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Floating on cotton wool clouds punctured by half a dozen of sharp peaks set against a blue sky, I thought to myself "One of them must be Mount Everest...but which one?". This incredible postcard aerial view of the Himalayas range truly set the mood for my trekking trip on Annapurna.
Imagining myself trekking on snow capped landscapes three years ago was inapprehensible. Whilst I am sort of a walker/traveller, I had never properly trekked before. I did not even have a pair of trekking shoes! Of course I had done touristy day treks in Australia but to scale a 5416 metres high mountain pass on foot? My horrified feet was screaming "Are you insane, Mr Wilson Heng??"
The desire to set foot on Thorong La Pass, one of the highest mountain pass in the world, slowly but surely molded into an ambition. An ambition that brought me to the gym for weights training resulting in countless nights of sore muscles. I did not know when I was going to act on this burning ambition until I relieved myself of my last employment. To strike while the iron is hot, was certainly my mindset. The iron was volcanic!
The trekking season in Nepal had just ended in May and the raining monsoon season began in June. It meant a little wet on the trek but Annapurna will be alot less crowded from trekkers. My second stage of training - intense cardio work, was forsaken. I simply had to act.
I had so many questions in my mind - what to bring, what essentials to buy, do I need a guide, what about a porter instead, should I turn back if I suffer altitude sickness, will I survive trekking alone?....so many uncertainties. One thing was clear though - my goal was to get myself to Nepal, do the three weeks trek and worry about it later.
I contacted my old school friend who is also a Nepali but now living in Sydney, who coincidentally was going to be in Kathmandu in July. We decided to catchup at his friends' wedding after my trek and I was extended the invitation. I could not believe my fortune! A Nepali wedding after a momentous Annapurna trek would be like celebratory fireworks, the icing on the cake.
Thus my Nepal itinerary of 5 weeks was set in stone. On the tail of the most epic adventure in my travel stories, I welcome you to Nepal, the roof of the world!