After sightseeing in Kathmandu we travel to Naya Pul where our trek commences.Leaving the main trekking trails and their traffic behind, we follow instead a route heading roughly west through several small rural communities. We ascend steadily for the next few days, up steep terraced hillsides, and through rhododendron and oak forest alive with flowers and birds. Along the way we camp at some spectacular sites perched on high ridges, with just the magnificent mountain scenery for company.
An early start sees us climbing Poon Hill above Ghorepani, aiming for arrival at sunrise to view a superb vista of the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri Himal.
For a short time we join the main trail from Ghorepani to Chitre, before branching off again. Our path undulates before emerging above the treeline as we make for our highest campsite at Kopra Ridge (3870m). The views here are just fantastic. Annapurna South (7237m) towers directly above us and is only 6 kilometres away. Beyond the dramatic Kali Kandaki valley – the deepest gorge in the world – the Dhaulagiri Himal (Dhaulagiri at 8167m) dominates the skyline to the west. And in the far east, Manaslu (8163m) can also be seen.
At Kopra Ridge we stay a couple of days to explore and enjoy the stunning mountain wilderness. A demanding day trip can be made to the holy lakes at Kaire, where an altitude of 5000 metres is briefly gained.
Our descent takes us along trails used only by local shepherds and pilgrims to reach habitation again at Tadapani and then Ghandruk. These are Gurung villages, whose menfolk have served in the British Gorkha regiments. Exceptional views of the Annapurna and Manaslu Himal are to be had here.
Finally we descend to Naya Pul, where a coach will take us to our hotel in Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest city. We can relax here as we wish, perhaps enjoying some water activities on tranquil Lake Phewa. A flight returns us to Kathmandu to complete our trip.