hiking/biking Annapurna day 3

by site editor Rick McCharles

My guesthouse hosts had advised me that breakfast would be served 6am.

It was election day. They wanted to rush as early as possible to the voting station at Manang.

That was fine with me. The earlier I got to Manang today, the better.



At first light the road was already busy. Election turn-out was high. This was only the second National election ever.

P1260173The highlight of the morning was  Bhraka Gompa at dawn. Ancient looking … but with satellite dishes.


The smell of burning juniper in the morning brought back memories of past hikes in Tibetan lands.


Things were looking decidedly more Tibetan as I climbed.



I passed one of two schools in Manang where people could vote.


Manang … 3,519 metres (11,545 ft). … population of 2863 people … To the north there is the Chulu East peak of 6,584 meters. …

The village is situated on the northern slope, which gets the most sunlight and the least snow cover in the winter. …


I arrived early in Manang with a long list of chores to accomplish.

#1 was machine wash of my stinky clothing

I’m not sure I’ve ever carries such toxic gear, one plastic bag full of wet clothes reeked of ammonia.

I took an acclimatization hike up to Gangapurna Glacier.


It was oddly hazy.


Almost everyone stays 2 nights in Manang. Since I was already acclimatized, I’d spend only one.

The Manang Museum is very interesting, in particular one exhibit showing some of the first photos taken of Manang. And the reactions of locals in those photos when shown them decades later. 🙂





At 3pm every day volunteers from the USA, Canada and the UK put on an Altitude Sickness presentation.

I learned that acclimatization is partially genetic.

After the talk I asked one lady Doctor her advice regarding me crossing via Tilicho Lake rather than the normal route.

She had been to the Lake but not across. Her opinion was that one landslide section was a bit dangerous to cross. That it would be better to go as a group with a guide. With tent and stove.

I was convinced to save Tilicho for another day. Perhaps a Nar Phu to Tilicho itinerary.

P1260189One big difference from Manaslu is the number of young men hanging around motor bikes on the Annapurna Circuit, smoking, with not much to do. If trekking tourism continues to decline they’ll have to move to Kathmandu or India for work.


I couldn’t resist relaxing at a film. Luxury.

I chose Seven Years in Tibet. An awful film in almost every way. But it does have stunning Tibetan cinematography. And no Annapurna hiker can complain about pains after watching what Heinrich and Peter went through.


Good night.

see high resolution photos from this day on flickr

day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | day 5 | day 6 | day 7 | info

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