10/19/2007 to 10/23/2007 | Nepal

Trekking in the Annapurnas V: Jomsom to Poon Hill

We moved a little slower through this section not because of weather this time but because Tom developed blisters on his feet.  The slower pace was not a problem as it allowed us to spend a little longer in Tukuche sampling the various brandy flavors at the local distillery and an extra day enjoying the hot springs at Tatopani.  The trail along this part of the circuit gets pretty crowded because not only do you have the people doing the Annapurna circuit but also people who flew into Jomsom and then hike down from there.  While it doesn’t exactly make for a solitary trekking experience, the accommodation and food is pretty decent for being 3-4 days walk from the nearest road connected to the outside world.  The trekking masses converge at Poon Hill, a 10,500 ft “hill,” from which there are great views of the Annapurnas.  Not only do people on the circuit and Jomsom treks make a stop here, but also many people who do the Annapurna Sanctuary trek, as well as people who are just doing a short 2-3 day trek to Poon Hill from Pokhara.  As a result there was a line of about 200 people inching there way to the top of the hill in the predawn hours to catch the sunrise.  A sign in the guesthouse warned not to go up to Poon Hill alone because of the risk of robbery.  Not a problem this time of year when you’re heading up with 200 of your closest friends.  Poon Hill was also where I parted ways with my trekking companions Dave and Tom who were ready to head back to Pokhara skipping the hike out to the Annapurna Sanctuary (base camp) which was where I was headed next.

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