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Monday, October 6, 2008

The Unpublished Story

Its October, kind of late, but this has been an exciting month for me. I had my first article posted on a commercial magazine. Something 'cool' indeed.

However, I'm surprised with the editing; A 1600 piece went to a mere 700. I'll be posting the article with never seen rare deleted scenes, errr, text.

I'll be publishing it in 3 or 4 parts and hopefully it won't mess my SAT scrores and wrap my ABC trek, you remember it don't you?

Before the article I'd like to thank my fellow blogger Romsy Pomsy (Roma Aryal), even though you haven't posted any article here, you sure have helped me turn the wave article from shit to gold.

Oh! Do get the October wave issue. If you don't want to buy it, thats ok, just steal one!

Here it goes, never before read, deleted text.

"Trek to the Valley of Mountains (Title changed to meet blog standards; thats poor)
Text and images by Saral Shrestha

Destination: Annapurna Base Camp (ABC), 4130 meters
How to get there: two hours bus ride to Naya Pul, on foot to Chomrong, and Machhapuchhare Base Camp and then ABCDuration of trek: 6-8 days.

Cost: 500-1000 per person per day.What to take: Warm clothes, rain gear, trekking boots, a digital camera and extra memory card, portable music player, a packet of iodized table salt and loads of trekking enthusiasm.

Best time to trek: October-November

What to expect: Long tiring walks, Wet Arm Pits (WAP), all kinds of aches, leeches and a majestic, almost surreal view of the Annapurna range.

Annapurna Base Camp is one of the most frequently trekked routes of the ACAP region. After proper lodging facilities were established, tourists have been trekking these trails throughout the year. However, the tracks can get hostile, especially during the monsoon season when rain floods the trails and in some cases completely erases them. Unfortunately, I took on ABC exactly at this time of the year. My original plan was to traverse the rain-shadow regions of Mustang, but after waiting for hours at the Pokhara Airport and witnessing a failed landing at Jomsom Airport the next day, I had no other choice. But this was not my first time to ABC: I had been there many years ago, when cameras worked on films and I still read Goosebumps.

We started with a one-hour taxi ride along the Baglung-Pokhara highway to the place where most good treks in Nepal start – Naya Pul. After a 30 minute walk to Birethanti, five hours to the right is Ghandrung. There are plenty of waterfalls on the way; just stand right in front of one, and let the crashing waters spray tiny droplets to cool you off. But even the manmade scenery is remarkable. While you ascend step after step to Ghandrung, think about how amazing the stone work is, how each piece of rock was lifted and carefully laid down like a jigsaw puzzle. But once you get over it, and the appreciation begins to fade, you may find yourself cursing the village for being so far and so high up.

One hour up the steps is Kimche, where an enormous landslide had occurred some time back. The locals told us that the make-shift bridge gets flushed away whenever there is heavy rain. A new one had been put into place just that morning. Nature can be cruel as much as it can be beautiful: the landslide swept away a few houses and destroyed acres of fields.

Even the steps do not compromise their cruelty from here, and they just don't seem to end if you don't have anything else to do besides walking. Pulling out your music player would be a good idea, spirits will be low in the group during this time, and there won't be much to talk about, only complaining."

Next post:- Chomrong

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