I recently came across a post about a couple who was hiking in Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit as part of their 330-day adventure around the world. Because it was written in French, I took the time to read it instead of skimming through (which is what I probably would have done if it was in English).

It is a rather long post, but what fond memories it brought back… the crisp mountain air which became cloaked in a constant mist as we got higher, the incredible hardiness of the local porters and womenfolk, the never-ending horizon of snow-capped peaks, the small bright orange blooms outside the teahouses, sipping hot tea and eating Tibetan bread with eggs at breakfast, experiencing hail for the first time, side-stepping massive blobs of yak dung every few minutes and passing down the warning to those behind, climbing in the dark to get to the top of Poon Hill before sunrise, gobbling a handful of SunMaid raisins out of a ziplock bag whenever we had a break, encouraging each other to push on when the going got tough…

8 December 1998: Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal – This photo was taken with an Olympus point-and-shoot, the first camera I ever owned. I had bought it with my own savings and I thought that it was the pretty camera ever with its champagne weatherproof body and sleek sliding cover. This was in 1998, just before digital photography caught on in Singapore.

Before I moved to Paris in 2010, I sent a big bundle of negatives to a local photo shop in Singapore to get them scanned so that I’ll have them with me wherever I go. The negatives from this trip had become discoloured with time. I ran the jpeg of this particular image through GIMP to adjust the colours. This was the best I could do and I think it is a pretty good reflection of that sunny day when we finally made it to the Annapurna Base Camp and were greeted by the blinding sight of those towering peaks!

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11 replies on “1998: Mountain dreaming in Annapurna, Nepal

  1. Lovely photo!! I have never been to Nepal and hope to visit it someday! Yes, it is a shame that negatives deteriorate over time. I will have to dig mine up someday and try and restore some of my old photos as well.

    1. Thank you! I didn’t realise how much some of my old negatives had deteriorated. Then again… I should have expected it since I lived in humid and hot Singapore! It’ll take time to go through the negatives, but I’m sure it would be fulfilling and fun to see what you’ll discover or are reminded of!

    1. Hi Leon,

      Thanks for your kind comment. I’ve made a note of your book and shall check it out next month when I’m in London (Waterstones). It’s been almost 15 years since I was in Nepal; trekking in Annapurna is one of those experiences that sticks with you, or at least, it does so with me : )

      1. Afternoon Angelina (here anyway),

        It does definitely stick with you. And I think the entire country has that affect on just about all who visit. It’s been a while for me as well, but thinking a trip back, now that DA is finally published, is in order. It’s funny, the book was in my head for such a long time, and then with the editors, and then me again, back and forth, the line between what is fiction and what actually happened to me confuses me. I have really have to sit down and think sometimes, ‘which parts were real?’ I’d love to get back and let the waves of nostalgia lap against my shores.

        Anyway, if you do pick it up, let me know it goes, you know…your thoughts, opinions etc. That is if you have time.

        Nice blog by the way. Keep it up!

        All the best and kind regards,

        Leon

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