Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora


cold dawn
The village of Pisang dawns under a snowfall at night. The Anapurna II mountain appears in the background.
broken ridge
Cutting of the Swargadwari Danda mountain (4800m), hit by the wind and illuminated by the rising sun.
Cold Aurora II
Sunlight about to descend over the Pisang valley, soon over the houses of Lower and Upper Pisang.
canine sloth
Dog slumbers in the grounds of the Upper Pisang Buddhist temple.
Nepalese concentrate
Side view of Upper Pisang from the trail that connects it to the next village: Ghyaru.
sunny morning
Yak and two Upper Pisang residents, the three of them in a savory, sunny indolence.
cold landing
Corvids occupy a snowy roof just before the rising sun sets there.
Release II
The village elder leads a cow to the lower parts of Upper Pisang and its main source.
smiling generations
Two young inhabitants of Upper Pisang are getting ready to wash their clothes at one of the village's fountains.
Buddhist Trio
The entrance to the Upper Pisang Buddhist temple lays against the snowy slope opposite the Anapurnas.
stone mani
Buddhist religious elements arranged on the mani prayer wall of Upper Pisang.
Release I
A native of Upper Pisang, she sends her cattle out to wander above and below the village.
nepalese architecture
Typical Nepalese roofs. Snowy and with Buddhist banners fluttering in the wind and blessing homes.
belief in the sun
A resident of Upper Pisang parades a Buddhist rosary (yapa mala) while soaking up the sun while sitting on soil cushioned by a dry plant layer.
Stocking walls
Upper Pisang section, with well-marked Nepalese and Buddhist features.
keeping an eye on everything
Crow probes its territory, the broad valley of Pisang, one of many in the Nepalese Himalayas.
Buddhist heat
Monk tries to light a ritual fire at Upper Pisang Buddhist temple.
A top of the Himalayas
Sun and wind hit the snowy summit of Mount Anapurna II, at 7937 meters above sea level.
At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.

It is part of the Annapurna Circuit ritual.

The rules dictate that to avoid mountain sickness we must drink liters of water. Following them almost always means sleeping with a full bladder and waking up once, twice, three times for uncomfortable trips to the bathroom.

From Chame that this torment was repeated. It made the nearly ten hours of rest we were already taking a lot less refreshing. At six in the morning, we are in a kind of seventh sleep. Mila, the person in charge of Mount Kailash guest house, knock on the door. We had asked him for hot water. When we open the door, there he is, with two big steaming buckets at his feet.

A cold and white dawn

We got up startled and with effort. We wish you good morning and thank you for your cruel punctuality. We took advantage of the packaging, ventured into the frigid dawn and took a look at the ghostly panorama from the porch outside the room. A dim light blued the valley ahead.

Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.

Sunlight about to descend over the Pisang valley, soon over the houses of Lower and Upper Pisang.

We rub our eyes and inspect him once more. The bluish color did not match the tones in which we had said goodbye to Pisang shortly after sunset. It was a whiteness disguised as a twilight that, during the night, had taken over the surrounding villages and mountains. When we finally come to ourselves, we sound the snow alarm and react accordingly.

We messed up, we put together the necessary photographic equipment on the rolled-up sleeping bags. We dress as much as possible, already wearing gloves and hats. We went up to the panoramic terrace, also covered with snow.

The sun was beginning to shine on the supreme peak of the mountains onwards, at 7937 feet of Mount Annapurna II, the sixteenth elevation in the world. It illuminated a threshold haze caused by the incidence of light on the icy summit, reinforced by the snow that the wind forced from the exposed edges.

Swargadwari Danda Mountain, Nepal

Cutting of the Swargadwari Danda mountain (4800m), hit by the wind and illuminated by the rising sun.

The dawn spreads over the top of that section of the mountain range. A little later, it hits the slopes below and, little by little, the houses of Pisang installed at its foot and in the thalweg crossed by the Marsyangdi, the river that continued to accompany us.

The Gentle Warms of the Sun and the Bath

Dawn soon passes this side of the river and blesses the steep Upper Pisang where we enjoyed it. In a flash, the village regains its senses. Crows out of nowhere flutter over white roofs and fluttering Buddhist banners, struggling for their preferred landings.

Corvid on an Upper Pisang roof.

Corvids occupy a snowy roof just before the rising sun sets there.

Some inhabitants emerge from the depths of stone homes to appreciate what the new day brings them. Almost an hour later, the solar blessing also reaches the top of Mount Pisang, behind us, and opposite Annapurna II.

By that time, we remember the hot water and the baths we didn't get to take. We return to the middle floor and look for Mila. “Don't worry, I've warmed it up again” soothes us as soon as we pass by the kitchen.

We gained courage, got into the meager shower compartment, undressed in goose bumps and indulged in soaping interspersed with tepid showers that we poured over us from a small bowl.

The Morning Coziness of Mount Kailash

Having passed the passage from the icy end of the bath to the comfort of winter clothes, we sat down at the table and attacked the porridge with apple and honey that the host had just served. At the same time, we took advantage of the return of electricity to charge as many batteries as possible.

Aware that we were still her only customers and that her business was under control, Mila sits down next to us. Conversation starts, we realized that the inn didn't belong to him, that the old man wasn't even from Pisang.

A Mount Kailash it was the result of the initiative of Bhujung Gurung, a younger and more adventurous native who kept a series of photographs of himself on the walls of the inn, always bearded, on horseback and in other types of adventures. Mila and her family had simply taken advantage of Upper Pisang's growing notoriety and the opportunity the tea-house had provided them.

Buddhist Monastery, Upper Pisang, Nepal

The entrance to the Upper Pisang Buddhist temple lays against the snowy slope opposite the Annapurnas.

Above and Below Upper Pisang

At that time, we knew little more about the town than the winding ramp to the Mount Kailash which, combined with the excessive weight of the backpacks, had devastated us on arrival. As such, we left them redone in the bedroom, shouted a goodbye to Mila and set out to discover.

We climb a few additional meters into the village. We point to the Buddhist temple that the terrace highlighted earlier had revealed to us. Once inside the precinct, we realized that he was in the hands of a solitary monk, too focused on his morning religious tasks or used to the peace of the retreat to waste time with us.

Buddhist monk, Upper Pisang, Nepal

Monk tries to light a ritual fire at Upper Pisang Buddhist temple.

The priest lights a ritual fire in a tower chorten elemental, of piled stones. When he does, he retires to some annex and we don't see him anymore.

Curious as it is in its nature, a crow suspects that fire may be of some use.

It lands on a prayer flag pole a few meters from us and, for a moment, monitors our movements. When he intuits a more than probable lack of benefit, he disbands.

Raven, Upper Pisang, Nepal

Crow probes its territory, the broad valley of Pisang, one of many in the Nepalese Himalayas.

The Last Moments in Upper Pisang

We realized that the sun's ascent to its zenith, melting the night snow and discovering the modern and uncharacteristic blue roofs that, to the disappointment of any photographer, the Nepalese got used to using. We went down to the heart of the village.

Upper Pisang resident herding cattle, Nepal

The village elder leads a cow to the lower parts of Upper Pisang and its main source.

We follow the footsteps of a native who releases the yaks from the corral, takes them to drink water and sets them free for the usual pastoral stroll. We peeked at some other streets, houses and nooks. We greet three or four inhabitants, the few we have come across.

Ten in the morning had arrived, the time for us to be on our way. Okay, back to Mount Kailash, we sealed our backpacks, put them on our backs and said goodbye to Mila.

Young residents of Upper Pisang, Nepal

Two young inhabitants of Upper Pisang are getting ready to wash their clothes at one of the village's fountains.

We walked, motivated, towards the edge of the village, we went around its mani wall of prayer wheels, crossed the exit/entrance stupa and made our way to the trail Annapurna Parikrama Padmarga, aimed at ghyaru. Ngawal and Braga.

Upper Pisang, Nepal

Side view of Upper Pisang from the trail that connects it to the next village: Ghyaru.

More information about hiking at Nepal on the official website of Nepal Tourism.

Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Annapurna Circuit: 4th – Upper Banana to Ngawal, Nepal

From Nightmare to Dazzle

Unbeknownst to us, we are faced with an ascent that leads us to despair. We pulled our strength as far as possible and reached Ghyaru where we felt closer than ever to the Annapurnas. The rest of the way to Ngawal felt like a kind of extension of the reward.
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Annapurna Circuit: 6th – Braga, Nepal

The Ancient Nepal of Braga

Four days of walking later, we slept at 3.519 meters from Braga (Braka). Upon arrival, only the name is familiar to us. Faced with the mystical charm of the town, arranged around one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist monasteries on the Annapurna circuit, we continued our journey there. acclimatization with ascent to Ice Lake (4620m).
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit - The Painful Acclimatization of Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
Annapurna Circuit: 9th Manang to Milarepa Cave, Nepal

A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
Annapurna Circuit: 8th Manang, Nepal

Manang: the Last Acclimatization in Civilization

Six days after leaving Besisahar we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). Located at the foot of the Annapurna III and Gangapurna Mountains, Manang is the civilization that pampers and prepares hikers for the ever-dreaded crossing of Thorong La Gorge (5416 m).
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Nepalese Masks of Life

The Newar Indigenous People of the Kathmandu Valley attach great importance to the Hindu and Buddhist religiosity that unites them with each other and with the Earth. Accordingly, he blesses their rites of passage with newar dances of men masked as deities. Even if repeated long ago from birth to reincarnation, these ancestral dances do not elude modernity and begin to see an end.
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Annapurna Circuit 14th - Muktinath to Kagbeni, Nepal

On the Other Side of the Pass

After the demanding crossing of Thorong La, we recover in the cozy village of Muktinath. The next morning we proceed back to lower altitudes. On the way to the ancient kingdom of Upper Mustang and the village of Kagbeni that serves as its gateway.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Safari
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
The Little-Big Senglea II
Architecture & Design
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

At the turn of the 8.000th century, Senglea housed 0.2 inhabitants in 2 km3.000, a European record, today, it has “only” XNUMX neighborhood Christians. It is the smallest, most overcrowded and genuine of the Maltese cities.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Adventure
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
Moa on a beach in Rapa Nui/Easter Island
Ceremonies and Festivities
Easter Island, Chile

The Take-off and Fall of the Bird-Man Cult

Until the XNUMXth century, the natives of Easter Island they carved and worshiped great stone gods. All of a sudden, they started to drop their moai. The veneration of tanatu manu, a half-human, half-sacred leader, decreed after a dramatic competition for an egg.
Christmas scene, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
Cities
Shillong, India

A Christmas Selfiestan at an India Christian Stronghold

December arrives. With a largely Christian population, the state of Meghalaya synchronizes its Nativity with that of the West and clashes with the overcrowded Hindu and Muslim subcontinent. Shillong, the capital, shines with faith, happiness, jingle bells and bright lighting. To dazzle Indian holidaymakers from other parts and creeds.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Meal
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
Culture
Dali, China

Chinese Style Flash Mob

The time is set and the place is known. When the music starts playing, a crowd follows the choreography harmoniously until time runs out and everyone returns to their lives.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Sport
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Las Cuevas, Mendoza, across the Andes, Argentina
Traveling
Mendoza, Argentina

From One Side to the Other of the Andes

Departing from Mendoza city, the N7 route gets lost in vineyards, rises to the foot of Mount Aconcagua and crosses the Andes to Chile. Few cross-border stretches reveal the magnificence of this forced ascent
Ethnic
São Nicolau, Cape Verde

Photography of Nha Terra São Nicolau

The voice of the late Cesária Verde crystallized the feeling of Cape Verdeans who were forced to leave their island. who visits São Nicolau or, wherever it may be, admires images that illustrate it well, understands why its people proudly and forever call it their land.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
History
Cape Coast, Ghana

The Divine Purification Festival

The story goes that, once, a plague devastated the population of Cape Coast of today Ghana. Only the prayers of the survivors and the cleansing of evil carried out by the gods will have put an end to the scourge. Since then, the natives have returned the blessing of the 77 deities of the traditional Oguaa region with the frenzied Fetu Afahye festival.
Friends in Little Venice, Mykonos
Islands
Mykonos, Greece

The Greek Island Where the World Celebrates Summer

During the 1960th century Mykonos was once just a poor island, but by XNUMX Cycladic winds of change transformed it. First, at the main gay shelter in the Mediterranean. Then, at the crowded, cosmopolitan and bohemian vanity fair that we find when we visit.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
shadow vs light
Literature
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Pitões das Junias, Montalegre, Portugal
Nature
Montalegre, Portugal

Through Alto do Barroso, Top of Trás-os-Montes

we moved from Terras de Bouro for those of Barroso. Based in Montalegre, we wander around the discovery of Paredes do Rio, Tourém, Pitões das Júnias and its monastery, stunning villages on the border of Portugal. If it is true that Barroso has had more inhabitants, visitors should not miss it.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Autumn
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
Natural Parks
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
UNESCO World Heritage
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Characters
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Plane landing, Maho beach, Sint Maarten
Beaches
Maho Beach, Sint Maarten

The Jet-powered Caribbean Beach

At first glance, Princess Juliana International Airport appears to be just another one in the vast Caribbean. Successive landings skimming Maho beach that precedes its runway, jet take-offs that distort the faces of bathers and project them into the sea, make it a special case.
Kongobuji Temple
Religion
Mount Koya, Japan

Halfway to Nirvana

According to some doctrines of Buddhism, it takes several lifetimes to attain enlightenment. The shingon branch claims that you can do it in one. From Mount Koya, it can be even easier.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Ijen Volcano, Slaves of Sulfur, Java, Indonesia
Society
Ijen volcano, Indonesia

The Ijen Volcano Sulphur Slaves

Hundreds of Javanese surrender to the Ijen volcano where they are consumed by poisonous gases and loads that deform their shoulders. Each turn earns them less than €30 but everyone is grateful for their martyrdom.
Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Daily life
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Ross Bridge, Tasmania, Australia
Wildlife
Discovering tassie, Part 3, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania from Top to Bottom

The favorite victim of Australian anecdotes has long been the Tasmania never lost the pride in the way aussie ruder to be. Tassie remains shrouded in mystery and mysticism in a kind of hindquarters of the antipodes. In this article, we narrate the peculiar route from Hobart, the capital located in the unlikely south of the island to the north coast, the turn to the Australian continent.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.