If you planning a trek in Nepal there are many companies you are choose from. I am on an arranged tour to go from Nepal into India so the 4 days trekking was part of this.
We started our tour in Kathmandu the capital of Nepal which saw a huge amount of damage in the earthquake in 2015. To an extent there has been reconstruction however it is well known the influx of funds in for recovery efforts where not out to the full use to say the least.
We headed to Pokhara (1200m) to base ourselves before our trek which was on the Annapuruna circuit of the Himalayas which hosts 3 of the 10 highest mountains in the world.
We had good accommodation here in the Hotel Tulsa, temperamental hot water depending on when you shower but really clean comfortable rooms. I also managed to get some laundry done just in the shop in front of the hotel for 150 rupees/kg basically £1.
We left early for a 2hr bus ride to the foothills for the start of our trek, this say was to be the hardest as it involves steep ascents up into the mountains.
Mornings are quite cool so we started out in our fleeces and down jackets only to peel them off once we got going. We trekked for three hours in steep uphills before stopping for lunch in a tiny village where we ate the best momos (see other post for more details).
This then was to energise us for another three hours of steep incline, basically just steps for hours and hours to get us to Ghandruk a small village with clear views of some of the range.
By late afternoon and sundown it gets very cold especially in the altitude, this make it easy to get chills between the hot days and cold nights. I found it very hard to stay warm, especially as no hot showers, numerous cups of chai masala certainly helped, but we all headed to bed quite early as we the climb had tired us out somewhat. We all had sleeping bags as the accommodation for the trekking was quite basic. I woke up about 6.20am the next day and peaked outside to see up close the amazing ranges of Annapuruna.
I bumped into one of the other girls and we decided to put on our down jackets and head to the rooftop to watch sunrise. It was cold but the peacefulness was second to none I hadn't felt so peaceful in a long time, watching the cloud filter off the peaks was amazing. The peaks in the limelight were Annapuruna south (7,219m), Hiunchuli (6,441m) and fishtail (6,993m), by comparison Everest is 8,848m.
We left that morning for a down and up hike across the valley, this involved a steep downhill to the very bottom of the valley and then another 2 hours climb again! We were rewarded with a lovely homestay and after bringing along a stray dog from the lunchtime village and having a quite heated outdoor shower we were all pretty content. We spent the evening playing cards and guitar sing songs.
In strong spirits we were up early the next morning, although some were feeling tired after lots of barking from said stray dog who promptly ditched us! We were looking forward to this day trekking as it was a relatively flat hike along the upper part of the valley. The weather moved between hot and cold all morning but we stopped often for photos as the mountains were spectacular in all the different lights.
Our accommodation this night was with a local family. The accommodation was basic with 8 of us in one large room and then the rest of the group in twos in divided hut rooms, no hot water but we were all prepped for that. They welcomed us with some tea and coffee and then we had a delicious dal bhat. We all sat around the balcony and in front of the bonfire playing games into the night. The next morning we had a beautiful sunrise which helped with the bitter cold a lot of us felt! We had a delicious breakfast of this donut type thing, curried potatoes which I LOVE, and a boiled egg.
Our last day hiking was a day to basically hike off the mountain so a steady plateau through the valley and then a steep descent down after lunch.
We made it back to the road and our bus picked us up for our trip back to Pokhara.
It's worth saying I brought a daypack for the hikes, we had porters who brought our dry bags which has enough just for a few days, my main rucksack stayed in Kathmandu.
We all welcomed returning to Pokhara to our hotel and having a good clean and change of clothes, most of us had worn the same thing most days and were starting to feel it!
The four days was a great introduction to the Annapurunas, as I run a lot I am quite fit but I still found some of the ascents challenging. I am 100% ready to come back to do the Annapuruna full circuit or Everest base camp, I would be more prepped with my packing too. I didn't have a lot of my hiking clothes as I didn't have enough space in the backpack. Having a local guide was great to help choose where to eat and give knowledge about the mountains.