Welcome to the Jungle

By Jenna McCarthy

Today, we woke up earlier than usual by half an hour. At 6:00 AM, we are all awake to catch the sunrise at Annapurna Base Camp (ABC). After waking up, I walk outside and peer my head out from under the awning. 

The cloud we hiked up in has disappeared, and the lack of fog reveals the 360 degree views of Annapurna. Being at base camp is the first time where I have been in a valley that is completely surrounded by mountains. As the sun rises, the white mountains slowly begin to the glimmer in the sunlight until the entire facade of the mountain is sparkling. 

Something else that catches my eye is the moon. The outline of the moon is so crisp, looking just like the Dreamworks' moon, and even the top and bottom of the moon look like they would be sharp to the touch. 

After morning tea, we walk over to where the prayer flags are hanging and take photos in front of the mountains. Then, we head inside for breakfast. After breakfast, we head out to retrace our steps from the past two days of trekking. 

Before we leave base camp, we put on our microspikes for the snow, ice, and mud. When we put on our microspikes, we are right by some helicopters! The helicopters transport people to and from base camp for skiing/snowboarding! 

Andrew reminds us to "Be Here Now" and encourages us to take in the surrounding scenery one last time, explaining how it is possible that we may never return to this majestic place and that we should appreciate it for its beauty while we can. The people hiking near me stop talking, and we all quietly say goodbye to ABC in our own ways. 

Eventually, we stop for lunch. I have never been more excited to see fried rice come out on a plate in my entire life. It was delicious! We eat at the place where we had stayed the night before ABC. It starts to rain, but for the most part, holds off. 

Then, we walk back into the woods where we exchange the scenery of the white mountains for the green forest. The forest seems greener than last time, and something about a little bit of rain makes it appear more lush. The ferns, moss, and bamboo seem to glow from the raindrops. 

Finally, we exit the forest where we stayed the night before the night before. Here, we will stay again tonight, and most people enjoy warm showers before games and bed. 

I'll miss ABC but feeling so incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to go there. 

Jenna ("This was my favorite day of the trek") McCarthy '23 

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