Annapurna Circuit day 7: Ngawal-Manang

27 April 2014

Oh man!!! I can’t believe how cold it was inside. Outside too, by the way. And what was it worth. I walk out of our guesthouse in Ngawal and see this:

And that, dear reader, is the Annapurna II. 7,937m altitude, freshly snowed by yesterday’s snow. Touching, staggeringly beautiful. That can only make you very quiet – despite the enormous backlight, which makes the photo quite dark. But the panorama is not complete. Not by a long shot. Because there is much more:

Blik richting Thorung La vanuit Ngawal

So it’s a beautiful day. The day starts cold thanks to the clear weather and the altitude. After all, we are at an elevation that for most countries in the world would already be “the highest mountain” or more. In the European Union, only Italy, France and Switzerland have points higher than where we are now.

Our route makes it possible to call today a rest day: we descend to Manang and therefore walk for about 10-15 kilometers almost flat or slightly downhill. Along the way we see things like this:

Een Boedhistisch klooster, met op de achtergrond Annapurna II (de hoogste in beeld) en Annapurna IV (met de sneeuwkoepel er voor)
A Buddhist monastery, with Annapurna II (the tallest in the picture) and Annapurna IV (with the snow dome in front) in the background
Annapurna III met daaronder een lokaal boerendorp. Direct achter het dorp kenmerkende regen-erosie sporen
Annapurna III with a local farming village underneath. Directly behind the village characteristic rain-erosion tracks
Rain erosion has created caves here

Due to the altitude, the route turns out to take longer than we expected. We eat something in Mugje/Mungji and continue to a village Braga, which is just before Manang. In Manang we look for a nice guesthouse (there are plenty here) and we eat a Yak burger with fries and Mexican enchilladas in front of the stove. It is also not busy in Manang and that is why we have extensive choice.

Manang exudes a pleasant atmosphere. There are shops, many guesthouses and a little further on is the old farming village. Tourism is important here and there is even a small museum. Many people stay in Manang for several days to acclimatize. We will go to Milarepa’s Cave tomorrow to acclimatize and rest a bit.

Read more about my Annapurna Circuit trek:

Annapurna Circuit  day 1: Kathmandu – Besisahar – Bhulbule

Annapurna-Circuit day 2: Bhulbule – Ghermu

Annapurna Circuit day 3: Ghermu – Tal

Annapurna Circuit day 4: Tal – Timang

Annapurna Circuit day 5: Timang – Dhikur Pokhari

Annapurna Circuit day 6: Dhikur Pokhari – Ngawal

Annapurna Circuit day 7: Ngawal-Manang

Annapurna-Circuit day 8: Milarepa’s Cave

Annapurna Circuit day 9: Manang – Yak Kharka

Annapurna Circuit day 10: Yak Kharka -Thorung Phedi

Annapurna Circuit day 11: Thorung Phedi – High Camp

Annapurna Circuit day 12: High Camp – Muktinath

Annapurna Circuit dag 13: Muktinath – Marpha

Annapurna Circuit day 14: Marpha – Beni

Annapurna: the do’s & don’ts!

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