AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Langtang Valley Trek

Langtang Valley Trek


Posted on Mar 20, 2014

This is the description of the trek in the Langtang Valley. For our equipment see the equipment page plus the extras we bought in Kathmandu. For costs on the trek see the costs page. Day 1: Syabrubesi to Lama Hotel Altitude: 1,470m Climb: 1,000m Time: 5hrs walking + 1hr lunch We eagerly awoke for our first day of trekking in the Langtang valley, ready for breakfast at 7:30, as we’d agreed with Sumish (our porter for the week). A quick breakfast later (plus the final packing of the bag) and we were ready to go. In the morning air it was cold and we had our fleece and waterproof coats on. Within 2 minutes of setting off the sun was on us and we were feeling hot already. A couple of minutes later and we had to stop, it was just too hot in the sun to keep walking. We both took off our coats and fleeces and we were in our t-shirts already. Although we didn’t yet know it that was a pretty typical experience on this trek, in the sun it’s hot, in the shade it’s freezing, the wind is cold in the sun or shade. That’s the strange combination of the latitude resulting in a very strong sun but the altitude creating very cold air temperatures, and everyone hoping for a good balance. This trek starts with a negative vibe, I placed the water bottle (which we got for free) on the ground in the shade when I took off my coat and I forgot it. I realised about 1 minute down the road and ran back for it, but it had already been stolen! Oops. Luckily the bottle was free and we had 3L each in our hydration sacks but it’s still annoying and that bottle would have been useful at times. On the edge of Syabrubesi we went through the first checkpoint and our names and details were logged, then it was steep downhill to the first  suspension bridge. This was our first meeting with a Dutch couple we would keep on meeting up with over the next week. Over the bridge it was a steep climb back up the opposite hillside and into the old village of Syabrubesi. Through the village and at the other side we had another suspension bridge to cross. Our porter said about taking the path on the same side but my map showed the path as over the bridge and along the other side of the river, so we crossed the bridge. That turned out to be not such a good idea. Although this was the main path...

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Two Day Trek via Pula

Two Day Trek via Pula


Posted on Feb 23, 2014

Despite a bad night’s sleep we were up at 6:45am the next morning ready for an early breakfast and departure. By 7:30am we were packed and ready to go. Our ‘guide’ turned up on time and was waiting for us. We had a 3L of water each in our hydration sacks and I was carrying 2x1L bottles of water as well. We set off across the top of the rice terraces looking down the hillside at the water covered hill as if it was a perfectly natural thing. An amazing sight. The walk to Campulo was quite nice. Plenty of rice terraces to walk through and good scenery. Only the heat was making this walk difficult. It only took 1hr 45minutes to reach Campulo, we were there for 9:30am, but we had already drunk both of the water bottles due to the heat. We were told that we would probably reach Pula around 2pm but everyone would be out in the fields working until at least 4pm, so we should eat plenty before setting off. We sat down to eat our second meal of the day; a huge pancake each and jam that was more like treacle, washed down with a can of Coke. It wasn’t even 10am! After our second breakfast we stocked up with another 2x1L bottles of water and headed out of the village and into the heat. After Campulo there was a short amount of flat ground over the rice terraces surrounding the village, then we started climbing. We spent the next two hours heading in an uphill direction. Some sections had a short number of steps, other sections involved what felt like never ending steps. The most surprising thing about this section of the walk was that although we felt like we were in the middle of nowhere and totally isolated it was the exact opposite. There were people everywhere, working in the fields, walking between villages, some were just sitting around by the path and others looked like they might be going hunting. After an extremely long set of steps our guide announced that from here on it would be flat. We were very relieved to hear that. On the flat the walking was pretty easy going. The heat made it very sweaty work but the views were rewarding. Also, been almost a mile above sea level reduced the air temperature by something like 5-8’c, making it bearable. At a lower altitude this would have been horrible. Our guide was in front leading the way, with Annemarie close behind. He spent large lengths of time complaining that other guides made more money than...

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The Rice Terraces


Posted on Feb 22, 2014

We travelled in a clockwise direction around northern Luzon, from Manila to Baguio, to Sagada, to Banaue. Our recommendation after doing this is to do it the other way. Banaue is a dive compared to Sagada with low quality food, nasty looking buildings and the weather is not usually as pleasant. Banaue and the surrounding area is good for hiking whereas Sagada only has a few strenuous activities and is better for relaxing. Hence our suggestion of going this way round: Book the night bus to Banaue before you arrive in Manila. The only company running that route at the moment is Ohayami. They have online booking. Once you arrive in Manila you can head up the same day, flight dependent. Alternatively, stay one night in Manila. We and everyone we’ve spoken to has hated Manila. Plan a rest day after the overnight bus. We didn’t sleep on the bus (too many corners) and felt awful the next day, others we met went to bed on arrival in Banaue. Walk to the view point and then take a guide through Banaue rice terraces. You see them from above and then see them up close. If you go to Batad don’t bother with a guide unless you want to talk a bit about the rice terraces or want someone to steady you on a narrow section of wall. The waterfall is on a single path with no junctions and the rice terraces are like a giant amphitheatre and you can’t get lost. If you like trekking then I suggest a multi-day trek. A good trek is Batad-Cambulo-Pula-Banaue, two days with a one night stopover. This walk takes you through rice terraces and a forest. Leave your main bag in Banaue and take a tricycle to Batad (in the morning) and explore Batad that day. Then the next day walk through the rice terraces via Cambulo to Pula. The route is reasonably straight-forward. If you are not sure then get a guide. If you get a guide in Batad try to negotiate the price to around P600-800. Stay over in Pula; The guesthouse is the blue house you see upon arrival (located at the top of the village). It’s basic with no hot water, no shower, no meat to eat. The next day you trek through forest and reach the main road about 4km up from the top viewpoint. You can then walk or get a tricycle back to Banaue. The trek is mainly uphill and over two days you will climb 3000ft (1000m). If you don’t feel so fit or energetic you can do this trek in reverse. The start...

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