A sorry state on the way to Annapurna Base Camp

Day 5 of Annapurna sanctuary trek – Machapuchare Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp and back to Doban

We were up and at ‘em at 4.30am. Well we were up at least. None of us were at our best after a pretty awful night’s sleep at 3,700 metres in a tent so snug there wasn’t enough room for us all to lie on our backs at the same time. It was warm at least!

We packed out bags up and left them in the dining hall, where a few unfortunate porters were still trying to sleep, and headed off up the hill. A pretty pathetic start from me with a bit of wallowing and weeping about nothing in particular, I eventually pulled myself together and cheered up. The books and other trekkers estimated anything between 45 minutes and two hours to reach base camp and we made it there by about 7am, with around 20 minutes to spare before the sun came up over Machapuchare.

There were dozens of people milling around the shrine but we walked a bit further along to get an uninterrupted view of the south face. It’s just immense!

After we felt we’d fully appreciated the atmosphere, we stopped for a pot of coffee at one of the few shacks up there. I couldn’t help feeling that the coffee would have been more use at 4.30am – though what good a cup of weak nescafe does must be purely psychological I think!

We took a leisurely pace back down to MBC, where we filled up on cheese omelets, and carried on down to Deorali along the route that had been so tough on the way up. Josh and Krista went on ahead to Doban and secured us the last room in town – once again.

This four bed room was next to the goat shed – or was it part of the goat shed? Hard to tell. The corrugated tin walls and roof were heavenly compared to the battered fabric of last night’s tent!


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