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Day 53: to Annapurna Base Camp

Michael Palin - HimalayaWith some effort I pull myself up and take sips of hot water from the thermos Nawang insisted I keep beside me. It's four o'clock in the morning and as sure as I was three hours ago that I wouldn't make it, I know now that there can be no question of turning back.

This morning, I feel I'm emerging from hibernation. Last night was winter and this is spring.

I leave the camp, with Nawang and Wongchu, climbing due west. The snowfields of the Annapurna Himal lie dead ahead, shining and brilliant in the rising sun. It's an adventurous morning's filming too, off the main track and clambering very slowly through the thick grass, with the camera catching our silhouettes against the hard glare of the mountains.

Nawang stays beside me all the way, making sure I take regular slugs of water. Wongchu, who, reassuringly, seems to think I no longer need his personal supervision, walks ahead, looking like Geronimo and pausing occasionally to chat to some descending female trekker, preferably Swiss or Austrian. These encounters really seem to cheer him up, as well as making up for my dawdling.
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  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 53: to Annapurna Base Camp
  • Country/sea: Nepal
  • Place: Macchapucchre Base Camp
  • Book page no: 122

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  • Pole to Pole