This video documents a unique trip I took November 2002, sponsored by Room to Read. It combined the beauty of the Nepalese Himalayas with the inspiration of seeing Room to Read programs in remote villages along the Annapurna Circuit.
The trip starts by taking in a few sights in Kathmandu before we began our bus ride to the beginning of our 200 km. Trek around the Annapurna Circuit in Besi Sahar at an altitude of 2,700 feet. Along the way, we visited three of the schools sponsored by Room to Read where we were welcomed by enthusiastic students with clapping, laughter and garlands of beautiful flowers.
After a night in Besi Sahar with a dusk to dawn curfew because of Maoist activity, we began our trek and arrived in Ngadi after a hike of only four hours. We then visited the school which John Wood, the founder of Room to Read, helped the village build. The students were enthusiastic and we challenged them to some volleyball and singing games.
On the third day of our trek to Jagat, elevation 4,300 feet, the scenery began to change, and the people are more Tibetan-like with houses now built of stone and vegetation less tropical. We surprised the villagers with our own Halloween party there. On the subsequent four days of trekking, we continued up along the Marsyandi River through villages of Dharapani, Chame, Pisang, to the village of Ghyaru, elevation of 12,050 feet, where we had spectacular views of the Annapurna massif. On days 8 and 9 of our trek, we stayed in Manang, elevation 11,480 feet, to acclimate to the higher elevations yet to come. A day trip took us up to see a Llama at the Hermitage, which is high above Manang where we received his blessings.
From here to Kagbeni the vegetation became increasingly sparse, and the Marsyandi River became small enough to jump boulders to cross it with a song. After a night in Upper Throng Phedi, elevation 15,020, we ascended to the 17,769 foot Throng-La Pass where it was clear, cold and windy marked by chortens and prayer flags fluttering in the breezes. We add our own prayer flags to the others before heading down to Muktinath, Kagbeni, and Marpha. Both Kagbeni and Marpha build up walls along the walkways to cut down on the stiff winds that blow dust up from the Kali Ghandhaki River Valley, the deepest valley in the world.
Our last full day on the trail, we ended up at Tatopani and soaked off the dust in the natural hot springs found down by the Kali Ghandhaki River and then celebrated the end of the trek with our 3 Sisters Trekking Co. porters. Our final day of trekking was along a primitive road that led us to Beni where a bus returned us to Pokhara. The bus ride was the most dangerous part of the trek.
This video is 42 minutes long and I filmed it November 2002. For more travel pictures go to: www.huntforgold.homestead.com.
For more about Room to Read, go to www.roomtoread.org.
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