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 and our first night's camp. Overnight in our private eco camp.
We drive a short distance passing a Tibetan Refuge Camp and then commence our trek. We immediately leave the main road and ascend steeply towards the ridge where we gain panoramic views of the Annapurna mountain range in the distance. The scale of the imposing mountains astounds us as we gaze at the adjacent peaks of Machapuchare (6993m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Annapurna South (7219m). Following a ridge through fields and clumps of bamboo we soon arrive at a pleasant location for our picnic lunch at Dampus. Villagers greet us with "Namaste", the traditional Nepalese greeting as we pass through Chetri and Brahmin settlements and onto the ridge top. After lunch we head towards our camp, a wilderness camp, which offers us opportunities for sunset photographs.
The views from our campsite are excellent, and morning generally offers the best opportunity to view the huge peaks. As we walk, the peaks of the Annapurnas will be visible through the scattered rhododendron forest, offering a sample of the trek to come. As we reach Deroli (2200m) we can get our first views of Dhaulagiri, the world's 6th highest peak. We take lunch at Forest Camp, and after our longer uphill morning session, this afternoon will be a more gradual ascent to our wilderness camp.
We start the day with a gradual ascent, enjoying the impressive views of the distant steep terraced paddy fields and villages that cling to the hillsides. This is followed by a climb through forest to our dramatic wilderness campsite, high on a grassy knoll, providing spectacular views of Annapurna and Machapuchare.
The mountain views this morning are among the best on earth. We have time to appreciate the enormity of these mountains, with their jagged profiles and huge tumbling glaciers. The views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and Machapuchare get better with each step we take upwards through the lush forest of rhododendron and birch. We enter a zone of dwarf rhododendron before breaking into the grass hills above the tree line to our ridge-top wilderness campsite.
We wake this morning to even more spectacular mountain views. As we are not moving camp today you have a choice to relax at camp and savour the views in the vicinity, or join a day hike to Mardi Himal Base Camp. The options are of course weather dependent, but which ever you choose you will be well rewarded with an exceptional day in the mountains. As you climb you get closer to the gigantic face of Machapuchare. If time allows, you may be able to traverse close to the glaciers, or view the giant sanctuary of Annapurna 1 or Annapurna 4.
After a relaxed breakfast we descend reluctantly, stopping often to soak in the mountain views. This is a leisurely day as we return through the forest en-route to tonight's wilderness camp.
We descend steeply towards the Mardi Khola today, trekking through dense forest of rhododendron, oak and birch until we reach the terraced fields of Landruk. Our destination today is easily seen across the valley, the attractive Gurung village of Ghandruk, We descend the valley floor through terraced fields and cross steel suspension bridge to commence our ascent. As we trek up the staircase, we enjoy the beauty of Himalaya at a relatively close range and observe the glaciers flowing from them to form the river below us. It really is a magnificent location and a photographer's delight. On our approach along these ridges we savor the magnificent scenery with fine mountain views. Ghandruk is the second largest Gurung settlement in Nepal and provides a further insight into the lifestyles of villages that have traditionally provided the backbone of the famous Gurkha regiments. The afternoon can be spent at leisure, or take a tour of the old village. Overnight in a nearby wilderness camp.
After soaking in the early morning views of Annapurna South, we head down the Modi Khola to Syauli Bazar where we stop for lunch by the river side. We pass through the village of Birethanthi and cross a steel suspension bridge before continuing a short distance to board our bus to Pokhara and our private eco camp. We will have the afternoon at leisure in Pokhara before our final dinner with our trekking crew.
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight to Kathmandu, a spectacular mountain flight along the face of the Himalaya. On arrival we transfer to the hotel.
Arrangements cease after breakfast unless further arrangements have been made. Those travelling by aircraft to further destinations will be transferred to the airport.