Into the Annapurna

Nepal,

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16 people
11 days
Code: GICL
Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
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Overview of Into the Annapurna

Leave Kathmandu and head for Pokhara before hitting the road for our Community Lodge trek. You’ll get to see loads of amazeballs stuff… views of the Annapurna range, rad wildlife, forests. You’ll probably never want to leave. But you have to, so head back to Pokhara and Kathmandu before home time.

Like to toot your own horn? Well, this is the trek for you. Help support local schools and projects by staying in lodges run by the community. Geckos actually helped build these lodges so we’re pretty proud of them too *pats own back*. Oh, and the views aren’t half bad.

Trip Summary for Into the Annapurna

Start Location: Kathmandu,   End Location: Kathmandu

Countries Visited: Nepal, 
Meals Included: Breakfast: 0   Lunches: 0   Dinners: 0
Highlights:

    • Embark on a community lodge trek into the Annapurna’s.
    • Keep an eyes out for Himalayan tahr and Danfe pheasant along your trek
    • Visit Ghandruk. The Gurung village well known for the number of inhabitants who served in the British Gurkha regiments.
    • Explore lakeside Pokhara, relax after your trek with an icy cold Everest beer

 

Day 1 - Kathmandu (1360m)
Today is an arrival day and no activities are planned, so you may arrive at any time. If you are arriving early in Kathmandu you may wish to wander down to Durbar Square, which is the spiritual heart of the city located only 10 minutes walk from our hotel. Please ask at the hotel reception for suggestions of things to see and do in Kathmandu.

A pre-departure meeting takes place this evening at the hotel. Please also check the noticeboard for details of this meeting and for any other messages from your tour guide. Please bring your passport and travel insurance documents to the meeting. Afterwards we have the opportunity to go out for an optional group dinner.

Day 2 - Pokhara (850m)
This morning we drive out over the rim of the Kathmandu Valley before descending to follow the Trisuli River Valley. On a clear morning, views of the Ganesh, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges can be seen as we head west to the town of Pokhara. After a driving journey of six hours, we arrive in the early afternoon and check into our hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free.

It is well certainly worthwhile hiring a boat for a row out on the lake (Phewa Tal), which is the second largest in Nepal.

Pokhara has an interesting old area as well as an elaborate Hindu temple and a Buddhist monastery. The lakeside area has good shopping opportunities and internet cafés. In the evening there is the option to dine out at one of the many lakeside restaurants (cost not included).

Day 3 - Naya Phul - Ulleri (2070m)
(Driving time: approx 1½ hours; trekking: approx 5 hours)

From Pokhara we drive for 1½ hours before commencing our trek at our drop-off point of Naya Phul. After taking lunch follow the Modi Khola cross the new bridge to the west bank and the village of Birethanti. We then ascend to reach the village of Tirkedunga and then cross a small suspension bridge across the Bhurungdi Khola River before ascending 500 metres up a stone staircase to our lodge in Ulleri.

Day 4 - Swanta (2200m)
(Trekking: approx 6 hours)

From Ulleri we head on an undulating trail towards Banthanti and Nangethanti. At Ghorepani we descend to Chhitre. Here we leave the main trekking trail and continue descending through terraced hillsides to Swanta Khola before ascending again to the village of Swanta, where we overnight in the newly constructed lodge. Here is where our unique trek takes on an interesting dimension as we are now travelling in an area that has only recently opened up for tourismand still sees very few travellers.

For the next four days we stay in lodges run by the local communities. We have contributed to the construction of these lodges, which is all part of a series of local projects. Being off the beaten track, the villages have previously not enjoyed the benefits of tourism. Now with the network of our Community Lodges, profits are going to benefit local projects and schools.

Day 5 - Upper Chistibung (3000m)
(Trekking: approx 5 hours)

As we leave to the village of Swanta, we enter a thick oak and rhododendron forest. We continue to walk through forest, ascending gradually and passing through several buffalo grazing pastures to reach a clearing and temporary herders’ settlement, known at Upper Chistibung, where we stay in the small community lodge.

Day 6 - Kopra Ridge (3660m)
(Trekking: approx 6 hours)
From Chistibung we continue along the side of a hill and ascend for most of the way with a few downhills en route. To reach the ridge at Kopra we have a steady climb that takes us above the tree line. This area is noted for wildlife and we should keep our eyes open for Himalayan tahr and Danfe pheasant. The best way to tackle the climb is to ascend steadily, take our time and rest as often as we wish.

At Kopra Ridge we are greeted by fantastic views. This extraordinary panorama includes Annapurna South, towering directly above and only six kilometres away, and Fang and Nilgiri prominent to the north, whilst across the depths of the Kali Gandakhi Valley, the Dhaulagiri Himal dominates the entire western skyline.

The Kopra Community Lodge is the highlight of our work in the region. Profits from this lodge have contributed to the secondary school at Nangi.

Day 7 - Bayeli Kharka (2900m)
(Walking time: approx 4 hours)

On our shortish trek today we remain high above the tree line, enjoying superb views of the Annapurna range. We take lunch by a small stream and, in the afternoon, continue to climb gradually though open countryside to reach a small pass, where our trail descends through rhododendron to an open clearing known as Bayeli Kharka and our lodge. From the lodge there are great views of Dhaulagiri Himal. Dhaulagiri I (8167m) towers high above the 6000-metre-deep Kali Gandaki Gorge.

Day 8 - Ghandruk (1950m)
(Walking time: approx 5 hours)

Today we continue to descend and walking is sure to be easier now that we have found our trekking legs! We re- enter the oak and rhododendron forest. This is a particularly pretty part of the walk and the forest is often alive with the sounds of birds and small tumbling waterfalls, especially if you happen to visit in spring. We then continue on a wide, well-defined, path of flag stones that contours its way through fields of wheat and millet to the largest village of the region, Ghandruk. This Gurung village is well known for the number of its menfolk who have served in the British Gurkha regiments. Our lodge is located above the main village in a quiet location where we continue to enjoy fine mountain views, in particular Annapurna South (7237m), Machhapuchhare (6993m) and Gangapurna (7455m).

Day 9 - Pokhara (850m)
(Walking time: approx 3½ hours; driving time: 1½ hours)

We leave the pretty village of Ghandruk and descend to the road head at Naya Phul, where we meet our bus for the short drive to Pokhara. The rest of our day is free for us to unwind from our trek. As we would have found out from our first visit here, the lakeside area has good shopping opportunities, internet cafés and many fine restaurants.

Day 10 - Kathmandu (1360m)
(Driving time: approx 6 hours)

In the morning we board our coach for the journey back to Kathmandu. On arrival there’s plenty of time to wander through the streets and go shopping or simply relax in a café, absorbing the ambience of the Nepalese capital. You might also like to indulge in some sightseeing. Durbar Square is the geographical and spiritual heart of Kathmandu, with its many temples and shrines. Located in the south of the city, the suburb of Patan is also worth a visit with its own Durbar Square full of historic structures and statues of past kings. Our final night in Kathmandu gives us a chance to go out on the town and enjoy a final dinner (optional) with our travelling companions and new-found friends.

Day 11 - Depart
Your trip ends today after breakfast. Check out the many excellent Urban Adventures on offer in Kathmandu.

Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities
Meals Included: Breakfast: 0 Lunches: 0 Dinners: 0
Highlights:

Embark on a community lodge trek into the Annapurna's.
Keep an eyes out for Himalayan tahr and Danfe pheasant along your trek
Visit Ghandruk. The Gurung village well known for the number of inhabitants who served in the British Gurkha regiments.
Explore lakeside Pokhara, relax after your trek with an icy cold Everest beer

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