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 (820m). In good weather we are greeted with sights of the entire Annapurna Range. From here we drive for an hour to a pass between two river valleys to the village of Phedi, where we commence our trek. There is no need to rush as this is a short day with plenty of time to reach our overnight stop. The trail ascends for the first hour, following a ridge through fields of bamboo clusters to magnificent rhododendron forest. Villagers greet us with “Namaste”, the traditional Nepalese greeting, as we pass their homes and continue to the ridge top where at the crest the scale of the mountains astounds us. Machapuchare (6993m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Annapurna South (7219m) can be seen from our immediate viewpoint. Overnight eco lodge.
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 for the night in our private eco campsite.
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 leisurely 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 our private eco campsite.
Our trail meanders uphill through fields and into forest of rhododendron, magnolia and lichen covered fig. We pass by waterfalls that cascade down narrow gullies that provide the perfect home for many small ferns and delicate plants such as exotic orchids bursting with colour. We reach Tadapani which is a small village home to our eco lodge, where we will spend the night.
The walk this morning offers excellent views of the Dhaulagiri range as the trail zigzags until we reach our lunch stop at Ghorepani. This is a sizeable town on the main tourist trail. You may wish to wander through the bazaar for a short period following lunch, as there are many Tibetan wares on display and also a bakery or two. Ghorepani is the last stop before we head into the more uninhabited regions of our trek.
Most trekkers to Ghorepani make the pre dawn 45 minute climb to the summit of Poon Hill (3200m). We will make the climb in the afternoon, when there are no crowds. From Poon Hill we leave the main trail and traverse on old yak herder trails to Upper Phulbari. The location affords even more spectacular views than from Poon Hill, which we enjoy from the comfort of our eco lodge and with the luxury of no pre-dawn start. The photography is superb from here and you may wish to get up early to catch the sunrise over the Himalaya.
Our start this morning is an uphill walk for an hour. We get excellent views of the mountains from Mohare Danda (3313m) which is higher than Poon Hill and the highest point throughout our trek. We eat lunch at Jaljala and continue for 2 hours downhill walk till we reach our private eco campsite at Swarga. Our campsite is above Les Par and surrounded by trees. This is a lovely section of our journey, with quiet trails and tiny villages set above the main trails far below.
Our walk today is through jungle with gradual uphill sections. We mostly come across Himalayan brown oak, alder and rhododendron. The trail is unpaved and it is a villagers trail. We stop for lunch at Tharo Khola near a stream. After lunch a 20 minute uphill walk through trees and through a ridge rewards us with excellent views of the mountains. The danda we walk today is called Bhamarkot danda. We then descend towards Ghibrang. Trekking along the ridge of Bharmakot Dhanda we gain excellent views of Annapurna South, Machapuchare, Hiunchuli and the Manaslu ranges. Ghibrang is a delightful village, largely untouched by western influence, and our private eco campsite offers yet more stunning views in a peaceful terraced setting amidst this pretty village.
Have your trekking poles at the ready today as our descent is approx. 1000 metres. We pass through interesting villages situated on steep rocky hills and terraces. The villages we pass are mixed communities of predominantly Gurung, Brahmin & Chettri. The final descent into Nayapul is 20 minutes on stone stairs. Here we will have a quick lunch break and then board the bus for Pokhara and our private eco camp. Once settled in we highly recommend you take a stroll down to the lake at Pokhara, there are many stores selling Tibetan wares which are less expensive than Kathmandu. The main street running along the lake is vibrant and an interesting place to sit and watch the world go by.
This morning we transfer to the airport for our spectacular flight to Kathmandu. The mountain flight follows the Himalaya range to Kathmandu where we transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free for last minute shopping and sightseeing.
After breakfast arrangements cease unless further arrangements have been made. Those people travelling by aircraft to further destinations will be transferred to the airport.