06 Nov Family Trekking Holiday – Annapurna, Nepal
Nepal is a land locked country that shares it borders with China and India and is know for it’s exquisite natural beauty and the iconic Himalayas running across the north and western part of the country. Although Nepal is a relatively small country it has a diverse landscape with eight of the fourteen highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest and is home to some of the kindest people in the world, culture, art, history, architecture, adventure and wildlife.
On arrival in Nepal we were surprised that the roads in and around Kathmandu were so quiet and subsequently learnt that we had arrived in Nepal in the midst of the Dashain festival which is the longest and grandest Hindu festival in Nepal that lasts for 15 days. All types of organisations, businesses and shops were closed, people in the city had left to visit their families in the villages and as result there was very little traffic in Kathmandu, which was a pleasant surprise.
Despite only having 8 nights in Nepal we managed to spend some time in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur (the city of culture and one of the three royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley), Nagarkot (a small village in central Nepal), Pokhara (the gateway to the Annapurna Himalayas) and the Annapurna region where we did a fabulous 3 day trek through local villages and forested countryside.
We stayed in Kathmandu for our first night and the next day headed to the ancient city of Bhaktapur which lies along the ancient trade route between India and Tibet and is conveniently located enroute to Nargarkot, which was our next overnight stop. In Bhaktapur we visited the monuments, palaces and temples with elaborate carvings, gilded roofs and open courtyards and the many pagodas and religious shrines that are dotted around the city.
We had chosen to stay in Nargarkot as it lies at the rim of the Kathmandu Valley and provides the most stunning views at of the Himalayas including Mount Everest, especially at sunrise and sunset. We were not disappointed with either and after an early wake up call to watch the sunrise we headed off on the first of our hikes to Changunarayan. This is a nice easy hike passing through small villages and leads down from Nargarkot along a long ridge and down into the valley with views of Bhaktapur to the left and Sankhu village to the right.
After the hike we went straight to the airport for a short flight to Pokhara, the gateway to the Annapurna Himalayas. We spent a few nights at The Pavillions Himalayas The Farm, an eco-sensitive boutique hotel nestled in a lush forested valley with the Himalaya range as the back drop. Whilst Pavillions Himalayas the Farm was our base for trips to Gupteswar Caves, Devis Falls, Tashiling Tibetan Refugee Camp and Pokhara lake it was also the perfect spot for some relaxation time by the pool before we headed off on our three day Annapurna trek. It is also conveniently located only an hour from the village of Lumle, which was the start point for our trek.
Our trek took us along forested trails to the unspoilt villages of Majhgaon, Chandrakot, Tanchowk, Patlekhet, Pothana and Dhampus and for the most part we had wonderful sunny days with clear blue skies which allowed for fantastic visibility of the Himalaya range. Our overnight stays were in small, cosy and authentic Nepalese lodges (the Nepal Mountain Lodge, Majhgoan and Dhampus Lodge) and both provided spectacular views of Annapurna and the sacred and unclimbed Machapuchhare or Fishtail Mountain as it is also known.
We absolutely loved our time in Nepal and were graced with many fabulous sunrises and sunsets and highly recommend for anyone looking for a Himalayan adventure.
Helen travelled with her family to Nepal in October.