Trek to Annapurna Base Camp organized by Ker and Downey Nepal
Day 1: Arrive KTM, reception at airport and transfer to the centrally located 3 star Temple House where you will receive a briefing on your program and be provided with the duffel bags used on the trek. Please note weight should be kept below 15 kg per person. There will be a welcome dinner with your Kathmandu representative at a local restaurant. O/N Temple House Hotel
Day 2: After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a 35-minute flight to Pokhara, the rural capital of western Nepal. Transfer to the Ker & Downey Trek Agency head office. There will be a trek briefing by the group leader & we will be introduced to our porters. We will also be provided with walking sticks and souvenir sun hats and scarves. We will be able to store any items needed for your return to Pokhara at the Ker & Downey Store room. We値l enjoy lunch at the lakeside before setting off by mini bus to the trek start point, a journey of about 2 hours through the countryside. Our trek route will start from New Bridge (Naya Pul as it is locally named). It is an easy 1 ｽ hour trek to your first night痴 accommodation at the Sanctuary Lodge. The trail passes through the village of Birethanti, which straddles the ancient trading route from Tibet. The Sanctuary Lodge, featuring en-suite bathrooms, is situated on a promontory overlooking the Modi River and has dramatic views of the magnificent and unclimbed 6993 metre (23,000 foot) Machhapuchhare (Fishtail Mountain). Once at the Lodge, our guide will provide us with sleeping bags, sleeping bag liners, warm gloves and hats, gators (in case of snow), and ponchos. The ponchos are useful for covering the daypacks but are not 100% waterproof. Alternatively, you could consider lining your daypack with a plastic bag. Your own wind proof, rainproof jacket is an important piece of kit to pack from home. (See packing list)
Day 3: After breakfast at the Lodge, we set off for Jinu Danda. The first hour痴 hike follows the Modi River upstream to Syauli Bazaar where we値l find the opportunity for some retail therapy, Tibetan style. From Syauli Bazaar we trek a further couple of hours along the flats, still following the Modi River to Beehive Lodge. We値l stop for lunch here before continuing for about 2 hours, mostly through the forest, to the Lodges at Himal Qu (another 哲ew Bridge). Here, we cross the Kimrong Khola, which flows into the Modi Khola (Khola means river in Nepali). It is a short but steep climb from here to Jinu Danda, our stop for the night. After settling in our rooms at Jinu Danda, you may choose to trek with your porter to the 2 small hot spring pools, about 20 minutes from Jinu Danda.
Day 4. From Jinu Danda, we have a steep climb about 1000 metres to Chomrong. The climb should not take more than a couple of hours. At the top of the ridge, we arrive at Upper Chomrong, which has perhaps the best views of the Fishtail Mountain. We値l break for lunch in Chomrong before trekking down through the lower village of Chomrong. We then cross a suspension bridge at Chomro Khola before climbing, steeply at first, to Bhanuwa, represented by a few teashops. A little further along the trail, we arrive at Sinuwa, a perfect place to admire the views down the Modi Valley. Sinuwa is the start of the Annapurna Sanctuary Special Management Zone. Wood fires are forbidden and small lodges are grouped together in locations deemed to be the safest. The trail also changes in character from wide stone steps to a surprisingly narrow path enveloped by mixed Rhododendron forests.
From Sinuwa (2340 meters), we trek to the check post at Khuldighar (2540 meters). We then descend a steep trail to Bamboo, our Lodging for the night (2335 metres). The forest is mostly bamboo, from which the collection for lodges takes its name. Heat is available in the lodge dining rooms, which consists of kerosene stove under the table, and a tablecloth of blankets that extend to the floor. We can stick our legs underneath and find enough heat to dry our boots! It is worth noting though that the heaters generate Carbon Monoxide. If the consensus is not to open the windows or doors, we are better off relaxing in our sleeping bags than spending time in the dining room.
Day 5-9: From now on, we trek in the mornings only. If there has been snow, avalanches can be a risk when the sun hits the sides of the mountains. It is also important to take it slow in order to be able to acclimate to the higher altitudes. Be sure to bring a good book, or perhaps a book on tape to pass the time in the afternoon.
Day 5: From Bamboo, we climb steadily, crossing the Bamboo Khola and several small streams until reaching the lodges at Dovan (about 1 ｽ hours). The next stretch of forest is the sacred home of the deity Baraha Than. About a ｽ hour from Dovan, a shrine stands in his honor; it is traditional to leave flowers or strips of colored cloth here. Next to the shrine is a view of an impressive waterfall. A few minutes up is the first view of the thundering Modi Khola. The trail to Himalaya and our home for the night at 2920 meters is quite steep. It has been about 1 1/2 hours from Dovan.
Day 6: Today we trek just 2 hours to Deurali at 3170 meters. About 40 minutes past Himalaya is Hinku Cave. It is a pleasant place to rest weary limbs. Between Hinku Cave and Deurali is an area of boulders and low scrub (no trees). If conditions are perfect, our guide may choose to take us all the way to Machhapuchhare Base Camp (MBC), which at 3700 meters, is below Annapurna Base Camp (ABC).
Day 7: From Deurali, we set off for MBC. We may see marmots, which live in large underground colonies around here. It is about 3 hours to MBC from Deurali. At MBC, we are in the Sanctuary Itself. We cross a stream on a small wooden bridge to a junction for the various lodges.
Day 8: Today is just a short 1 ｽ hour trek to ABC at 4130 meters. The trek can seem relentless if one is tired or not acclimated. Having spent the night at MBC, the trek should be a pleasant uphill stroll, along the river, along quil meadows with many boulders to rest upon and gaze in wonder at the surrounding peaks. The Lodges at ABC stand on a level area that was the base camp for the 1970 Annapurna South Face Expedition. With a copy of Chris Bonnington痴 South Face, you can make out the exact route that was followed. With an opportunity to spend the night at ABC, we値l catch the sunrise over the peaks. The panorama is breath- taking.
Day 9-11: We値l make our way leisurely back to Chomrong with a break in the middle, most probably at Dovan. Our guide will decide the pace.
Day 12: From Chomrong, we descend for about 45 minutes to Himal Qu (New Bridge). From there we continue for a couple of hours to Beehive. It is another couple of hours to Syauli Bazaar. We値l have lunch in either Beehive or Syauli Bazaar. From Syauli Bazaar, it is only about an hour痴 trek to the Sanctuary Lodge for hot showers and clean sheets! We値l return our sleeping bags, liners, gators, fleece hats and gloves making packing that much easier the next day.
Day 13: From the Sanctuary Lodge, we trek though Birethanti and on to Naya Pul (New Bridge). At Naya Pul, our vehicle will take us back to Pokhara (2 hr drive). We値l arrive in time for lunch at the luxurious Shangri-La Village Resort, where we will overnight. The afternoon is free to explore the lakeside. There shopping is more laid back in Pokhara than Kathmandu. We値l have a chance to say goodbye to our guide over dinner at the hotel.
Day 14: This morning we fly back to KTM. The day is free to explore the KTM valley. The hotel can help arrange very reasonably priced taxis to visit parts of the city that are too far to explore on foot. Excellent guidebooks are available at the nearby Pilgrim bookshop. There will be a farewell dinner at Rum Doodles, a favorite local restaurant. We overnight at the Temple House Hotel
Day 15: Today we have an early morning transfer to the airport for the flight back to Heathrow, arriving the same day.
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