You would be hard pressed to find a better introduction to experiencing Nepal than joining this expedition. From the atmospheric squares and temples of Kathmandu Valley we travel to the adventure capital of Nepal, Pokhara. Located on the banks of a huge lake and at the foot of the Annapurna range, which stretches like a giant wall the views in all directions, are incredible. It is here where we venture out into the Himalaya on a fully supported six day trek escaping Nepal's tourist trails to explore the forests which flank the lofty Annapurna peaks. The trek is designed to provide outstanding mountain views whilst getting away from the tea-house trails and into villages that have not felt the impact of tourism and have subsequently retained much of their traditional charm. We will follow trails through oak and rhododendron forest and camp in serene locations that showcase dramatic views of the Annapurna range. This provides the opportunity to learn about the culture, traditions, social structure and way of life in rural Nepal. After our trek, we return to Kathmandu for an opportunity for some sightseeing and to do some last minute shopping before our return flight home. This is an adventure to get excited over!
The trek can be undertaken by anyone with a reasonable level of health and fitness. For the community project part of your trip you will not require a certain level of strength or physical ability, just an enthusiastic and positive attitude. A project manager will direct and distribute the workloads amongst participants on a daily basis. There is no pressure to exert yourself physically beyond your limits during the project but you should be prepared to give 4 -6 hours of physical labour each day. A certain level of fitness will be required where there is trekking involved.
This trip involves trekking for up to six or seven hours a day at a steady pace. 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, to enjoy the outdoors and be in good health. * Suggested preparation: 1 hour 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. The itinerary will take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and may involve long travel days on various types of transport. Sightseeing may be conducted on foot and all participants should be capable of carrying their own luggage from vehicle to hotel rooms.
Upon arriving in Kathmandu you will be met by your group leader and transferred to the comfortable and well located Gangjong Hotel. We will have a pre-trip briefing in the early afternoon where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag, liner, closed cell sleeping mat and down jacket and also gives you an opportunity to get acquainted with your guides.
The hotel is the perfect home away from home and the staff are very familiar with our school groups and subsequently you will be greeted like old friends! In the evening and in the company of your guide you will go go to a restaurant for dinner. Tomorrow we begin our exciting and fascinating trek so we suggest an early night!
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. Our private eco campsite affords dramatic views of Annapurna South.
Today we continue our ascent, slowly yet surely, through even more small villages, greeting the locals as we pass, all the while with the stunning Annapurna range as our backdrop. Reaching Chumrung in the early afternoon, the rest of the day is at leisure to relax in the campsite and explore this tiny village.
After breakfast our trek starts for Tadopani (2650m). The trek up through small terraced fields past farmhouses and into dense jungle. This is a particularly good day for bird-watchers and those interested in wild flowers such as rhododendron, magnolias and orchids. On arrival into our camp we will enjoy magnificent views of snow-capped mountains.
Walk approximately 5 hours.
Todays trek to the facinating Gurung village of Ghandruk should be taken slowly and steadily as there are some big energy sapping up hills to tackle - welcome to the Himalayas! It is a beautiful walk and one which gets better as the day progresses. After lunch we walk through neat Gurung villages and along well-worn trails busy with local people going about their lives. Life is simple and has not changed much over the centuries. As you gain height the views keep improving till once you reach camp you see the beautiful peaks of Annapurna South and Machapuchare.
Walk approximately 6-7 hours.
After absorbing even more spectacular views of Annapurna South we head down the Modi Khola valley along a secluded village trail that is rarely followed by other trekking groups. After lunch at the scenic village of Dansing we complete a short, steep descent to the village of Birethanti along the Modi Khola. We cross a substantial bridge before making our way to the bustling bazaar of Nayapul. Here we are picked up and transferred back to Pokhara by private vehicle to our permanent campsite.
Walk approximately 3-4 hours then drive 2 hours
We transfer to Pokhara Airport for our early flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu you are transferred to your Hotel where we will do our best to ensure that the rooms will be ready for an early check in. Our half day sightseeing tour begins with a visit to Boudhanath, boasting the world's largest Tibetan stupa, and surrounded by approximately 700 mani wheels, it is heavily patroned by faithful worshippers circling its base. Nearby and standing on the banks of the Bagmati River is the site of Pashupatinath where Nepal's largest Hindu temple is found and where on occasion cremations occur along the ghats (side of the river). We return to the hotel by approximately 2-3pm, where the rest of day is at leisure. There are a million things to see in Kathmandu and we recommend you wander the town and explore the valley on foot or by taxi. Bhaktapur and Patan are highly recommended. This evening a celebratory farewell dinner will take place where you can celebrate the previous week of hard work, achievements and lessons learned.
Accommodation: Gangjong Hotel
After a final farewell to our guides we will be transferred to the airport for your flight home. All services finish on arrival at Kathmandu airport
Per Person, Twin Share