Himalayan Shangri-La: Trekking Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit

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By Michael Lanza

The old school bus rumbles to life with a painful metallic grinding and we roll forward, our chariot rocking side to side down a rutted, muddy street of a small crossroads town called Dumre in central Nepal. Angling down a hillside, the bus lists heavily to starboard and moves too slowly to escape its own cloud of choking exhaust, which drifts in through the open windows.

As we round a bend, an excited murmur rises among the Western trekkers on board. The bus, still inching forward and lurching violently, is heading straight for a swiftly running, rock-strewn creek.

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One Response to Himalayan Shangri-La: Trekking Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit

  1. Gorazd   |  October 23, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Mike,

    In normal circumstances (i.e. reading it in coziness of my home) this article would definitely shake my mental well-being, cause severe depression and trigger numerous sad / desperate looks in direction of my old backpack and hiking boots…

    But luckily (believe it or not) I had just arrived to Kathmandu today and was really astonished to see what a nostalgia treat waited in my inbox… I really could not imagine any welcome better than this… Perfect timing…

    It’s incredible how many memories your story and photos brought back. I simply can not believe that is has been 17 years since our Annapurna adventure… As you may recall it, I repeated most of the circuit last year… There are many changes, developments but scenery and experience is still so unbelievable as it was years ago when we did it…

    Reading your article more than doubled my energy, drive and motivation for some more trekking in this beautiful land of Nepal. I have 3 months visa so I can take it really slowly and absorb the experience with all my senses…

    And as a cream on the cake of my first day here, some of the numerous Nepali festivals / holidays started today… It’s evening here right now, streets are filled with thousands and thousands of colorful flags, flower garlands, exquisite mandalas on the sidewalks, butter lamps, candles and children who go from door to door and sing and play music… Just another day in paradise, I guess…

    Pass my regards to Penny. In one these upcoming days she celebrates her birthday, so you should remind her to one of her previous birthdays which she celebrated high up among the clouds, on the top of Thorung La…

    Who knows, you may even come up with an idea to re-trek the Annapurna circuit some day (to celebrate 20th anniversary of your first accomplishment) and/or renew your marriage vows on the Thorung La…

    Namaste from Shangri-La.

    Gorazd

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