It’s a bit grey and overcast this morning but the hotel owner is cheerful as ever while she gets me a cup of sweet Nepali tea and her husband gets the car ready to take me to the start of the Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) trek at Nayapul. Nayapul once just a couple of farm houses and a bhati is these days a squalid little town with muddy roads, partially built shops and snotty nosed kids running out of badly constructed shanties. I’m glad to leave it behind.
Half an hour later I’m at the Police checkpoint in Birethanti where they check trekkers their paperwork and I have some breakfast in a small open air restaurant overlooking the river and watch in amazement the seemingly never ending stream of trekkers filing past. From here the trail follows a jeep road slowly but steadily uphill for the next few hours then crosses in front of a small waterfall up some stone steps and into Hille. Just as I start up the steps fat drops of rain start falling down and I run the last few meters into town and to Mamta’s guesthouse where I’ve stayed previously and the Dal Bhat is tasty.