1.17.2017

Lost in Nepal 7: Annapurna Base Camp!


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See also Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 Part 5 and Part 6.

"It's incredible, but I am here!" I wrote on my diary. 'Here' was Annapurna Base Camp, 4,130 m, the highest place I had ever been. Writing this, I was confortably wrapped in my sleeping bag, warm and content..
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, mountain, sky, cloud, outdoor and natureThe first part of this trekking stage is on stairs, then it turns a normal high mountain path, like the ones in the Alps. The Machapuchare becomes closer and closer, disapears for a moment, it's now at our back, the sun just behind in a glorious glare. We get in the Sanctuary: a huge basin surrounded by very high mountains and dug by a big rill leading to the Annapurna south face.
Image may contain: one or more peopleDuring the ascent I was feeling good but due to the altitude I was quite slow even on easy climbs. Annapurna 1 was always in front of me, so beautiful! The ascent was like a prayer, a worship act.
No automatic alt text available.Once arrived and dropped my stuff in the lodge room, I went looking for the Annatoli Boukreev chorten. In my pocket I had something special, carefully kept in a safe place during the travel and the trekking. It was time to deliver it to its final destination.
A little further, over the Base Camp, there is a holy place dedicated to the memory of mountaneers who died here. Metal plaques with their names on big rocks, and votive flags. There is a plaque also for Anatoli Boukreev and his unlucky mate. On the background, the enormous wall, the depths of rock and ice where they rest. "Today" I noted "there is less snow than the day he died." 
Image may contain: mountain, outdoor and natureThe sky was blue but the big white clouds of the evening were coming up from the valley. I tied my votive flag to the rock: my portrait of Boukreev printed on a piece of fabric. I remained there for a long time, in the sun, feeling connected to the whole, and to the big soul of Anatoli. A deep peace invaded me. I was at home.
Suddenly I was allarming hungry! I ran to the lodge and joined the others for the lunch, Lalit included, back from the early climb to the view point. 
The sun was quickly gone. I spent the afternoon freezing even in the sleeping bag, and after dinner we had no option but to go to bed, because the porters were set to sleep in the dining room. 
It wasn't that cold now. I slept very well, and I woke up listening to a beautiful voice singing outside...

........MORE TO COME.....

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