Annapurna Circuit: 5th- Ngawal-BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

Ngawal, the village
Buddhist assortment
Prayer flags flutter in the wind and against the light.
Lively meal
dying nature
Voter registration is mandatory
nepalese frame
bovine duo
life in the sun
a sunny break
Stupa & Tunnel
stupa vs Annapurna
faith in the wind
color of light and faith
golden amulet
Buddhist home
Stupa almost in Braga
An old and elegant stupa, between Munchi and 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.

The bath: this transcendental and almost warlike theme of the Annapurna Circuit.

The Nepalese hosts intrigue the backpackers' urge to bathe. We are exasperated by the successive demands for hot water: at the end of each day. Right after awakening.

Most of the natives grew up taking a bath every fortnight. The older ones do it, with luck, from month to month. It escapes his reason why guests crave fluid showers with warm water. And yet, when asked whether their hotels guarantee hot baths, whether it's true or not, they promise us.

So we had decided to settle at Ngawal Mountain Home, at the entrance to the village instead of in the center. An hour after check-in, we were in bed. Covered by polar sleeping bags and all the blankets the room offered, trying to recover from unexpected hypothermia.

“The Germans took it just now. Looks like it was good!" so encouraged us the Nepalese service at the inn. We got into the shower, we thought it was safe. After three minutes, still soapy, we felt the water go from warm to icy.

We are forced to continue the bath at a cruel 0º (or close) and get even colder on the way back to the bedroom.

When we re-enter, we are shivering like green sticks. Only after half an hour of recovering in bed do we regain normal movement control. Still in time for dinner.

Discovering Ngawal

Spoiled from the ascent prior to panoramic heights of Ghyaru, we slept early. We woke up later than we wanted on a radiant Monday. We left in the direction of the stone and adobe houses that we could see in the distance. Right in the middle of the housing stronghold, we find one of the various stupas in the village.

At its base, a stairway wound up the slope, as far as the eye can see, decorated with a multicolored colony of Buddhist prayer flags that fluttered in the wind.

There was also a sign with three notices in English of “notice” and double the exclamation points alerted to the entry of the Nar-Phoo trekk, a derivation of the Annapurna circuit that ascended to the 5300 meters altitude of the Kang-La Gorge.

Ngawal, Anapurnna circuit, Nepal

Panorama of Ngawal, with the Anapurnna Mountains in the background.

We stayed by the staircase. A little after halfway through, we abandoned it for the steep slope where we zigzagged with extra care to avoid rolling down there.

Even before we reach an observation point that seems ideal to us, we release a large stone as rounded as it is unstable.

The pebble gains momentum. It rolls towards the nearest houses and the road on which we had entered the village and where we could see some shapes circling.

For a moment, we have faith that it would stop at the end. Gravity accelerates him so that we imagine him entering a house and ourselves fleeing a raging Nepalese mob.

Luckily, the rock ends up crashing between the monastery and another stupa. No damage.

Relief makes us enjoy the scenery below and onwards with heightened pleasure.

Back to Ngawal Foothills

Ngawal extends in a flat but elevated area of ​​the valley, overlooking the bed of the Marsyangdi River and the runway of the local aerodrome that nestles at the foot of the Annapurnas range, there, already on Annapurna III Mountain, with Gangapurna suggesting itself to West.

As we saw it from that vantage point, it was formed by a core of smooth clay and straw roofs, each with its own Buddhist standard fluttering in the wind.

Prayer flags, Ngawal, Anapurnna circuit, Nepal

Prayer flags flutter in the wind and against the light.

We return to the steps and go down to the still semi-sunny alleys of the village.

As we had done in the villages back, there we admire the sluggish daily life of the few inhabitants and the architectural details of the homes and religious buildings: the colored windows with cut-out frames, the porches and verandas that open to the pure atmosphere of the Himalayas and guarantee the residents an always useful supremacy over the adjacent streets.

We approached the biggest hotel in Ngawal, standing out in the center. Two Nepalese ladies on the alert for the arrival of tourists insist on foisting on us the breakfast we had already eaten.

We continued walking for another half hour until we decided to retrieve the large backpacks from Ngawal Mountain Home and proceed to the village that we had planned for the new end of the day.

Native, Ngawal, Annapurna circuit, Nepal

Elder of Ngawal on her front porch.

Ngawal, on the way to Braga.

As soon as we passed the property gate, we bumped into Fevsi. We had left it to the German Josh and the Italian-Spanish couple Edu and Sara in ghyaru.

This morning Josh had retreated in search of the allow of the circuit that he had forgotten in Chame. Edu and Sara had already passed on. Fevsi, walked alone in his wake. We greet you pleased to have company.

As we walk, we catch up on the news and entertain ourselves with successive themes, from those related to the circuit to the life of Fevsi in his Turkish land on the verge of Georgia and even his incursions into Batumi and other coasts of the Black Sea and the former Soviet republic.

The three of us descended from the middle ridge where Ngawal sprawled to the Marsyangdi Gorge below. We walk along the alpine extension of the valley, with the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna mountain range tearing through the bluish firmament. Unlike what happened in others, this stretch remains busy.

We come across a group of women who bring their children from school. Soon, also with two or three motorcyclists aimed at lower lands.

Two hours later, we skirted the streaked bottom of a hillside area that almost closed off the valley. The other side reveals a new hamlet and a string of small local restaurants where, despite the proximity of the final destination, we choose to have lunch.

Repast at a Munchi tea house, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

A group of women have lunch and socialize in a small tea-house in Munchi, a short distance from Braga.

Munchi's Deserved Rest

It feels good to put down our lead-heavy backpacks. Almost as good as the chatter and sea buckthorn berry juices we sip on the tiny terrace while we wait for snacks.

We feel refreshed. Even so, not as animated as the group of natives living in the interior who, in the company of the owners, alternate between chattering and unbridled laughter.

Small platoons of walkers, mostly Germans, Israelis, headed to Manang, pass us and the golden statue of Buddha that blesses the village.

Aware that there was little to do with our destiny, we let the late repast of soups, yak stew and Tibetan bread drag along. Until the sun falls behind the mountains and the warmth that caressed our cheeks gives way to the frigid breeze that normally announces the night.

We pay for lunch. We put the backpacks on our backs. We resumed the meandering of the long Manang Sadak road that continued to emulate that of Marsyangdi. After a few hundred meters, we came across a profusion of roadside signs that indicated the Ice Lake and a certain Milarepa Cave.

At that time, we were not aware of this, but both arduous hikes, crucial for the acclimatization that the conquest of the Thorong-La Pass, made at an altitude of 5.416 meters, required us to prove.

the ultimate effort

We left these plaques behind and found an ancient stupa draped in prayer flags. In the next meander, we came across four or five black yaks on their way from who knows where.

By that time, the group of women we met in Munchi's restaurant had almost caught up with us. When they realize the photographic interest we had in the animals, they block their march until we get closer. Even if the profit had been little because the animals immediately disbanded, we thank them for their effort and kindness.

Fevsi continued on his walk. We shortened the space that separated us from him in the company of the women, who spoke some English and were still in the same good mood in which we had seen them for the first time.

The ladies say goodbye and resume a fast pace that our backpacks would never give us. In the meantime, we caught up with Fevsi who had instead slowed down.

We join him on a new meander. We went around it, curious once more. Until we glimpsed a red-and-white Buddhist monastery nestled in the middle of a hillside end crowned by sharp cliffs.

It could only be Braga. Or Braka, as she was also known.

Stupa, Braka, Annapurna circuit, Nepal

An old and elegant stupa, between Munchi and Braga.

Anyway, Braga

We descend from the slope that closed off the natural amphitheater in which the village was sheltered to the sloping and semi-soaked meadow in between.

The pasture that there was much more lush than in most of the Nepal, served as bed and food for a few lazy yaks.

But not only. Flocks of wild ducks and other birds wallowed and searched the muddy grass for food. From time to time, a new flock landed that reinforced the contingent of roasted visitors.

We were still arriving but Braga was already conquering us. We returned to Manang Sadak from which we got lost. We noticed that almost all the hotels in the village were lined up on the side of the road.

This new scale of the Annapurna Circuit could even be quite different from Ngawal. The pressing theme at the time of choosing the stay, that, was the night before and the usual: the bath.

The New Yak Hotel – the first we found in Braga – promised gas-bottle heated showers. It was also served from a bakery full of apple pie and other mouth-watering pastries.

The prices of accommodation and food differed little from the usual, so we agreed at a glance to settle there. In good time. Cylinder gas baths were rare along the circuit. We were only offered hotels that, like the New Yak, had achieved online fame and, as such, were kept full.

Even without the thermal drama of the end of the day in Ngawal, the inaugural shower disappoints us again. Unlike Braga of Nepal, which would no longer fail to delight us.

More information about hiking at Nepal No. Nepal Tourism official website.

Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a Chame, Nepal

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: 2nd - Chame to 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: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

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.
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: 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: 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 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 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.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
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.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Jumping forward, Pentecost Naghol, Bungee Jumping, Vanuatu
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Pentecost Naghol: Bungee Jumping for Real Men

In 1995, the people of Pentecostes threatened to sue extreme sports companies for stealing the Naghol ritual. In terms of audacity, the elastic imitation falls far short of the original.
Christmas scene, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
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.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
the projectionist
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
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.
Motorcyclist in Sela Gorge, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Guwahati a Saddle Pass, India

A Worldly Journey to the Sacred Canyon of Sela

For 25 hours, we traveled the NH13, one of the highest and most dangerous roads in India. We traveled from the Brahmaputra river basin to the disputed Himalayas of the province of Arunachal Pradesh. In this article, we describe the stretch up to 4170 m of altitude of the Sela Pass that pointed us to the Tibetan Buddhist city of Tawang.
Creel, Chihuahua, Carlos Venzor, collector, museum
Chihuahua a Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico

On Creel's Way

With Chihuahua behind, we point to the southwest and to even higher lands in the north of Mexico. Next to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, we visited a Mennonite elder. Around Creel, we lived for the first time with the Rarámuri indigenous community of the Serra de Tarahumara.
sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

Most travel photos are taken in sunlight. Sunlight and weather form a capricious interaction. Learn how to predict, detect and use at its best.
Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, Chamarel waterfall

A Mini India in the Southwest of the Indian Ocean

In the XNUMXth century, the French and the British disputed an archipelago east of Madagascar previously discovered by the Portuguese. The British triumphed, re-colonized the islands with sugar cane cutters from the subcontinent, and both conceded previous Francophone language, law and ways. From this mix came the exotic Mauritius.
Mdina, Malta, Silent City, architecture
Mdina, Malta

The Silent and Remarkable City of Malta

Mdina was Malta's capital until 1530. Even after the Knights Hospitaller demoted it, it was attacked and fortified accordingly. Today, it's the coastal and overlooking Valletta that drives the island's destinies. Mdina has the tranquility of its monumentality.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
Winter White
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
Christmas in Australia, Platipus = Platypus
Atherton Tableland, Australia

Miles Away from Christmas (part XNUMX)

On December 25th, we explored the high, bucolic yet tropical interior of North Queensland. We ignore the whereabouts of most of the inhabitants and find the absolute absence of the Christmas season strange.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Howler Monkey, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Natural Parks
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Tortuguero: From the Flooded Jungle to the Caribbean Sea

After two days of impasse due to torrential rain, we set out to discover the Tortuguero National Park. Channel after channel, we marvel at the natural richness and exuberance of this Costa Rican fluvial marine ecosystem.
Sigiriya capital fortress: homecoming
UNESCO World Heritage
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

The Capital Fortress of a Parricide King

Kashyapa I came to power after walling up his father's monarch. Afraid of a probable attack by his brother heir to the throne, he moved the main city of the kingdom to the top of a granite peak. Today, his eccentric haven is more accessible than ever and has allowed us to explore the Machiavellian plot of this Sri Lankan drama.
now from above ladder, sorcerer of new zealand, Christchurch, new zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
view mount Teurafaatiu, Maupiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia
Maupiti, French Polynesia

A Society on the Margin

In the shadow of neighboring Bora Bora's near-global fame, Maupiti is remote, sparsely inhabited and even less developed. Its inhabitants feel abandoned but those who visit it are grateful for the abandonment.
Boat on the Yellow River, Gansu, China
Bingling Yes, China

The Canyon of a Thousand Buddhas

For more than a millennium and at least seven dynasties, Chinese devotees have extolled their religious belief with the legacy of sculpture in a remote strait of the Yellow River. If you disembark in the Canyon of Thousand Buddhas, you may not find all the sculptures, but you will find a stunning Buddhist shrine.
Chepe Express, Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railway
On Rails
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

The Sierra Madre Occidental's relief turned the dream into a construction nightmare that lasted six decades. In 1961, at last, the prodigious Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad was opened. Its 643km cross some of the most dramatic scenery in Mexico.
Buffaloes, Marajo Island, Brazil, Soure police buffaloes
Marajó Island, Brazil

The Buffalo Island

A vessel that transported buffaloes from the India it will have sunk at the mouth of the Amazon River. Today, the island of Marajó that hosted them has one of the largest herds in the world and Brazil is no longer without these bovine animals.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
Crocodiles, Queensland Tropical Australia Wild
Cairns to Cape Tribulation, Australia

Tropical Queensland: An Australia Too Wild

Cyclones and floods are just the meteorological expression of Queensland's tropical harshness. When it's not the weather, it's the deadly fauna of the region that keeps its inhabitants on their toes.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.