Here is the long delayed report on my trek around the Annapurna.
It was my intention to start the trek from the village of Besisahar on the East side of the circuit then follow the trail anti clockwise crossing the Thorung La and eventually finishing in Beni.
Unbeknown to me quite a few things had changed on the Annapurna Circuit in the last few years. For starters the road now reaches as far as Kudi although the section from Besisahar onwards is unpaved. My bus actually stopped still terminated in Besisahar and rather then spending an hour or so lurching from pothole to pothole I decided to walk. It only took me to hours to walk the distance saying something about the speed of the bus or more to the point the lack there off.
The first real days walking took me first gradually then more steeply up the trail to Bahundanda then a plunge into the valley to Ghermu and Jagat. By the time I arrived in Jagat I had walked nine hours with only a single break for lunch I was knackered.
From Braga it’s a short almost level walk to Manang and then a steep climb to Yak Kharka. Then the next day it’s on to Thorong Phedi Base camp at 4500 meters altitude. As I didn’t fancy the long hike up to the pass from there I spend another night at High camp which is close to 5000 meters before getting up early next morning and making the final ascend to the pass.
Unfortunately on this side of the mountain is also a massive road building project going on and already you have to share what once was a track with motorcycles and tractors. In another twelve months when work looks likely to be finished up here you can take a bus all the way to the foot of the Thorung La. So enjoy it while you can.