I started my hike at 06:15 am after witnessing a beautiful sunrise at Timang. The decision to stay in Timang turned out to be an intelligent choice. There are very few people (relatively) who stop at this village as most of the people either stay in Dharapani (before Timang) or at Chame (after Timang). You get one of the best view of the eighth highest mountain named Manaslu (8,163 m) from the village. Don't forget to wake up early the next day to witness a sunrise that you would cherish for a lifetime.
I made my way swiftly through the next village called Thanchowk (2570 m). After walking for another kilometer you will witness the sight that would take your breath away. You see the Annapurna II (7937 m) which marks the eastern anchor of the Annapurna mountain range. You will get closer to the peak as you walk towards the next village called Koto (2640). The village also marks the starting of a less known trek called the 'Nar Phu valley' trek. Make sure that you make an entry at the check post at Koto before going ahead.
I personally feel sad when I see porters carrying huge load (20-25 kg) on their back. This picture was taken in the Bhratang village (2850 m) after Chame (2710 m). In the trekking industries of Peru, Nepal and Tanzania, porters experience the same unfortunate predicament. No medical insurance. No life insurance. No medical funds to help them during medical treatment. Many porters suffer from knee issues, back problems among other injuries as a direct consequence of portering. I don't say that one shouldn't hire a porter but I think we as trekkers should definitely contribute in building safety nets for porters in the trekking industry. Read more about experiences of porters worldwide at theportervoicecollective.org.
Once you get closer to the Dhukur Pokhari hamlet (3240 m) you will see a drastic shift in the landscape. The landscape opens up, you start seeing colourful shrubs on the mountains, you see small ponds and the wind blows fast on these flats. It was a blissful walk. One suggestion for trekkers is to take the 'Upper Pisang trail' while hiking. The other trail lets you bypass the Upper Pisang village (3310 m) and Ghyaru village (3730 m) and takes you directly to Lower Pisang (3250 m) through a road and it will definitely ruin the trekking experience. You can even stay in the Upper Pisang village if you want to.
The magnificent Ghyaru village (3730 m) where you will see houses made using stones and wood. There are no other construction elements used like cement or metal sheets. I would definitely keep Ghyaru in the list of 'Top 10 hamlets to experience in the Annapurna circuit'.
As the day progressed the sun rays lit up the snow capped slopes of Annapurna. It was indeed the most delightful sight of the day. One who had started the trek from Besisahar could easily relate that now he/she is on the other side of the Annapurna massif. The name 'Annapurna circuit' now starts making sense.
I reached the village Ngawal (3680 m) at around 05:30 pm. I would recommend the 'Peaceful Guest House' in the end of the village to stay. It was a nice place with really nice people. Don't miss out the sunset over the Gangapurna (7455 m) mountain visible from Ngawal.
Day 03 was as tough as Day 02 but now the body was getting used to the speed hike. So, there was less pain in the body after the trek.
If you want a detailed analysis of the hike then you can find me on Strava (play store and app store) under the name 'Manvendr Singh'.
The ascend from Upper Pisang to Ghyaru will be really tough. It is steep and has a lot of hairpins. So, if you have time, then just take it at a slow and steady pace.
It is Day 04 when I reach the Tilicho base camp. Another long hike.