It’s time to head for the mountains for a 5 day trek in the spectacular Annapurna region, with incredible views of the Himalayas. The highlight of the trek is the famous sunrise viewpoint of Poon Hill at 3,210m where the mountain panorama bathed in the orange glow of the morning sun really has to be seen to be believed ! The view includes close-ups of two of the world’s highest peaks, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri both over 8,000 metres.
Along the way we’ll pass through ancient village communities, eating and sleeping in comfortable but basic trekking lodges (teahouses). Our ascent will be gradual and the stunning mountain panoramas will help take our minds off the exertion. There is no risk of altitude sickness as we sleep always below 3,000m.
On Monday we start with a drive of an hour or so to Nayapul, then commence the trek with a gentle 20 minutes to Birethanti, a prosperous village beside the Modi River at about 1,100 metres. Now we are into the flow, so head gently onwards to Tirkhedungha. Today’s trek is around 3-4hrs and we gain almost 500m in altitude.
Next morning we cross the Bhurung Khola suspension bridge before we tackle the infamous staircase to heaven, 3,300 steps straight up to the large Magar village of Ulleri. The legs will be jelly but we have done half of the day’s climbing already, and above the village the trail climbs gently through pastures and cultivated fields, through rhododendron and oak forests to Nangethanti. After lunch we head onwards through the forest, arriving in Ghorepani mid afternoon having trekked about 5-6 hrs. An early night is called for here at our highest overnight stop at 2,855m.
Poon Hill is directly uphill from Ghorepani, and the sunrise views here are so incredible that you’ll prise yourself out of your warm bed at 4am for an hour’s hike by torchlight to the 3,210m summit. Breathtaking……literally !! Back down to Ghorepani for breakfast then it is a fairly long but steady day of trekking through high pine and rhododendron forests, along ridge lines, up and over passes to finish in Tadapani, at 2,630m our base for the night. We’ll have earned a big dinner tonight after a long but highly satisfying day on the trail.
After a good night’s sleep, it’s pretty much all downhill as we descend 700 vertical metres over 4-5 hours on the trail to Ghandruk, perhaps the most interesting tribal Gurung village in Nepal, then on to Pothana. We’ll take it easy this afternoon, resting our aching legs and enjoying the incredible close-up views of Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre (The Fish Tail) and Hiunchuli.
Friday is the last leg of our Himalayan adventure – a trek of about 3-4hrs to the road-head, and a bus back to Pokhara. Congratulations….you did it !!
On Saturday we take an early bus from Pokhara for the journey back to the capital, arriving early afternoon. On arrival there is plenty of opportunity for shopping in the Thamel district.