AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Annapurna Circuit: Day 8 – Bragha

Annapurna Circuit: Day 8 – Bragha


Posted on May 1, 2014

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. 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. 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. 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. 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...

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Altitude: 3,310m Climb: 160m Time: 5hr 30m + 2hr breaks Daily Cost: 4,120 rupees ($43/£25) There are two routes to reach Bragha and Manang, the upper route which goes from Upper Pisang and stays high via Ghyaru (pronounced GUY A RU) and Ngawal (pronounced NAR WAL) and the low route which follows the road from Lower Pisang to Bragha. The lower route is boring, as a road it’s great in getting you from A to B quickly and efficiently, but as a trekking route it’s a waste of a good walk. We told Harry to take the lower route as it’s far easier and we’d take the upper route and then meet him in the afternoon in Mungji (pronounced MUN JAY). We left Upper Pisang following the path around the edge of the hillside. The walk here was good. The sky was a deep blue, the mountains were clear and snow capped and we were continuing to walk through a thin line of forest. After about 30 minutes we reached the bottom of a steep hill. The path was a long series of switchbacks and at the top we could see the village of Ghyaru. This was probably a 300m climb in front of us. The path was steep and the sun was shining on the yellow dusty ground. Annemarie’s calve muscle became very tight and she struggled her way up, but still passed plenty of other trekkers who were already a third of the way up when we reached the bottom. I was able to march up a bit faster but reached the top dripping in sweat. Although it was still very early we stopped at the top for a cup of tea and a chocolate bar. The village of Ghyaru is a traditional village and the buildings there are still in the old style. The tea took ages to arrive and we were stopped in Ghyaru for about 45 minutes. After leaving the village we had great views looking back at it. The walk to Ngawal was quite scenic. It mainly stuck to the hillside and we passed by many Chortens and other religious symbols. The views of the valley were pretty good too. Ngawal was another traditional looking village, although there were many lodges and restaurants here. We saw one British guy at a lodge just before the village, but apart from him we saw no-one else in the village! All the buildings in the village had flat roofs which were used for everyday activities. Many buildings were three floors high, so the streets were deep down between the buildings and rather dark because they were...

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