AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Altitude:Ngadi = 900m Climb: 370m Time: Bus = 7hr Walking = 1hr 15m Daily Cost: 3,850 rupees ($40/£23) We had booked the bus from Pokhara to Besi Saha (the traditional start of the Annapurna Circuit trek) a few days earlier through the company where we booked the porter. This was a journey of about 110km (68 miles) and was expected to take about 5 hours. But, we were feeling fine about the bus, it was a tourist bus and not the usual crowded local bus. The bus departs from the tourist bus station at 6:30am and cost us 400 NPR (£2.40) each. We had arranged for our porter to meet us at the hotel at 6am. But, at just turned 6am we went down and no-one was around. We sat in the garden in front of the hotel and waited. 5 minutes passed and no porter. Then 10 minutes passed and still no porter. We were getting worried so I tried to ring Guru, the owner of the company that we hired the porter from, but his phone was engaged. We were quite nervous as Guru had told us a story a few days ago about someone he’d employed in the past who had become an alcoholic so he’d let him go, but after a while he’d given the guy another chance so long as he cleaned his act up. Very charitable of Guru, but we didn’t know if this was a random story or whether he was talking about the guy we’d just hired. It was almost quarter past and still no porter, our worst fears seemed to be confirmed. We’d hired an alcoholic porter and he was late on the first day, possibly meaning we’ll miss the bus and be delayed. Finally, 15 minutes late and with only 15 minutes before the bus was due to depart our porter arrived in the taxi, ready to take us to the bus station. As well as his own small rucksack he had a huge ice axe and pick, a menacing looking piece of equipment which seemed a little bit of an overkill for what is in reality just a long walk! At the bus station we quickly found our bus. We jumped in whilst Harry (our porter) jumped onto the roof to secure the bag. The bus had only tourists on it, which is a good sign, no nightmare local bus journey! As the bus started up and got ready to leave Harry was not in sight, he’d gone off into one of the buildings dotted around the bus station and hadn’t reappeared. The bus started to drive across...

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