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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Default Nepal Trekking

Back to the real world...but what a great trip it was! Almost a year in planning, we are now home ( shovelling snow!) from a wonderful month in Nepal! Thanks to Oriana for her Langtang trip report, which helped us decide our routes and also thanks to russianfront for all the advice as it proved to be very helpful! And of course thanks to my great tripmates!

We flew via China Eastern to Kathmandu over a long day, arriving at night. The morning was awaking to an incredible scene. I have never been to a third world city...Wow!
We had the day exploring Kathmandu and Durbar Square as well as finalizing details with Asian Heritage, an awesome company we used for trip arrangements. We met our guide Shiva, recommended by friends from previous trips and definitely meeting and exceeding all expectations. Nilam and staff at Asian Heritage took care of all details of our trip which included an Annapurna Base Camp trek, a trip to Chitwan jungle, and finally a Langtang trek. Everything flowed smoothly despite various problems and our trip was greatly enhanced by using this great and affordable company!


The next day had us heading to Pokhara by private van on the busiest road I have ever seen! The Nepalese use their horns to let fellow drivers know their intentions ( such as passing on a blind corner!) but always with a politeness not seen in our country! As a rule, we found everyone in Nepal gentle, kind and very polite! The scenery on the drive was beautiful, as all of Nepal proved to be!


After a night in Pokhara, a lovely city to be explored later, we started our trek at Nayapul. After a few hours along a jeep road, we started actual trail which provided many, many ups and downs, often with rock stairs. We spent 4 days walking to Ulleri,Ghorepani, Tadapani and Chomrong, all beautiful villages situated on steep hillsides in rhododendron, bamboo and oak forests! Views of the Himalayas ( including Annapurna) provided even more fantastic views within the jungle landscape! We usually trekked for about 6 hours a day and then explored the towns after arriving at the teahouses. A wonderful way to hike...and this from a dedicated backpacker! We headed up Poon Hill for a sunrise view ( with about 500 other people but lots of room and a fun party-like atmosphere!)and treated ourselves to a massage in Chomrong! Tadapani provided a cultural evening of song and dance to help fundraise for their hydroelectric project...and for fun!


After Chomrong, the trail follows up and back towards the Annapurna Base Camp (ABC), aka the Annapurna Sanctuary. The lodges beyond here are not in villages, but are run by people who originate in nearby communities. The trail remains excellent, with many rock stairs and has some of the infamous "Nepalese flat"...known as a little bit up, and a little bit down!
Our weather proved hot and sunny every morning with afternoon clouds which brought rain/snow depending on elevation on some days. All of us had some problems with headcolds or upset stomach but actually tolerated the elevation quite well as we took our time arriving at ABC.
3 nights up provided ever-increasing mountain views and finally the treeline at about 3500 meters! The trail was busy and at times, one of porters would run ahead to secure a room at the desired guesthouse! It was wonderful to be so well cared for by Shiva, Dasarath, Nagendra and Giru! ( Ask my husband...I miss it!)


We arrived at ABC in a snowstorm but awoke to another gorgeous sunrise! The sanctuary is a magical place and being surrounded by the majestic Himalayas felt surreal. Actually, I frequently felt like I was in a movie on this trip, as if it wasn't real! We spent a couple of hours exploring and then headed back down to Bamboo for the night. Life at 4130 meters was definitely colder but amazingly beautiful!



Arriving back in Chomrong after ascending 2450 steps from the Modi Khola ( valley river), we then changed course and headed to Jhinu Danda, settling into another great teahouse and then exploring the hearby hotsprings. Langur monkeys appeared near the trail to the hotsprings and a soak in the pools was much-appreciated. ( Did I mention the stairs??)



2 more days through Landruk and Tolka and we arrived at our last night on the trail in Dhampus, another village with awesome mountain views! We walked through the farming communities, enjoying children dancing and singing as festival was starting. What an amazing trek it has been!


A short drive to Pokhara allowed us a day and a half to explore this area before we headed for our "relaxing" holiday at Chitwan National Park. We shopped, hiked to the World Peace Pagoda, paddled on Phewa Lake and rented bicycles to explore more of the city!



Another fun drive along the Trishuli River brought us to Chitwan and 3 days of jungle-exploring, bird-watching, elephant bathing and riding, rhino-watching, crocodile hunting,river canoeing and generally a fun, well-organized rest! I was amazed to see this much truly flat land and really enjoyed these days!


Another crazy drive back to Kathmandu, an afternoon exploring the Monkey Temple and then a titillating drive to Dunche and the start of the Langtang trek. It really was fantastic to have all these travel details dealt with by Asian Heritage, thus allowing us to enjoy all the sights we could!



The Langtang trek was 8 days of walking and was wonderful! It provided more jungle to traverse but the terrain was drier on the opposite side of the valley, which we returned on to SyrabuBesi. We frequently saw monkeys while walking and the views were incredible! The area has a distinctly Tibetan background as we are very near the border to Tibet. The opportunity for scrambling and hiking is limitless from the final destination of Kyangjin. The weather was more stable, allowing us afternoons for more exploring as well. The trek was much less busy than ABC. We spent 3 days heading up to Kyangjin at 3800 meters, passing villages such as Thulo Shyaphru, Rimche, and Langtang. We also used the teahouses on this trek...and appreciated the rooms with cots, heated dining rooms, warm showers and decent food, just as we had on the Annapurna trek.




A snowsquall arrived in Kyangjin just as we did, but the Ri ( mountain) beckoned, so we headed off. The sun reappeared as we headed up the final ridge and the views...Wow! This subpeak is at about 4600 meters and apart fom a little shortness of breath, we managed well on this trek.



We had 2 days to explore and we climbed Tserko Ri at almost 5000 meters the first day! My highest elevation ever and really not too bad! The views were fantastic and although the entire trip was great, this was probably my highlite!!


We spent our final day exploring up the Langtang River valley ( would love to have more time here) as well as a lake basin nearby the village. What a wonderful area to explore with wonderful people living in the village!


We headed back down the valley and finished our trek 2 days later. Another wonderful trek I would heartily recommend!


We enjoyed another hair-raising drive back to Kathmandu, a day exploring the nearby Patan and it's temples, a fun evening at the Nepali Chulo with Nilam from Asian Heritage and then back to the airport. The long flight home has been much more difficult to get over ( I really think it is sun-withdrawal as well!) than the flight there!

All in all, a fantastic trip! And very manageable with help from travelmates and a good trekking company!!!
Amaste!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 09:34 PM
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Wow! So very interesting. Lovely pictures of a place that doesn't seem so far away because of you.
Happy trails,
Lynn
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 11:24 PM
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Looks like you had an amazing trip!!! What a great collection of pictures and memories
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 07:19 AM
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Wow, looks and sounds as though you had a great trip. Your photos captured a much more peaceful lifestyle than we have here. Thanks so much for sharing.


I bet you were surprised to bump into Mick, Dru and Darren while there,lol!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 07:30 AM
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Awesome - thanks for sharing!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 07:48 AM
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Super TR :-) Your words and pictures brought back many happy memories, thanks!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 09:11 AM
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Looks like there's a structure on the peak on the left:



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