Trekking to Annapurna Sanctuary was our first trip to the Himalaya—and the journey was full of surprises! We were expecting mountains like those at home, the California Sierra Nevada, only bigger and taller and more of them. But in the Himalaya, the vegetation is tropical at the lower elevations, maybe up to 12,000 feet or so; the land is planted in millet and other crops; and the air is also humid, not dry.

Even more surprising than the landscape were the people in the villages all along the trail—kids walking to school, women going about household tasks or selling snacks to trekkers, men harvesting vegetation. We also saw water buffalo lounging in mud puddles on the trail or chewing grass near our campsite. Towering above it all: magnificent snow-capped peaks—mile after mile of them. A beautiful land and a wonderful trek!

–Photos and text by Ann Broadwell, four-time Wilderness Travel adventurer, Annapurna Sanctuary

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