Day 20 Annapurna Base Camp to Sinawa

Day 6 Sanctuary route

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Day 20

Annapurna Base Camp














5 hours 20 minutes


17 kilometres

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After absorbing the unparalleled view, reluctantly head down to Machhupuchhare Base Camp. You may be rewarded with some signs of animal life. Pass the cairns (30 minutes) and reach Machhupuchhare Base Camp. (55 minutes). Below Machhupuchhare Base Camp is a flat meandering section of the river (1 hour 40 minutes), just prior to the deserted houses. The water worn boulders in the river at this point are quite attractive as the revealed strata are of contrasting colours.

Were it not for the danger from avalanche, this must have been a most inspiring place to live (1 hour 50 minutes). The overhanging cliff on the right is rather ominous. The wild wood on the left looks untouched, perhaps it is protected by a god.

Stone stairs (2 hours) lead up and back to Deurali (2 hours 15 minutes). Continue down to Hinko Cave (2 hours 30 minutes) and then to Himalaya (2 hours 55 minutes). On the way down it is likely that you will have more energy to spare to admire the amazing Tolkien-esque wood on the left bank.

Pass back through the land of the powerful god (3 hours 5 minutes). Maybe Friends of the Earth could adopt him as a patron saint. The path at this point runs with water and resembles a stream bed.

Cross a real stream [28°28.52'N 83°52.85'E] 2038 metres, then a ruined building and another stream (3 hours 20 minutes). Pass another ruined building ( 3 hours 25 minutes) and cross a small bridge over a stream with waterworn bedrock exposed in its bed. Cross another bridge (3 hours 30 minutes) by a waterfall and then enter Dovan ( 3 hours 35 minutes) [28°28.18'N 83°52.39'E] 2600 metres. Everything above Dovan has to be carried up by porter rather than on packhorse. Consequently Dovan and everything below it is less expensive than the lodges above. Continue down to Bamboo ( 4 hours 20 minutes) [28°27.40'N 83°51.56'E] 2190 metres.

Walk steeply uphill ( 4 hours 30 minutes) to the police check post ( 4 hours 45 minutes) Don't forget to stop and sign out. If you don't, when they balance the books, they will think you are still in the sanctuary playing cards with the yeti. But enough of the yeti, if he exists, you must say goodbye.

After a house (4 hours 40 minutes) the path takes an exciting route along some turf growing out of horizontal fissures in the ancient glacier ground inclined rock slabs. Don't slip! Leaving the slabs, continue uphill (4 hours 55 minutes) until you reach Sinawa ( 5 hours 20 minutes) at 2352 metres.

From Sinawa there are grand views south down the valley. One can see far into the distance, past the villages of Nayapol, Ghandruk, Chomrong. You can even see the steam rising from the hot springs at Jinnu. To the north, Annapurna South, Annapurna III, Gangharchulli 6,248m and of course, Machhupuchhare may be seen. The view is superior to that at Chomrong, and for this reason I would recommend staying overnight at Sinawa. Sinawa is just inside the special management zone which extends up the valley to Deurali. Consequently it is more expensive to stay here than in Chomrong. Just thought I should warn you.

When I stayed in the Kayi Lodge, the rooms were full, so I slept in the dining room. This room has a magnificent panoramic view from its windows. During the night I awoke and noticed a bright light in the distance shining at my feet. I realised I was looking down at the planet Venus. Being both a dining room by day and an observatory by night, the Kayi Lodge dining room cannot be recommended highly enough, be it for either dining, sleeping or astronomy.

Copyright Ian P Johnson October 1998