ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT TREK - BESISAHAR TO CHAME
Read our highly informative and detailed day-by-day Annapurna Circuit Trek guide. We spent 14 days trekking around Annapurnas, and we’d like to share useful hiking tips, how to acclimatize and where to sleep. In the first part of our lifetime adventure, we hike from Besisahar to Chame.
After so many uncomfortable hours spent on the dusty and bumpy road, we decided not to stay for a night in Besisahar and walked right away to Bhulbule to stretch our legs a little bit.
It was great decision to start the whole trek in Besisahar, and steadily climb all the way up and observe the changes in flora, fauna, and everyday life of local people.
From the first checkpoint in Besisahar, we walked through the village to the suspension bridge across Marsyangdi River, then climbed up the narrow path around rice paddies and a few scattered houses. Then we moved down back to the river bank, and the trail led us to a new water power plant.
In March 2017 we were able to walk through the under-construction complex and at the end we crossed the river again and continued to Bhulbule.
We decided to spend a night in one of the three lodges situated on the true right bank of Margsyandi River and immediately ordered our first Dal Bhat for dinner as we were starving.
On the other side of the river is a bigger guesthouse which might be a good option if you're looking for a company. But we just needed a good uninterrupted sleep, and as it turned out, this place was perfect as we were the only guests staying there that evening.
Quick Note: At the start of the trek, you will meet kids along the way asking you for money or candy. Although it feels hard, try to resist, and don't give them any (it is also advice from Nepali government) because they could get used to it and would start begging on a regular basis instead of going to school.
From Bhulbule we walked upstream around the river on the wide dusty road, but it was traffic-free. At the end of this road, it got a bit confusing which direction to take because of the construction, but do not turn anywhere, walk straight all the time.
The path climbed through rice fields to Bahudanda and offered us open views of green rice terraces. To reach Bahudanda, we had to ascend steep stairs and were ashamed by porters who outran us with almost three times heavier backpacks.
There is a checkpoint in this village, where you should register and also a possibility to buy snacks.
There is a stone gate, behind the settlement and you can see escarpment on the other side of the valley where the road carves in the mountain. It was frightening to watch cars driving on it.
Another bridge took us around a waterfall, and the rest of the walk continued above the river and after the last Margsyandi River crossing, and climb to the steep hill we appeared in Jagat village.
We slept in the guest house with advertised hot shower and wifi, but the owner failed to mention before checking us in the room that she had technical issues with both today.
We didn't need the internet connection though, and it was still hot outside, so cold water worked just fine for today. Moreover, the place was clean, quiet and we had it just for ourselves.
At the end of the village, we followed an arrow trail sign and walked the stairs down only to climb up the steep forest trail on our left in the next second.
When we reached the top, we could see a thundering waterfall on the opposite side of the valley.
We continued and all of the sudden we emerged on the football playground (we wouldn't want to be the guy, who kicks the ball over the fence) and right after it we arrived at Chamje, a small village built under towering cliffs.
From this point, the trail slowly climbed up, and we could watch the river flowing down the valley. We crossed the river, and another steep hill took us to the gate marking the beginning of Manang District.
Sleepy village Tal lies near river basin in 1700 meters above sea level, and right behind Tal is a swinging bridge, which led us to the other side of the river and also to 9 km distant Karte Village.
You can choose to cross the river again and walk through Karte, but we carried on on the left bank and bypassed this village. Instead of heading directly to Bagarchap we decided to take a side trip to a settlement called Odar.
It took lots of steps to get there (and extra 200 m elevation gain), but once we arrived, it felt like we traveled at least hundred years back in time.
The atmosphere in the village was almost ancient, and although we were thinking to spend a night here at first, we decided to continue to Bagarchap instead as it was difficult to communicate with locals about accommodation and food and even though they seemed friendly, we were not sure how they feel about strangers.
The landscape in Bagarchap changes from the lush green hilly scenery to the real mountain countryside, and we caught the first glimpse of snow-capped mountains in the distance.
We emerged at the end of the village and found a place to stay in the first lodge we walked in. It was not our destiny to have a hot shower again, but we asked for a bucket, which we got a few minutes later and everything was just fine.
Then we ordered nourishing Dal Bhat for dinner and spent the rest of the evening in the cozy restaurant with other hikers, this time clothed in our jackets as evenings were getting colder.
Next morning we woke up early and had oatmeal with freshly cut apples for breakfast. From Bagarchap the path goes to Danaque, where we refilled our bottles at the safe drinking water station, and on the way to Timang, we left the main road and climbed up the hill.
We could see Manaslu Range from the trail all the way to Timang Village, herds of sheep walked around us, and we felt like in one of those documentary movies about rural life in Nepal.
We also saw Annapurna II (7937 m) for the first time just before we reached Chame village.
Although the way from Bagarchap to Chame was considerably easy and we hiked in a leisure pace, we were exposed to the harsh Himalayan sun all day, a wasp maliciously stung Martin to a finger, and in a few words, we were exhausted.
After a long walk, we felt relieved and gleeful at the same time when we had reached today's destination early.
We took a short nap after late lunch and then leisurely strolled around the village, watched local volleyball game (view from the stands features Manaslu Range) and went to take a dip in hot spring (concrete open cubicle where locals bathe themselves and wash their clothes, something between a public spa, bathroom, and laundry).