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How to See the Annapurnas from Pokhara: Australian Base Camp

Being right at the base of the Himalayas and not being able to see them, due to pollution and dust, was driving me crazy. So naturally, as soon as I was given two days off, I set out to see them.

I decided approximately 10 hours before I was going to leave that I was actually going to leave. I researched different treks that didn’t require TIMS and ACAP permits, bought a map, rented a sleeping bag, and started packing.

I was in a taxi to the bus station at 6:30 the next morning. I paid  “tourist price” for the taxi, which I try my very hardest not to do, but eh, I was just super antsy to get going.

Upon arriving at the Baglung Bus Park, I hopped into a bus going towards Phedi. The way to find the right bus is honestly to walk around asking for your destination.

Within 20 minutes of being on the bus, I saw the faint outline of the mountains, and it took everything I had not to cry. I was overwhelmed with a sense of being home.

Less than an hour later, I was in Phedi, a small roadside town. I found the trailhead and was not surprised to see stairs. Lots of stairs.

I felt SO out of shape. I had to stop every couple hundred to catch my breath. I wondered how on Earth I was able to complete all of the trekking I have previously done, but I slowly made it up.

Towards the end of the initial staircase, you’ll come across an agricultural area. As I walked by countless farm houses, I was met with men, women, and children greeting me with warm ‘Namaste’s.

I walked up more stairs and hills, then ended up with my first view of the mountains a little bit outside of Dhampus. I stopped for breakfast with a view, then continued on my way.

By 11:30, I had already settled into my teahouse in Australian Camp/Australia Camp/Australian Base Camp (the name changes every time I see it). I contemplated leaving the same day, but decided to spent the night so I could see the sunrise the next morning.

The mountains were clear during the morning, but as the afternoon fog rolled in, visibility got worse.

Luckily, the next morning, I woke up to a beautiful sunrise lighting up the mountains.

As I started walking towards Kande, where I’d catch my bus back to Pokhara, a huge wall of sadness hit me. I didn’t want to leave the mountains. And if going back to a wonderful city like Pokhara can’t stop that sense of sadness, I don’t know what will. There are some strong ties between the Himalayas and me.

The Himalayas are everything to me. I’ve fallen in love with and within them; I’ve grown into a different person with them surrounding me. I’ve learned loads about myself and the world around me because of them. Simply put, the Himalayas have shaped me into who I am today.

It took about 2 and a half hours to get from Australian Camp to Pokhara.

The entire trek can definitely be done in a day; it’s a quick one!

It’s also affordable! The entire two days cost me about 2000 rupees, about USD $18.57, SGD $26.17.

It’s definitely more expensive than living in Pokhara for two days, but for a quick escape to the mountains? Not bad. Also, you can cut costs by NOT stopping for breakfast nor spending the night.

If you’re in Pokhara and feeling some desire to see the mountains, Australia Camp is the way to go.

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