Travellers arrive from all corners of the world during the day. There are no arranged activities on Day 1, so please arrive by 18:00 for a group and trek meeting followed by an optional dinner. Check the G Adventures noticeboard in the hotel to find out exactly where this important meeting will take place.
Kathmandu is an awesome mixture of legend and modern development with a rich artistic and cultural heritage. Narrow lanes lead to small squares and courtyards where ornate carved balconies overlook shrines and temples. Buzzing markets and bazaars are the centre of Nepali life where stalls and small hole-in-the-wall shops sell everything from bangles to Buddhas to beetroot. Kathmandu has been a travellers' centre for many years, reflected in the international flavour of the bright lights and 'Coca Cola culture' of the central Thamel district. On Day 2 we're up with the birds to climb to the Swayambhunath Temple. Situated on a hilltop, the instantly recognisable stupa with its Buddha eyes attracts a steady stream of pilgrims and the views out over the valley are superb. In the heart of the Tibetan community, Bodhnath Stupa is the largest in Nepal. The area is a maze of restaurants and workshops. There is free time during the afternoon after our walk through the heart of the old city to Durbar Square, home to the palace of the Kumari Devi, considered to be a living goddess.
Leaving the Kathmandu valley behind, we head for the enchanting Nepalese town of Pokhara (approx. 8 hours). Pokhara enjoys a delightful setting on a lake beneath the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna range, making it an excellent place to relax and contemplate what lies ahead. Depending on our arrival time, there may be time to hire a small boat for a quick paddle on the lake for sunset. There are also plenty of cafes where you can put your feet up and enjoy international cuisine. If you need to hire some extra trekking gear then there are numerous shops available offering everything could possibly need. Pokhara is part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mute trains can be seen camping outskirts of the town, bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalayas. This is the land of Magars and Gurunge, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned world-wide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship.
At 8091 metres, Annapurna 1 is one of the highest mountains in the world. Its surrounding sister mountains are equally imposing and create magnificent panoramas from any view point. This trek covers a wide variety of terrain, from lowland pastures and peaceful villages to powerful glaciers and stunning mountain views. In the rugged mountain scenery, we stay in mountain communities and meet friendly Nepali hill people as they go about their daily lives. The expedition is not only visually superb but also a chance to learn about local cultures. Along the way we see thundering waterfalls of melted snow, cross icy rivers and high mountain passes and reward ourselves with a soak in natural hot springs. While the trekking is challenging, averaging 4-6 hours' walking a day on steep terrain, our Annapurna Sanctuary expedition into the Himalayas allows you to experience 'the roof of the world' without major issues associated with high altitude. The highest point on the trek is Annapurna Base Camp at 4130m. Note - This is a trek that requires a very good level of fitness as there are plenty of ascents and descents (in fact there's hardly anything flat!) and the walking is strenuous. The weather can be harsh in December and January with snow and frosts. Our expedition is led by an experienced local guide who speaks English. We stop at teahouses where our basic mountain accommodation is twin or multishare, toilet and washing facilities are rudimentary and the food is simple but filling, usually vegetarian and cheap. Day 4. Drive to Nayapool & Trek to Tirkhedhunga. The drive from Pokhara to Nayapool (1035m) is around 2 hours by bus (around 46 kms). From there trekking to Tirkhedhunga (1535m) is 3-4 hours. Distance to Tirkhedhung is around 7 Kms Day 5. Trek to Ghorepani (2873m) Trekking time: 6-7 hours Distance: 12 Km Day 6. Early morning excursion to Poon Hill - Trek to Tadapani Excursion Poon Hill (3210m)- trekking time: around 90 minutes, distance: 1.5 kms. Trek to Tadapani (2500m) - trekking time: 4 - 5 hours, distance: 9 Kms Day 7. Trek to Chhomrong (2100m)Trekking time: 4 hours, Distance: 8 kms Day 8. Trek to Himalaya Hotel (2820m) Trekking time: 6-7 hours, Distance: 8-10 Kms Day 9. Trek to Annapurna Base Camp (4130m) Trekking time: 7-8 hours, Distance: 8-10 Kms Day 10 Trek to Bamboo (2300m), Trekking time: 6-7 hours Distance: 13-14 kms Day 11 Trek to Jhinu Danda (Hot Spring) (1700m) Trekking time: 5 hours, Distance: 8-9 kms Day 12 Trek to Pothana (1900m) Trekking time: 6-7 hours Distance: 9 Kms. Day 13. End trek at Phedi (930m) - trekking time - 2 hours, Distance- 5 kms Drive to Pokhara- 45 minutes to Pokhara - Distance Phedi to Hotel is around 19 Kms.... yes, we made it! now its time for a well-earned shower and an end-of-trek celebration to enjoy the good things in life - like cold beer and a steak, or vegetarian lasagne!
Today we return to Kathmandu where you will have free time perhaps some last minute shopping, or simply wander around the beautiful old Durbar Square or visit Bodhinath. In the evening we can have dinner together.
Free to depart at anytime today.