Few things finally. Relatively few. My backpack and a bag for the porters.
I'm not going to leave stuff in Kathmandu: as Diogenes used to say "Omnia mea mecum sunt", and I'll bring it all to the Annapurna, then back.
In a normal trek I'd put everything in my backpack, it shouldn't be that heavy, but I'll be glad to get some help. That's also a way to support the local economy.
I'm reading Chris Bonington's book about the Annapurna South Face's ascent and it's rather thrilling to see the same toponym in my travel schedule!
Just like the British expedition I'm going to walk my way up and down in the Modi Khola wild valley to the Hinko caves, where a Bonington's mate believed he had spot a Yeti, in the glorious view of the Machhapuchhare, one of the most elegant mountain in the world.
In 1996 Anatoli Boukreev and Simone Moro couldn't reach the Annapurna's base camp on foot because of the huge ammount of snow. An helicopter brought them and their equipment directly to the Annapurna Sanctuary and they had to jump off as it couldn't land.
A few weeks later they walked down in the high soft snow untill the first village to recover, waiting for the weather to improve.
It was the end of December as well, the Christmas night when they attacked a new route. A large avalanche invested them on the fixed ropes at the end of a chimney. Simone Moro fell down the rope, was dragged away, and found himself in the place of their last camp, miracolously alive. Boukreev and Sobolev disapeared and no sign of them has never been found.
I'm going to see the monument that the sherpas have built in honour of Anatoli Boukreev and I'll pay my tribute.
I feel more relaxed now. I did my best to get in a decent shape, my equipment is good, I'm motivated. I think I'm blessed to have the chance to do this incredible travel and I want to enjoy it as much as possible.
Once in Nepal I'm NOT going to stay on touch with my family and this blog will be NOT updated. I'm not sure we'll have access to internet or even electricity, anyway I don't mean to.
12/25 Kathmandu-Pokhara (bus) Nayapul-Tirkhedhunga (trek)
Trek to Ulleri: view of Annapurna Sud (7219m) Patal Hiunchuli (6441m) Machhapuchhare (6993m).
12/27 Ghorepani-Poon Hill-Tadapani
Sunrise on Annapurna Himal, Dhaulagiri (8167m), Tukuche Peak (6920m) Nilgiri (6940m) and Machhapuchhare (6993m).
Trek in the Modi Khola wild valley to the 'Himalaya Hotel', Hinko caves and Deurali.
12/30 Deurali, -Machhapuchhare Base Camp-South Annapurna Base Camp
Trek to Machhapuchhare (3700 m) base camp - with view of the Glacier Dome (7139 m) - and to the Annapurna base camp (4130 m) with the big 'chorten' dedicated to Anatoli Boukreev.
12/31 South Annapurna Base Camp-Sinuwa
Bath in the Jhimuwa hot springs.