You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 4.30-5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. This evening we will head out for dinner, this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members.
Overnight: Radisson Hotel
Today you have a full day to explore Kathmandu’s bustling streets and significant landmarks. You may wish to start by exploring the city’s two most important World Heritage Listed spiritual sites: Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple and an important cremation site; and Boudhanath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and the most sacred Tibetan Buddhist shrine outside of Tibet. Alternatively you could wander through the markets and shops of the busy Thamel precinct or explore some more of the city’s significant sites such as Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) or the World Heritage Listed plazas of Patan, Bhaktapur or Durbar Square.
This morning we take a flight west to Pokhara, Nepal's second largest town (820 m). On arrival you are greeted with sights of the entire Annapurna Range. The drive to the roadhead at Khande takes around 1.5 - 2 hours. Our trail then winds uphill through terraced fields and mixed oak and rhododendron forest. There is no need to rush. This is a short day with plenty of time to reach camp. Australia Camp is located on a grassy ridge that affords inspiring views of the huge snowy face of Annapurna South and the sacred peak of Machapuchare. At dusk we can appreciate the lights of Pokhara over a thousand metres below our camp.
After a glorious mountain sunrise we follow the trail through rhododendron forest before continuing through a series of Gurung villages where lifestyles have not changed substantially over the centuries. After lunch we follow a well-marked trail to the prosperous village of Landruk where we camp overnight.
High on the opposite side of the river, you can explore the village of Ghandruk. From this point, the trial descends along terraced slopes & forest down to the river. After crossing the river at New Bridge, the trail ascends steeply 500m to join with the trail from Ghandruk. From here it is a short walk via a stone staircase to Chhomrong (2170m).Chomrong is a village which offers spectacular views of Annapurna South & Machapuchare..
Here, the trail descends via a stone staircase, eventually crossing the Chhomrong Khola. We climb high above the Modi Khola, traveling its west bank, and pass through forests of bamboo, rhododendron and oak. This portion of the day’s trek is followed by yet another ascent to Kuldighar before finally descending a long, steep, stone staircase to the village of Bamboo.
Today's destination is Deurali via the impressive limestone Hinku Caves. The path is undulating with well defined paths, including a significant amount of stone steps. We climb steeply on zig- zagging stone paths to eventually reach Deurali and our camp for the night.
After walking for 2 to 3 hours, we enter the Annapurna Sanctuary. Finally, we reach Machapuchare Base Camp, a grassy moraine platform within a huge amphitheater enclosed by a solid wall of snow-capped peaks which include Annapurna I, Annapurna III and the impressive fish tail spire of Machapuchare.
As you reach Annapurna South Base Camp, witness awesome picturesque landscapes, majestic panoramic view of snow-capped mountainous peaks and varied Himalayan cultural settings tucked beneath the southern slopes of the Annapurna South.
Today is set aside to relax and enjoy the surrounds. If you are feeling fit and acclimatised, you may wish to enjoy some sidewalks around the base camp.
The return journey is no less spectacular and generally a bit more downhill! The descent offers a different perspective of the mountain scenery we enjoyed on the ascent.
We descend a long, stone staircase through bamboo and rhododendrons forests through Kuldighar continuing through beautiful rhododendron forests and down to Sinuwa. From Sinuwa, the trail leads downhill to the Modi Khola, closing the day with a steep climb to Chhomrung.
From Chhomrong, the trek heads back to Ghandruk – descending gently through forests to Kummu. We camp overnight with views offering, yet another, picturesque, panoramic view of Annapurna South.
Trek downhill through villages and terraced fields to Syauli Bazaar, then onto Nayapul before being transported back to Pokhara for an overnight stay.
*It is important to us that this trek follows few of the commercial tea-house trails. Accordingly the route and campsites may be varied at the discretion of the group leader. Note that the walking hours include rest stops, are a guide only and can vary due to trail or weather conditions.
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our fight to Kathmandu, a spectacular mountain flight along the face of the Himalaya. On arrival we transfer to the hotel. Afternoon at leisure.
After breakfast arrangements cease unless further arrangements have been made. Those people travelling by aircraft to further destinations will be transferred to the airport.