So as I am always preaching about challenging yourself, trying something new and being out of your comfort zone, I though it would be good to practice what I preach. I decided to travel to Nepal for 3 weeks alone and trek to Annapurna Base Camp, and guess what…
I did it!.. It was hard, it was hot, it was incredible and worth every moment! I trekked all the way to Base camp of the world’s 10th highest mountain, Annapurna 1, are you thinking of doing the same? If you aren’t then maybe you might think about it..Or challenge your own limits to go on an adventure and try something out of your comfort zone.
Ok, I’m going to start by telling the truth.. No daily showers, definitely no washing your hair regularly (in fact once in a week during the trek was more realistic), dirty toilets (you might want to practice your squatting before you go), leeches, moths, spiders, hairy creatures, mice (YES MICE!) and getting EXTREMELY sweaty- is something you get used to or at least put up with whilst trekking.. When you can get over that, then all the rest is easy.
It all started with a long 8 hour bus journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Long bus journeys in Nepal are something normal, it took about 11 hours on the way back (though I stopped at Chitwan National park for Elephant safari and canoeing) not sure I will do either again..
There are different ways of getting to Base Camp and there are many towns that you can visit and places to stay on the way. It also takes people different amounts of time, my trip was planned for 10 days. I also had my guide Raman and porter Kaka and very glad I took that decision. After many people saying different things to me, I still wouldn’t suggest a solo female traveller trek alone. It felt safer to have a guide with me, you never know what might happen; you might trip, twist your ankle or start to feel unwell. I decided to go mid September, this period is just after monsoon and just before trekking season thus it’s the quiet period before the storm. We missed most of the rain and people, but still encountered quite a few leeches (blood sucking horrible creatures). Thanks to someone’s advice I took salt with me and covered my legs and arms in it before trekking for a few days and was very careful where I put my feet as I was so worried to get bitten by one. Salt also comes in handy if you do get bitten, as it makes them shrivel up and fall off (they are just unpleasant but not painful)…Though I only go on what told as I was lucky enough not to get bitten.
Best moment: Waking up at Annapurna Base Camp and being surrounded by the Himalayas and admiring the sunrise. JUST BREATHTAKING! You should try for yourself.
Worst moment: Finding a mouse in my rucksack which woke me up at 5.30 am- I can guarantee it made me jump out of my sleeping bag!
It was a great experience and I really look forward to going back and trek more. I had never trekked more than 2 days in a row and I proved to myself that with good fitness, motivation and determination it was possible. Some people called me mad, I also did when it was raining, hot and all I wanted was my bed.. But I now look back and realise why I did it, the mountains are an important part in my life and visiting the Himalayas was a dream come true.
I met 9 other women travelling to Nepal and trekking to Annapurna Base Camp alone! If they don’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.
So, dream big, follow your dreams, work hard and don’t listen to the naysayers!