disturbed my balance, and i struggled at a snail’s pace upward. Every twenty steps i would stop to catch my breath. Just when i thought i would have to stop and rest for a while, our friend Anthony came back without his backpack and offered to carry mine the rest of the way up. He said we were almost there, and even though i was determined to carry my bag myself, i realised that this was a good time to surrender my pride for the sake of the group’s progress as much as my own. There remained only a few minutes’ climb, and then the track leveled out again.

After a short snack stop, we continued to the Nimala Hotel & Restaurant in Timang for lunch. We placed our order, but as we were the only guests there at the time and as each one had ordered a different dish, the preparation of the food took quite some time. By the time we left the restaurant, we’d made up our minds to ask for the quickest dish next time we ordered lunch, as time is precious during the day. That being said, the food was delicious and fresh, the service was first rate and we were soon refreshed and excited for the last stretch. The view of snow-laden mountaintops were exactly what we had come for, although we opted to sit inside because of the cold and windy weather.

The afternoon hike was much less challenging and led us through picturesque villages and countryside until we reached Chame, where Moonlight Guest House & Restaurant was to be our home for the night. As soon as the sun had set, cool became chilly, which swiftly became cold and we searched out the protection of the dining room. Although the dining room was small, there was enough space for everyone and it was probably the coziest of all the dining rooms we would visit during the trip. The fire in the hearth was made to warm even the yaks outside, which caused us all to shed our layers of weather-resistant outerwear faster than you could say “Annapurna Circuit.” Frankly, we were wondering how we could possibly stay healthy with such extremes of temperature, but as this was our option for the night, we settled in and enjoyed the comfort offered.

We ordered some drinks, and when it came time to decide on dinner, each one of us picked something sweet and shared it among the group. Along the Annapurna Circuit, almost every restaurant will offer a selection of desserts which would probably include some or all of these: pancakes (thick, with options of chocolate and apple), rice pudding, chocolate pudding , as well as Mars and Snickers rolls (the highlight of our evening in Chame.) The latter are made by simply wrapping a chocolate bar in pastry and deep-frying it. Sounds like something at a Texas state fair, doesn’t it? On a cold evening after a killer shortcut, one of these will comfort almost anyone.

While many hikers were still hanging around, i could clearly hear that familiar sound of my bed beckoning me to come and rest, so i obliged as fast as two tired legs could carry me. Sleep came soon and i hoped it would work the same wonders as it had thus far.

Day 3 Planned: Chame to Ngawal

Day 3 in Reality: Dharapani to Chame

Day 3 Distance: 16km

Day 3 Walking Time: 9 hours (including another 2 hour lunch stop)

Day 3 Altitude Gain: 810m

Days Behind: 1

Day 3 Budget pp: $25

Day 3 Costpp:$18

Accumulated Savings pp: $24

Lessons for next trip:

Sleep heals your body. Today’s sore feet will be alright tomorrow. Your legs will be fine, as will your back. Just get some sleep and everything will feel better tomorrow.

Other articles in this series include:

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