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 5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. Evening drinks are held in the hotel for all World Expeditions clients arriving today. Drinks and snacks will generally be served from 6:30 pm until 7:15pm, and this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members before heading out to dinner.
Overnight: Radisson Hotel
This morning a sightseeing tour takes in the key attractions in and around Kathmandu. We will visit Pashupatinath and Boudhanath, returning to the hotel by 2pm. In the afternoon you may have time to explore Durbar Square, Patan, Swayambhunath or Bhaktapur, and the lesser-known towns that dot the valley on foot, by bicycle or trishaw. The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops contrast with fantastic centres of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world.
This morning we take a flight west to Pokhara, Nepal's second largest town and our first night's camp.
Overnight: Private Eco-camp
This morning we take a spectacular flight to Jomsom where we will meet our trekking crew. After a long journey from our respective homes we have a half day walk to stretch the legs that brings us to Kagbeni, an impressive village that is our gateway to Mustang. To pass beyond this point you need a special Mustang permit. We will meet our liaison officer and the crew will prepare for tomorrow's crossing into Mustang.
We enter Mustang by 4x4 Jeep and follow the road along east bank of the river over a series of small ridges and past Tangbe, where we encounter the distinctive black, red and white chortens that typify upper Mustang. At Chhusang our jeep ride ends, here we will take a detour to the beautiful village of Tetang before returning to Chhusang for lunch. Following lunch we begin our trek in earnest along the road until we near the village of Chele (1 hour), where we cross to the west bank of the Kali Ghandaki and begin our ascent to Samar along a beautiful trekking trail. Immediately, the strong influence of Tibetan culture of Lo is evident with the decoration of the houses. As we ascend our views of the surrounding area beyond the Ghandaki improve, we will pass the village of Ghyakar and trek on to the Dorjori La (3735m) our first pass crossing for the trip. From there we descend to our camp for the night in the village of Samar (3660m). These altitudes should not present any acclimatisation issues, so we just take our time and enjoy the walk.
The trail this morning involves crossing of a series of large spurs before we reach the Chungsi Cave on the Syanboche Khola. Here the Padmashambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, meditated on route back to India from Tibet. It's then upward along the Syanboche Khola to the Syanboche La (3850m). It is in this area that there are some iconic chortens and an excellent view of this barren but beautiful countryside. Following lunch we follow the road through some undulating terrain to our camp at Chhunggar (Kunga).
Avenues of poplar trees and fields of barley mark the way as we head to Nyi La. At 4020m this is the highest point of the trek thus far and offers fantastic views both south towards Annapurna and further into Mustang. The famous red cliffs a real feature of the landscape. We take a detour from the road to cross the Ghami La (3765m) before arriving in the village of Ghami in time for lunch. From Ghami we leave the road behind and trek on for a further 3 hours, making a gradual ascent to the village of Dhakmar Overnight: Camping
Today we make our final approach to Lo Manthang. Today's route takes us far from the motor road to Lo Manthang and allows us to get a sense of what life before modern transportation must have been like for the people of Upper Mustang. We start by following the trail along the top of one of Mustangs famous red cliffs to the Mui La (4100m), descending slightly to Lo Gekar for lunch. At Lo Gekar we will be visiting the Ghar Gompa (monastery) which is believed to pre-date the first monastery built in Tibet, that being Samaye Monastery built by the Padmashambhava. Following lunch it's a gradual ascent to cross the Chango La (4280m) before making a final descent to the ancient walled city of Lo Manthang.
Today is yours to explore this outstanding historical and cultural centre. There are 4 major Gompas to visit during our stay. The palace is the home of the Raja (King) and his Rani (queen). Although the Raja's function is now primarily ceremonial he is seen as a person who can help people resolve local issues. The town itself is fascinating, and offers countless opportunities to observe the vibrant Tibetan culture. An optional side trip is also available either on horse or jeep to the nearby Chosar Valley. Chosar is a remarkable location with towering red-cliffs with caves that were inhabited as far back as 2,500 years ago. The cost of this optional side trip is paid locally (USD$35 for horse or USD$150 for a jeep that can fit up to 7 people).
Today we depart Lo Manthang and head south-east. The morning walk will start with a steady climb up to Lo La (3950m). From here you will have a spectacular view back at Lo Manthang and the surrounding area. Shortly after we leave the road once more as we walk toward the Dhi La (3950m) before descending into a beautiful canyon where we will find the village of Dhi. From Dhi we will follow the Punyung Khola past many more beautiful cliffs to the village of Yara.
This morning we cross the Punyng Khola and start a gradual climb for an hour or so to a view point where we will have views back at Yara village. From here it is a gradual descent to the Dechyang Khola where we may be lucky enough to spy the beautiful peaks of Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri. After crossing Dhechyang Khola the trail continues towards Tangge. Your efforts trekking to the lunch spot (4015m) will be rewarded with a feast for the eyes as we savor the views of the Himalayas. After lunch we will descend to a plateau and on to Tanggye, our overnight stop.
This morning we cross the Tangge and Yak Kholas before ascending once more along a fantastic trail with gorgeous views on your back, be sure to stop ever once and a while to soak them in. Tonight we will make camp in an area used by local herdsmen to graze their livestock when conditions allow.
As is often the case, what gs up must inevitably come down. Today we make our final descent to Chhusang, gradual at first as we follow the ridge line towards the Kali Ghandaki, on route the views of the surrounding area are bound to be as good as any other section of our journey. After approximately 3 hours and with Chhusang in view below, we make a rapid descent back to where it all began. Following lunch we return to Kagbeni by 4x4 Jeep.
One final stretch to Jomsom to take in the view of this splendid part of the world.
This is a fantastic way to conclude our journey. The spectacular flight down the Kali Gandaki that defies description with the huge mountains of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges towering above us. At Pokhara we board another aircraft for yet another spectacular mountain flight, this time along the face of the Himalaya past the Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh and Langtang ranges. On arrival in Kathmandu we transfer to the hotel.
Overnight: Radisson Hotel
After breakfast trip concludes with a transfer to the airport.