This is a spectacular trek in the Annapurna region of Nepal, with panoramic views of the Machapuchare and the Annapurna ranges, and dramatic close-up views of the highest Himalayan peaks from our elevated camp sites.
We trek through fascinating villages and splendid forests of rhododendron, hemlock and fir on our journey to the high alpine ridges and meadows that lead towards the greater Himalayan peaks. We enjoy uninterrupted views of the Annapurnas, the Dhaulagiris and far up the Kali Gandaki towards Mustang and Tibet.
We will visit the villages of the numerous ethnic groups who inhabit the region and who form the core of the famous Gurkha army regiments. This trek provides a wonderful overview of all that Nepal has to offer - mountains, forests and diverse village life.
Our visit to the traditional village of Lespar will assist the local school to improve the lives of impoverished children. Ringwood Secondary College groups have supported the education of children in the poorer in Nepal villages for many years, and your visit will be highlighted with celebrations to mark the occasion.
After these fantastic experiences we return to Kathmandu, with time to explore the markets and significant sites.
These trips involve trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or sea kayaking for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace and should never be misinterpreted to mean they are easy trips. These trips do not spend time at altitudes above 4000m and are usually a week in duration. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health.
Suggested preparation: 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week for three months leading up to your trip. For trekking, hill walking with a daypack in variable weather conditions is also recommended.
Check-in at Melbourne airport at approximately 10:00 p.m. for your flight to Bangkok on Thai Airways International. Overnight on aircraft
TG462 DEP MELBOURNE 0030
TG462 ARR BANGKOK 0540
TG319 DEP BANGKOK 1030
TG319 ARR KATHMANDU 1245
On arrival you will be met by World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson Hotel. Remainder of the afternoon is 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 before heading out to dinner.
Sightseeing will be organised for this morning to visit the key cultural sites of Pasupatinath and Boudanath. During our visit you will also have time to explore Kathmandu. The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, novelty shops 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
You will transferred to the airport and take an early flight to Pokhara, Nepal's second largest city. Shortly after take-off from Kathmandu you will catch glimpses of the high mountain ranges of Ganesh, Manaslu and Annapurna, and enjoy the patchwork of villages and fields below. After 35 minutes you arrive at Pokhara and drive out of town for around an hour to start our trek. The trail ascends on an old stone staircase through fields and clumps of bamboo until we enter rhododendron forest and continue to the ridge top. As we reach the crest the scale of the imposing mountains will astound you, and we rest and gaze at the adjacent peaks of Machapuchare (6993m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Annapurna South (7219m) from our camp site
This is an interesting day as we trek through forest, and in and out of gullies, as the path takes us toward the mountains. The rhododendron forests are lush and offer a protective canopy for the smaller delicate flora, such as primula and daphne. It also provides a haven for birdlife and we can hear their varied calls as we move through. The trail soon opens into fields as we approach the village of Landrung for spectacular views of the Annapurna Range.
Our destination today is the attractive Gurung village of Gandrung, easily seen across the valley. But, we must descend to the valley floor to reach it! Slowly descending through rice terraces, we cross the steel bridge across the glacial river of the Modi Khola and commence our ascent. As we trek up the many staircases, we enjoy the beauty of the Himalaya at a relatively close range and observe the glaciers flowing from them to form the rivers below us. It really is a magnificent location and a photographer's delight. Our leisurely approach along these ridges with their fine mountain views ensures proper acclimatisation, and the un-hurried opportunity to fully savour this magnificent scenery. The sunset and sunrise views from tonight’s camp site are magnificent.
Our trail meanders uphill through fields and into the forest of rhododendron and magnolia. We pass by waterfalls that cascade down narrow gullies that provide the perfect home for many small ferns and delicate plants. Tadapani is a clearing in the forest and a rest place for porters. We make camp here and observe the local people as they travel by. From the camp site we gain spectacular mountain views, particularly of Annapurna South.
We follow the trail through rhododendron forest to the pass at Deorali. We have passed above the tree-line, and now have excellent views of the dramatic range of mountains known as the Dhaulagiri Himal. We have arrived at the busy Pokhara-Jomosom trail, which is the old Tibet-Nepal trade route and provides an interesting insight into the daily life of this area, and enter Gorepani and our camp.
From Gorepani, a 45 minute climb brings us to the summit of Poon Hill. The views here are tremendous, with huge snow-capped mountain ranges high above a foreground of terraced foothills. We descend from the ridge through forest to our camp just outside Ramche village. This is a very pleasant location for an overnight as we are nestled on the ridge-top between the Kali Gandaki and Ramche valleys, and sunset and sunrise views should be at their best. We are well away from the main trails, and you will enjoy the traditional village lifestyle
We descend this morning to the village of Nah and cross a stream and make our way over the next foothill by slowly climbing and traversing its ridges. These trails are a delight to travel, offering a variety of forests, villages and small settlements. The local people attend to their traditional tasks and welcome our visit with interest. There are excellent views today as we meander through the forests on little-known trails where terraced fields and grazing lands are interspersed with neat houses. We pass through the village of Sailijan, crest the forest-covered ridge, making a stop for lunch nearby, and continue on through rolling country to our camp near Lespar.
Near our camp is the village school. It is a poor village of unskilled farmers and labourers who struggle to make ends meet. As a result they do not have the resources to properly educate their children. The students are from grades 1 to 10, but very few can afford to stay until grade 10. We will meet the students and learn about their lives, their school, and hopes for the future. We will spend time with the children, teaching them language games and skills, and join them in traditional games, or increasingly popular games such as soccer and cricket. We will undertake to raise funds to assist the students, school and village, and work with them use these funds to improve the school environment. Possible projects include levelling the playing field, erecting a safety fence, painting classrooms.
We descend 600 metres to Naya Phul. After all that steady climbing and high mountain views it is quite a change to be dropping down to lower altitudes. The best way to tackle this is 'slowly, slowly' as our porters do, stopping for a rest, or to admire the view. We pass some Magar villages with their well-tended fields, and make our way to the Modi Khola (river).
After a short walk to the road we board our coach and drive to Pokhara, a pleasant lake-side town, where we can relax, and partake in classes in traditional Nepali cooking.
This morning we transfer to the airport for our short flight to Kathmandu. On arrival we transfer to the Radisson Hotel.
The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure
You can take an early walk to Durbar Square in the centre of old Kathmandu, as this will be your last opportunity to explore Kathmandu before the mid-morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Melbourne via Bangkok on Thai Airways.
15 APR 17 TG320 DEP KATHMANDU 1330
15 APR 17 TG320 ARR BANGKOK 1815
16 APR 17 TG465 DEP BANGKOK 0015
16 APR 17 TG465 ARR MELBOURNE 1205
Per Person, Twin Share