*tps

Day 7.
Upper Pisang to Manang.
19.5kms. 8 hours.
Today the nepalese stomach kicked in in force. It also happened to be the day of our biggest ascent.
800m steep incline. Switchback after switchback.
There are two options to get to Manang, the upper or lower Pisang.
The Upper path is a gruelling adventure which takes several hours longer. You hike up and then have to hike back down several hundred meters to get to Manang. Why hike it? You may ask. BECAUSE IT’S SO GODDAMN BEAUTIFUL. Sick of hearing me say that? Yep. Well it’s true.
Every day impresses more and more. You hike for an hour to get to the incline, a slow meander through beautiful alpine trails that make you feel like you’ve arrived in Canada.
You’re mentally preparing yourself for the torture to come, but when you finally arrive you haven’t prepared enough.
We arrive at the base and look up, we can’t see the top. My stomach feels like someone is continuously stabbing me with a rusty knife.
You can do this Louise. I begin.
The intense pain in my stomach, a constant reminder that I need the toilet, so I start first.
2 hours of hiking and i’ll have a toilet. The thought keeps me going.
Each step was such an effort. One after the other. Don’t stop. The whole way up I was questioning all of my decisions.
Will i be able to keep going?
Why did I think I could manage this?
Everyone else stopped for water and snacks along the way. Gave their back a quick rest from the pack. I considered it, but as soon as I stopped the feeling in my stomach got worse. Someone was twisting the knife now.
We were on a bare hill, hardly any bush around so the only option was to keep going, or endure the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me.
I chose to keep going.
Some people may question my decision to share the inner workings of my bowel with the internet. But if anyone is considering a trip to Asia, especially places like Nepal or India, then you have to become comfortable discussing these things in detail. It’s basically every travellers favourite conversation. AND fun fact, it’s a great way to get comfortable with someone quickly. Another lifetime of torture later and I finally crested the hill. I was face to face with a small tea house which HAD A TOILET.
I dropped my pack and ran. You can all rest easy, i made it.
Now that I felt human again and no longer had a knife stabbing me, i could sit down and order a cup of tea, waiting for the rest of the group to catch up.
When I sat down I looked about me to check out the fellow trekkers and bam, came face to face with Viktor. For anyone who has just started reading, we left Viktor behind several days ago, he had an injured leg and was spending the day in Ghermu.
Missing a day’s hiking WITH an injury. He STILL beat us up the upper pisang.
As I was sipping my tea and looking out at the valley I understood why people raved about this hike. The entire mountain range spanning as far as your eye can see. A river snaking through, past small towns nestled in the valley below.
As we kept hiking the views just kept getting better and better. God how many times have I said that sentence. If I haven’t convinced you to do this goddamn hike by now, then you’re never doing it.
Let me give you a slightly better idea at what you’re looking at. The Annapurna is a massif in the Himalayas, that includes one peak over 8,000 metres, thirteen peaks over 7,000 metres, and sixteen more over 6,000 metres. You are consistently looking at some of the tallest mountains in the world. Yes I know, it’s not Everest, but it’s still unbelievably amazing.
As we walked my stomach was forgotten and i was positively giddy. My camera constantly clicking.
Finally we made it to Manang, several hours added on to the trek because of the sheer amount of photos I took.
Get excited for some photos of horses grazing on cliffsides with a backdrop of snowy mountains.

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