AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Annapurna Circuit: Day 8 – Bragha

Altitude: 3,540m
Climb: N/A
Time: N/A
Daily Cost: 9,870 rupees ($102/£60.50)

This was our rest day. Most people spend two nights in Bragha/Manang to acclimatise (although official recommendations are for three nights) and they just have a rest day. We’d spent our first day visiting the Ice Lake and now we actually wanted a rest. We decided we’d spend the morning visiting the Gompa in Bragha, then come back to the lodge at Manang for lunch and spend the afternoon exploring around Manang. Marco was going to spend the day relaxing and reading.

The lodge we were staying in was great, it had a huge selection of food and drinks and the quality was pretty decent. We had a good breakfast then set off on the short walk back down to Bragha.

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In Bragha we walked up to the Gompa which sits perched over the village on the left hand side. A guy came along and unlocked the doors. After taking our entrance fee, of 100 rupees per person, he lit a few candles and some incense sticks then left us to wander around the Gompa at our own pace. The Gompa is the largest in the district. It has a large collection of statues and many manuscripts, some of which are 500 years old.

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After the Gompa we wandered through the village of Bragha. The houses basically sit on top of each other, the roof of one is the front of the building above.

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We walked back up to Manang and ate lunch at the lodge. Annemarie had pizza and I had spaghetti bolognese. Both meals were delicious. The sun was shining and it was hot sitting outside. Annemarie decided that it would be a good time to have a shower. The water was solar heated and most people had left the lodge that morning and the next set of trekkers hadn’t arrived, meaning it was quite empty and no-one was using the hot water. As I hadn’t showered since Danaque, 4 nights ago this sounded like a good idea. Our clothes were been washed at the lodge as my t-shirt stunk of sweat and Annemarie’s trousers were quite dirty after walking to the ice lake. The water was lovely and warm.

By early afternoon we were clean and smelling fresh again, our clothes were getting washed and we were well rested. Things were looking good. So we went for a short walk up the a chorten overlooking Manang.

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From there we could see the lake, Gangapurna Lake, at the bottom of the Gangapurna Glacier and decided that would be our next destination. In the 25 minutes it took to get from the chorten to near the lake the sky had become overcast and a strong wind had picked up. The temperature plummeted. Just as we were taking some photos before turning back we saw Marco walking towards us. A perfect time for us to go and have coffee and cake.

The power was out so no real coffee! We settled with boiling water and used our Pu-erh Tea which we bought in China. We started talking to a guy on another table, he was Dutch and was called Marc. He had trekked to Everest base camp and in Pokhara had seen a sign advertising a cycling tour of Annapurna Circuit. He liked the idea but rather than do an organised tour he hired a bike himself and set off alone. He’d been cycling a few days and was feeling pretty good. We thought his plan to cycle the circuit, pushing his bike over the Thorong La Pass was both crazy and adventurous.

Afterwards we went upstairs to the dining room and in there we saw a familiar face. Another Dutch guy, who we’d met at Annapurna Base Camp was sitting in the corner. We spent the night in good company, us two, Marco, Marc and Arne. It was a good night talking about all manner of things. I had Yak burger and and Annemarie had spaghetti. Good food and good company!

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