[Nepal] Annapurna Base Camp and Poon Hill without a guide

Annapurna Base Camp - Annapurna South and Annapurna I - Move Our World

Pokhara – on the main road to ABC

Sometimes is difficult to skip the main road… In our case it was the road to Annapurna Base Camp. Charmed by Kathmandu, Patan and Bakhtapur we arrived in Pokhara. After loud and busy capital city we reached peaceful oasis. For sure, it was not high season time neither.

The atmosphere in Pokhara is specific. The lake and medical plant for smoking, create a peace&love climate. People are very friendly.

Getting ready for a trekking

In the registration office we proceed our permits and trekking cards – it took us 1 hour. We bought the map, few chocolate bars and the next day, carrying small bags we took the road to Poon Hill, and after to continue to ABC. It was the middle of June – read monsoon… But it was not raining that much 😊

Day I: Nayapul 1070 m – Ulleri 1960 m
Time: 11:30 – 16:30

We left Pokhara and took a regular bus to Nayapul. First surprise arrived very fast – the price of the food on the way. For very small breakfast – 2 eggs, 2 very small chapati and 2 teas – 500 rupies. Scandal! This is the price of the most touristic route in Nepal…

From over there we started our day walk to Ulleri. On the way we passed by the restaurants, hostels, bars… The sun is very strong and better to be ready for it. Few times we used our new Steri Pen to purify drinking water, and we knew already that it was great investment. In Ulleri we didn’t look for the room too long – everything was empty.  We paid only for dinner and breakfast – room was included 😊

Trekking to ABC - Move Our World
Trekking to ABC - Move Our World

Day II: Ulleri 1960 m – Ghorepani 2860 m
Time: 09:00 – 13:00

Second day the way was somehow easier. We walked through the villages, where most of the inhabitants live from tourism and it was difficult to feel some traditional atmosphere. But we were surrounded by mountains… And to be in Himalaya was incredible feeling. Being aware about mountains scale made us feel very exceptional. Only Annapurna massif is long for 50 km…

At that day we also got the knowledge about leeches. The best way to protect yourself, are the high-strung socks.

Trekking to ABC - Move Our World
Trekking to ABC - Move Our World
Trekking to ABC - Move Our World

Day III: Ghorepani 2860 m – Poon Hill 3193 m Time: 40 min going up
                Ghorepani 2860 m – DeuraliPass 3090 m – Ban Thanti 3190 m – Tadapani 2630 m – Chuile –              Siprong 2000 m
                Time: 08:00 – 16:00

At 4 am we are already on the way to Poon Hill – the most visited place in Nepal! And arriving over there we understand why. The view is amazing – Annapurna Massif with the highest peak, Dhaulagiri and mountains, mountains and mountains until the horizon… From the valleys, the clouds are coming with surprising speed and before they will cover our view, all of the peaks get a super-red light of sunrise.

We even got a proposition of  sharing weed but we stayed with a coffee. Yes, small coffee shop is open from 4:30am.

Later, the way to Siprong is just beautiful. Small rivers, waterfalls, forest and hidden, snowy eight-thousand mountains behind the trees…

We were trying to find accommodation in Chuile but the standard of the room gave us an extra motivation to walk a bit longer until Siprong. Over there we had our standard dinner – rice with veg for Ela, and dhal for David. At 7pm we are ready to go sleep.

Poon Hill - MOve Our World
Poon Hill - MOve Our World
Poon Hill - MOve Our World
Poon Hill - MOve Our World
Poon Hill - Move Our World
Poon Hill - Move Our World
Poon Hill - Move Our World

Day IV: Siprong 2000 m – Chomrong Pass 1800 m – Chomrong 2170 m – Sinuwa 2360 m – Bamboo 2310 m
Time: 09:00 – 16:00

All the night was raining hard and we continued our way after late breakfast. The road was hard. Up and down, up and down, very steep. We were surrounded by the forest full of trees covered with moss, which brought us in the ‘Alice in wonderland’. We got euphoria about seeing Annapurna the next day, maybe.

Trekking to ABC - Move Our World
Trekking to ABC - Move Our World
Trekking to ABC - Move Our World
Trekking to ABC - Move Our World

Day V: Bamboo 2310 m – Dovan 2600 m – Himalaya 2920 m – Deurali 3230 M – MBC 3700 m – ABC 4130
Time: 07:30 – 17:30 (inc 2,5 h break in MBC)

Our breakfast – lemon pancake for Ela, and fried rice with egg and veg for David… nutritious breakfast as success guarantor. As we didn’t know how far we could go that day, we were going easy. Even if all day long we had kind of light showers, we felt quit hot going up and surprisingly, we arrived to Machhapuchhre Base Camp fast. After taking long break and lunch we decided to reach Annapurna Base Camp.

So, the last part of the road is like a beautiful Sunday walk 😊 1,5 h later we arrived to ABC!!! And another surprise – people! That evening we had a company of around 20 others trekkers. We stayed all evening in the main kitchen-restaurant, lying down at the big sits. Few people suffered from headache and we realized that we even didn’t think about that. Maybe it’s because of Kanchenjunga 😊  Before the sun went to the other side of the world we got a great bonus – 360 degrees view. The clouds are gone and… wow wow wow!!! Annapurna and the valley looked majestic.

Trekking to ABC - Move Our World
Trekking to ABC - Move Our World
Relax in MBC - Move Our World
Annapurna Base Camp - Move Our World
Annapurna Base Camp - Move Our World

Day VI: ABC 4130 m – Chomrong 2170 m
Time: 07:00 18:00 (inc 1h break)
 

Middle of the night, dark room which you don’t know, warmed body on which you put dirty and wet clothes – maybe this is the dark side of traveling. That happens when you dream about sunrise over Annapurna (which is not over this mountain 😊).

But, ABC is beautiful and it is difficult to leave this place. We spent 2 hours admiring the view. Especially South Annapurna was very brave to show us her beauty since the beginning of the day. The mountain is huge – at the bottom waterfall and upper the wall covered with ice. For her highest sister we needed to wait until 7am. Looked like clouds love that peak. Looking at Annapurna I, it is difficult to believe that still there is 4000 m going up…

The rest of the day is just hardcore. It is 20 km in mountains to do. In the evening as a prize we conquer Everest. Well, one bottle for two. The beer was very expensive…

Annapurna Base Camp - Move Our World
Annapurna Base Camp - Move Our World
Annapurna Base Camp - Move Our World
Trekking to Annapurna - Move Our World
Trekking to Annapurna - Move Our World
Trekking to Annapurna - Move Our World

Day VII: Chomrong 2170 m – Newbridge – Siwai 1300 m
Time: 08:30 – 13:00

Advantage of sleeping in high Chomrong is the view. Even if you dream about not taking those crazy stairs up, after all day walking. But in the morning you are so happy to see that view… especially when it’s sunny morning. So, we felt very lazy at that beautiful morning and to stay all day long at the terrace of our guest-house would be a great idea. But we decided to go back to Pokhara.

The way is hard, each up is painful (even if it’s mostly down) and the sun is too strong. We resigned from the hot springs in Newbridge and we went down. After, the road confused us for the first time, so be careful with the map at that point. In Siwai we took the bus and came back to Pokhara in the afternoon.

We were so happy to do this way, because we didn’t believe we will be able to make two trekking in Himalaya. Especially because of monsoon. That’s why we chose easy way to ABC. As there is a lot of places to sleep on the way, we knew we could always change the plan. It gave us a lot of self-confidence.

Chomrong - Move Our World

Summary

The road which we did, is the most visited route in Nepal. We knew it will be commercial, but we didn’t expect that it will be so strong. Trekking is comfortable – rooms with mosquito net, hot showers and restaurants.

We did this trekking in the middle of June. The weather was still not the worst, bit of everything – sun, clouds, rain and fog.

Our daily budget on the way was 25 euro per 2 people. You need extra money for permits and transportation.

All of mountain-lovers will be in heaven (most probably). The views are extraordinary. During that 7 days we were almost by ourselves (middle of June). Different agencies propose this trekking for 10-12 days. By yourself you can make it easily in 7-9 days.

If you have any practical (or not) questions – leave it as a comment. We will be more than happy to answer.

We are Ela & David, 2 citizens of the world. In quest of a new way of living, more respectful from the environment and the Humans, we travel slowly to discover new cultures, to look for inspirations and with a wish of sharing. Wants to know more?

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4 thoughts on “[Nepal] Annapurna Base Camp and Poon Hill without a guide

  1. Just stumbled across this blog post since I will be hiking the same route solo in June 2018. This was exactly what I needed to finish planning the trip so thank you very much.

  2. You’re welcome Michael! Happy that we could help. We wish to be able to join you for such a trip :p
    ABC was great especially in this season. Not too many people and such a landscape… WOW!!!
    Enjoy!!! and share with us some pictures ;-p

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