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Trekking in Nepal was always a dream . Nepal is a tiny country, which has 8 out of 14 8000M peaks in the world. However I was not considering trekking in Nepal. My original plane was to travel in India and spend some days in Uttarakhand / Himachal , but my cheap return ticket from LOT air has been cancelled and tickets to India were very costly. So I bought a ticket to Kathmandu instead.
Annapurna base camp trek is probably the only trek with all the glamour and aura of a classic Nepal trek but can be accomplished in 7 / 8 days. Another advantage of trekking in Nepal is you can trek light because there are tea houses on the way for food and night stay.
Day 1: Pokhara to Nayapul to Ghandruk (1940m/6,364ft)
Around 8 am in the morning my flight landed in Pokhra. My guide and porter came to pick me up at the airport in Pokhara then we take a short drive to Nayapul (1:30 hrs by taxi), Nayapul is a starting point of our trek. From here, I started walking through the beautiful local villages and terraced fields to Ghandruk village. On a clear day, we will be seen spectacular views of Annapurna South, Himchuli, Annapurna III, Machhapuchhre etc. In the afternoon I explored the village monastery, Gurung museum and then a very filling Nepali `Dal Bhat`.
DAY 2: Ghandruk to Chhomrong to Sinuwa (2,360m/7,742ft)
Today, I woke up early to watch sunrise over Machhapuchhre . After breakfast, you will start your trek from Ghandruk to Sinuwa (2360m). The trail from Ghandruk to Chhomrong Danda ascends gradually. From Chhomrong Danda, the trail descends to Komrong Khola before climbing again to Chhomrong. Chhomrong is a large settlement where we had our lunch and then from where I trekked down to the river before climbing up to Lower Sinuwa. From Lower Sinuwa its another 1.5 hour uphill to Upper Sinuwa where I stayed the night.
DAY 3: Sinuwa to Bamboo to Dovan to Himalaya to Deurali (3,230m/10,597ft)
Today, I started the day with a breakfast at our hotel, the trail lead me the beautiful lush forest and villages of Bambo, Dovan Himalayan and finally I reached Deurali. I can see the eye catching view of Fishtail. From here came very steeply down a rock bank which then levels out, running through thickets of bamboo at the bottom of the gorge, keeping always on the west side of the river. the walk for today, mostly in the jungle with a great backdrops view of mountain, waterfalls, and green valley. Trails of this section of trek pass through forests at all times. The rhododendron flowers bloom over forests in Spring. From Himalaya, I took a steep climb amid the dry forest. There is a river (Modi Khola) following the Deurali trail along with a waterfall made by the same river. I enjoyed the waterfall to Deurali and stayed overnight in a teahouse in Deurali.
DAY 4: Deurali to MBC to Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,549ft)
After breakfast, I started the exciting day to Annapurna base camp which may took around 7 hours. I passed through beautiful high alpine forests along with breathtakingly beautiful Himalayan sceneries, view of snowy peaks. The trail led me through several spots known for avalanches and challenging with rocky zone, crossing the challenging steps of our trek then we come to get Machhapuchhare base camp, from Machhapuchare base camp further walk will be 2 hours to reach Annapurna base camp through the beautiful alpine valley with striking surrounding views of Himalayas ranges.
DAY 5: Annapurna Base Camp to MBC to Deurali to Himalayan to Dovan to Bamboo to Upper Sinuwa (2,360m/7,742ft)
We wake up early in the morning to catch the beautiful sunrise view over the top of Annapurna and Macchhapuchare range and walk little further up to the viewpoint to see the sensational view of the glacier, Mountains. After enjoying the view we take our breakfast at Lodge I stayed till10AM to soak up more mountain views and managed to spot an avalanche at higher ridges of Annapurna south. Then its time to down, as per the original itinerary plan was to come down till Bamboo but we decided to continue till Upper Sinuwa.
DAY 6: Upper Sinuwa to Lower Sinuwa to Chhomrong to Jhinu to Landruk to Tolka (2,360m/7,742ft)
I started after breakfast from Upper Sinuwa. First I came down to Lower Sinuwa and then from there it`s steep up and down and then crossed Chhomrong where we had our lunch stop on the way to ABC. Here we also officially came out of Annapurna Sanctuary and permit was checked again. Next we started going steep downhill to reach to Jhinu. Jhinu is famous for hot spring but I decided to skip it for now. From Jhinu , I deviated from the standard ABC path instead took a detour which mostly used for Mardi Himal trek route. I walked to wards Landruk but the route was pretty difficult , there are signs of fresh landslides and a bridge to cross the river washed away. We tried to cross the river but it was too deep with heavy current. So I had to walk probably another extra 2 hrs and then there was a very long and steep climb to Landruk. I had my lunch at Landruk , probably best `Dal – Bhat` so far. After food and some rest I continued towards Tolka. Today on my way I could see Dhabalgiri another 8K giant. Had a very nice room an Tolka with private toilet. In the evening we did some camp fire and I celebrated our successful trip with some local wine (made from rice) .
DAY 7: Tolka to Pothana to Dhampus to Pokhara
This is the last day. I left Tolka after breakfast towards Pothana. Route is mostly downhill. I started to go through dirt road and then climb up gradually through rhododendron forest from Baise Kharka . Once on top I gradually descend down through dense forest. When I reach Pothana , I hiked another 30 mins to reach the Pothana view point , which gives amazing 180 degree view of snow capped mountains . From Tolka is another 1 hour walk to Dhampus where I had my lunch and then took the jeep to Pokhara to my hotel.