There are a lot of different hikes to do in Nepal – Everest Base Camp being the most popular – but we opted for the famous Annapurna Circuit. What was once a true ~21 day circuit has been shortened significantly by the creation of a road part way around the range. Though the road is a huge bummer for tourism and outdoor enthusiasts, you can’t fault the local people for wanting to have access to their town. We tourists like the idea of being out in the middle of nowhere for a few days, however, if you live there and your child is sick and there is no road access to get them help – that changes your perspective a little bit. The road has cut the trail down to a 10 day trek, and in a few years, only 4 days of walking will be off the dusty road. We were glad we got to do this hike when we did, and if you want to trek the Annapurna Circuit, you’d better get here soon.

Really? You're putting a road in there?!?

So after all my bitching about said road, we took full advantage of it to access what would be our trailhead. After a bus ride in excruciatingly small seats, we arrived in Besi Sahar. Some people start hiking from here, but our guide (and soon to be best friend) Shiba recommended we go a little bit further by Jeep. So that is how the six of us, Shiba, our three porters, and half a dozen other locals found themselves crammed into a Jeep that shouldn’t hold more than 10. It was half hilarious-half miserable. The ‘new’ road that we drove on was the bumpiest, dustiest, never-been-grated dirt road that we have driven on, which made our trip that much more exciting/uncomfortable.

Bus from Pokhara to Besi Sahar

We soon came to realize that this bus was actually empty by Nepali standards

The Jeep seemed like a welcomed escape from the crowded bus

Until we realized that 16 people would be riding within, with a few extras on the roof

When we finally arrived at our destination, we were anxious and ready to get some walking in that day. A couple hours later and the discomfort and chaos of the transportation-filled morning was behind us. We were officially on the circuit and amongst the Himalayan mountains – life was good and getting better by the step.

The first steps of the trek

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