One of my favourite parts of the Annapurna Base Camp trek was the day we trekked to Poon Hill (3210m) to catch the sunrise rising from behind part of the Annapurna mountain range – Dhaulagiri (8167m) , Hiunchuli (6441m), Machapuchare (6993m) etc. We were apparently quite fortunate to get clear skies that day and a panoramic view of the Annapurna range. Here’s how the day went:
I stumbled out of bed at an ungodly hour of 5:15am. On a regular day in my life, I’d never be awake at that time, or if I were, it would probably be because I’d hadn’t even gone to bed yet.
It was a cold morning and I was already well-prepared for the expected chill, having gone to bed wearing my thermals under my trekking pants and teeshirt. I put on another thin fleece and my goretex jacket, slipped my neck scarf over my head, donned my red wool beanie, grabbed my gloves just in case and got ready to step out of our lodge into the cold.
The sun was already making its journey past the horizon the time we were all ready and started our trek. I personally felt that we should have left approximately half an hour before to actually catch the sunrise. This would be the first of about 6 missed sunrise opportunities I would experience over the next 2 months – mostly because of bad weather, though twice would be because I was too lazy to get up to watch.
The trek up to Poon Hill wasn’t particularly difficult, but given how most of us wished we were still in the comforts of our beds instead of climbing the 300m of elevation worth of stone steps from our lodge at Gorephani (2874m) up to the top of the hill, it was still quite a challenge. But by the time we finally made it to the top, we realised that the trek up was well worth the 5:15am wake up call, 45 minutes trek, and cold morning breeze.
My words will never be able to do justice to the beauty of the place, so why not just let the photos do the talking why don’t we?
Special thanks to ‘Small’ Pasang for the ‘tour’ of the range in the following video. Too bad Pasang’s voice for the second half of the video isn’t that clear as the camera captured the voices of these two Korean girls we keep meeting along the way instead. I wonder what they are saying though: