Annapurna Circuit – Part VIII: Manang (3540m)
On our second day in Manang, I jumped out of my bed at the break of dawn, stuck my head into the kitchen and asked for my morning pot of marsala tea, then snooped around the lodge until I found a set of stairs that led to the roof top. On the other roof top (a different lodge) across from me was a German fella with his impressive looking camera on a tripod. We had a quick friendly chat and watched the sun filling into the valley.
The clouds kept coming and going, testing patience. I fetched my pot of tea (in a thermos) from the kitchen after the German fella left, and drank the hot sweet tea in the morning sun on the roof next to a water tank.
For a while, Annapurna II revealed itself, and it sure looked very windy on the top at 7937m.
Then some birds came and did acrobatic flights in the morning air. One landed on a nearby roof for a short while, and I quickly snapped a nice photo of it. Just when my pot of tea was about to finish, my morning marsala tea drinking buddy, Kerry, found me with his freshly made pot of tea. He kindly let me have more of his tea, and we enjoyed the morning sun and each other’s company until we decided it was time for breakfast.
After a nice breakfast (vegetable omelette had become my go-to choice – I figured it’s good protein plus greens), we set off for a climb towards the Gangapurna glacier. As soon as we got on the street, we saw this old man carrying a massive load of grass on his forehead.
The town also had these make-shift prayer wheels – or maybe the outside had long worn out from frequent use?
We gained height quickly once we set off climbing the trail, and the view above Manang just kept getting better.
Near the top is the very primitive shelter made by shepherd families who’d spend the winter here with their stock. These shepherd spend the rest of the year with their stock grazing in higher altitudes.
A local boy was sliding down the loose dusty slope on a piece of plywood, and was not camera shy at all. He thought it was brilliant when he saw himself in our photos.
We returned to the lodge for a late lunch, then Kiwi Bird and I visited the little grocery shop operated by the lodge because we heard the rumour they had some English books. Kiwi Bird accidentally sat on his e-reader 2 nights ago, so he was very keen to find some books. We were not disappointed and managed to stash 2 second hand books. I also got some throat lozenges because the dust around Manang made my throat really dry and sore. Then we spend the rest of the afternoon by the glacial lake, enjoying the sun, the view, and the tranquility.
Before dinner, I asked for an apple pie as a snack. The lodge had a bakery downstairs, and Wolfgang, our apple pie critic, had given their apple pie a thumb up. However, the bakery had run out, so the kitchen offered to make me one that’s different. This turned out to be amazing! It was like a cinnamon doughnut filled with juicy apple pieces. The pastry was crispy on the outside, not too thick but fluffy and warm. So I considered myself very lucky the bakery had run out! And we sure were very lucky to be visiting such a wonderful and amazing place!