Finding a happy solitude while trekking the Annapurna Circuit
There is something spiritual about hiking alone. The Annapurna Circuit with its diverse flora and fauna and starkly changing scenery can feel like a divine quest. You slip into rituals, rising before sunrise, lacing up your hiking boots and preparing your mind and body for a day of walking uphill for miles.
With a bowl of banana porridge in your belly, you’ll begin the second day of the trek walking through flat lands along the rumbling Marsyangdi River, passing women washing laundry in the stream and men carrying crates full of chickens, hauling the loads on their backs held up by a thick band strapped around their foreheads. The river rushes below you and the mountains expand in your field of vision as you slowly ascend. You’ll pass through the farming villages of Nagdi and Bahundanda which form steps along the hillsides, dodging mule trains along the winding trail. Maybe you’ll stop for tea in Syange and end your day over a plate of steaming hot Dal Bhaat in Jagat.
Walking alone with just your thoughts will make you very aware of your body. The physicality of carrying your own pack will leave you famished making each meal feel like an earned reward. You will start to feel dirty, but in a good way — dirty in body, clean in soul. Enjoy this solitude while you have it because as you establish your pace, you’ll start seeing some of the same faces at every village along the way and it is almost impossible not to make friends on the Annapurna Circuit