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Annapurna Sanctuary Trek


After a day sightseeing and experiencing the atmosphere of Kathmandu we move west to Pokhara, we make the journey by flight and the views down the western Himalaya range can be spectacular. As well as bypassing the increasing difficulties and hazards to road travel in this part of Nepal the flight gives an option of trekking on the same day or of a relaxed arrival and overnight in Pokhara.

On arrival at Pokhara we transfer to our hotel at Lakeside where we spend our first night. The following morning we travel by road to Phidi. Our trek starts as we climb steeply up to Dhampus with good views of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare. This area is the home of the Garung people and they have over the years constructed long stone slab 'stairways' on their trails which have become a feature in this part of Nepal. Over the next few days these trails take us through terraced hillsides growing rice and millet, forests alive with birds and noisy insects, through villages with neat stone slab paved courtyards up and down some steep climbs, always with the distant mountains becoming closer, to finally reach Chomrong.

After leaving Chomrong we climb high above the Modi Khola passing through forests of bamboo, rhododendron and oak. Three days brings us to Machhapuchhare base camp and the view of the Sanctuary begins to unfold. We may spend two nights in the Sanctuary and local conditions will determine whether we camp here or at Annapurna base camp a further two hours up into the Sanctuary. On arrival in the Sanctuary the mountain scenery is just stunning, the towering walls and the glaciers tumbling down, Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Fang, Annapurna 1, the fantastic spire of Machhapuchhare, also prominent is Tharpa Chuli or Tent Peak as it is generally known. The Sanctuary offers one of the most impressive close-up mountain views in Nepal, well worth the effort of the trek into this magical place. We will have time to take photographs and explore a little, or just to sit and be at peace with the world. At 4200m the Sanctuary is a cold windy place to stay but our ascent should have been relaxed enough to allow good acclimatisation and this has to be an unforgettable panorama.

We retrace our steps as far as Chomrong and shortly afterwards take the trail to Tadopani once more through forests and terraced hillsides this section of the trail has many ups and downs with good views from the ridges. Two days bring us to Ghorapani on the main trail to Jomsom, before leaving here we will try an early morning visit to Poon Hill for sunrise continuing our journey to Bhirethanti and by road from Nayapul to Pokhara. We return the following day by flight to Kathmandu. You have time to explore Kathmandu and the valley, to visit Patan and Bhaktapur, and experience a culture so different to our own. A fitting end to your Nepalese adventure.

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