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Food

  • Breakfast is included throughout the trip. On trek the breakfast will be a set menu usually consisting of porridge and toast. Any additional items that are not included in the set menu should be ordered and paid for separately. We do not include lunch and dinner on trek allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. Although most lodges have almost identical menus, they are reasonably extensive and offer a varied selection, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Although meat is available in the teahouses, we advise against eating it on trek. The meat has often been carried in the heat from lower altitudes for several days before reaching the lodges, and can cause stomach upsets or illness. Germs can also be spread by handling dirty money - we recommend using hand sanitiser.   If you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the suggested amount. *Drinking Water* Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day. We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water on trek as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Nepal’s trekking areas. All teahouses will provide cold water free of charge, if requested. Although this should not be drunk untreated, we recommend that you bring a reusable bottle with a wide opening (Nalgene or similar) with you and use a SteriPEN to treat it with. A SteriPEN is a handheld UV water purifier – small, lightweight and battery powered so easy to pack for a trek. In Nepal’s trekking regions most of the bottled water isn’t strictly ‘mineral water’ anyway but is UV treated, so it’s exactly the same technology. It’s quick to use, far more effective than purification tablets, and the water is ready immediately. It’s fine to use a SteriPEN on non-boiled water so long as it isn’t cloudy or full of sediment (which is uncommon in these regions). SteriPENs are widely stocked on Amazon, outdoor shops and other online retailers; look for the latest models but avoid USB charging ones. Better still, a SteriPEN will pay for itself over the course of the trek and you won’t leave behind a single plastic bottle – you will end up spending the same or even less than you would on bottled water, plus you can keep it for future trips. If you prefer not to invest in a SteriPEN, the teahouses also sell boiled water for approx. Rs150-300 per litre (the price increases the higher you trek) which should not require treating. This is also perfect for a bedtime refill as it can double up as a hot water bottle. 

Activities

  • Walking & Trekking
  • Point-to-Point
  • New Walking Holidays
  • 1

    Start Kathmandu.

    The tour starts at our hotel in Kathmandu. The group flights are scheduled to arrive in the afternoon and those travelling on them will be met and transferred to the hotel. Free arrival transfers are available for any flight, provided you have supplied Exodus with your flight details in advance and have requested a transfer. There are no planned activities today so if making your own travel arrangements you may arrive at any time - however bear in mind that tomorrow is a long drive so it's better not to arrive too late. Upon arrival to the hotel please look out for an Exodus noticeboard with details of where and when the welcome/trek briefing will be held this evening.  *Hotel Royal Singi *(or similar) 

  • 2

    Drive to Arughat Bazaar.

    After breakfast we have a long drive to Arughat Bazaar (8-10 hours). We drive out of the Kathmandu Valley and head west following the Trisuli River towards Pokhara. At Dading we turn off the main road and drive to Dading Besi, where we have lunch. After lunch the road condition deteriorates and it is a bumpy and dusty drive north to Arughat in the Buri Gandaki Valley. (Occasionally the road to Arughat is blocked so we may have to drive via Gorkha). *Teahouse *

  • 3

    Trek through forest and fields to Lapu Besi.

    The first three days of this trek are quite long in terms of hours walked due to the availability of decent lodges. It can be hot especially in spring season due to the very low altitude. Our route begins by following the Buri Gandaki Valley north. We pass several small villages and cultivated fields. There is a road being blasted out of the hillsides and we follow a jeep track to Soti Khola, where we have lunch. We then descend to the river and cross to the other side of the valley to avoid the road. The afternoon trail climbs up for a while and then undulates through farmland and finally drops to cross the river again and we end the day with an ascent to Lapu Besi. Although we do not gain much height today the walk can be hot and humid. Sleeping altitude: 880m *Teahouse *

  • 4

    Follow the Buri Gandaki River up to Dovan.

    Another quite long day as throughout the day the rocky trail undulates, sometimes by the river and sometimes high above the river, passing several small hamlets and farms. The valley narrows and there are some spectacular waterfalls. We start off on the new road track and then descend to the river at Nyauli (please note the trails in this section may change due to a road track being built). Passing through Khanibesi, as the trail continues to undulate, we get glimpses of the Shringi Himal ahead. We have a tea break at Machha Khola (fish river), which is a tributary running into the Buri Gandaki. Continuing up the valley, a short climb followed by a descent brings us to Khorla Besi for lunch. From here a rocky trail climbs up through the forest to Tatopani (which means 'hot water'). The water from the natural hot springs here is funnelled through a few taps in the centre of the village. Crossing the river by bridge the trail wiggles its way to Dovan, where there are a few lodges Sleeping altitude: 1000m *Teahouse *

  • 5

    Ascend through bamboo and rhododendron forest to Jagat and on to Philim (1,565m).

    We continue heading north and after an hour we pass through Shyauli from where there are more ups and downs (some quite steep sections), until we drop to the river at Yaruphant. The trail levels out for a while and then we cross a suspension bridge after which the trail undulates to lunch at Jagat, a well-kept paved village. From Jagat the trail continues up the valley to Sirdabas, offering great views of the Shringi Himal ahead. We then drop down to the river, cross a long suspension bridge and climb steeply up to Philim. Sleeping altitude: 1565m *Teahouse *

  • 6

    Trek through terraced hillsides to the Gurung village of Deng (1,870m).

    An easier day today and a wonderful walk. The trail starts today by undulating spectacularly with impressive waterfalls on either side of the valley. Passing the small settlements of Chisapani and Eklabatti we descend a little and cross the river by bridge. At the bridge the trail splits, the trail on the right-hand side of the valley leads to the remote Tsum Valley. We cross to the left and continue following the Buri Gandaki, climbing up at first as the trail rounds the valley, which becomes narrower. We cross the river twice more as we undulate up the valley through forest to Phewa, and further on to the small village of Deng. Sleeping altitude: 1870m *Teahouse *

  • 7

    Cross the river and ascend via a magnificent valley to Ghap (2,110m).

    Another shorter day today. From Deng we descend to the river and cross by bridge. After the river our route climbs, steeply in places, up onto a spectacular trail. We pass through some small settlements as we ascend the impressive valley. We will see mani stones (prayer stones) carved into wayside rocks, a sign that we are now in a Buddhist area. We pass through the small settlements of Rana and Bihi Phedi. The trail continues ascending (sometimes steeply) but at one point descends to cross the river. We will get to Ghap by lunchtime and in the afternoon there is an optional walk up the hill behind the lodge for spectacular views across to Prok and of the whole valley. Sleeping altitude: 2110m *Teahouse *

  • 8

    Continue to Lho (3,170m), offering fantastic views of Manaslu North.

    Today is quite a strenuous day with a lot of ascent. The valley now becomes wider and there is extensive farmland all around where we may see the occasional look-out platform, built to ward off bears. From Ghap we cross the river three times and have a long steady climb through the forest (look out for langur monkeys), to Namrung. A short descent followed by another climb brings us to Lihi, where we will have lunch. Another descent to the river and climb brings us to Sho, after which we climb further to Lho. We are now passing through Tibetan style villages and we start to see the magnificent mountain views all around. From Lho we get our first view of Manaslu, Naike and Larkya Peak. Sleeping altitude: 3170m *Teahouse*

  • 9

    Climb to Samagaon (3,530m).

    A short but magnificent walk as we continue up the valley and gain altitude. The trail climbs out of Lho to the monastery, which we can visit. We then follow the valley with great views of Manaslu ahead. The trail climbs for a couple of hours to Shyaula village, from where we are surrounded by amazing views. Manaslu is ahead and we can also see Himalchuli, Peak 29, Maike and Larkya Peaks. Soon we reach the fields and stone houses of Samagaon (3,530m), where we stay for the night. From the lodge there are magnificent views of Manaslu. We should arrive at Samagaon by lunchtime so there will be time to explore the village and visit the monastery in the afternoon. Sleeping altitude: 3530m *Teahouse *

  • 10

    Trek to Samdo (3,860m).

    The trail crosses grazing areas and gradually climbs the valley. We have fantastic views of the mountains especially Himalchuli behind us. We can also see Baudha and Ngaddi Peaks and as we reach our destination Samdo Peak rears up behind us. It’s an easy half day walk to Samdo, the last permanent settlement in the valley. This remote village is only a day's walk from the Tibetan border. In the afternoon, there will be time for an acclimatisation walk and time to explore the village. (Please note the lodges in Samdo are basic). Sleeping altitude: 3860m *Teahouse *

  • 11

    Ascend to Dharamsala (4,480m).

    Leaving the village we cross a stream (the last time we see the Buri Gandaki) and climb steadily to the deserted Larkya Bazaar. Years ago this village thrived off trade with Tibet. Behind we can see Samdo Peak and as we climb Manaslu comes into view to our left and we can see the whole spectacular climbing route to the summit. Climbing all the time with a few steep sections, we reach a very basic lodge at Dharamsala at 4,480m, which is the last place to stay before the pass. Look out for Blue Sheep which often come down to the small stream near the lodge. In the afternoon, the energetic can climb a hill behind the lodge for even better views of the surrounding mountains. (Please note there is only one very basic lodge at Dharamsala and most of the sleeping accommodation is in fixed tents with mattresses). Sleeping altitude: 4480m *Teahouse *

  • 12

    Cross the Larkya La (5,130m); descend to Bimthang (3,700m).

    An early start (usually in the dark). Today is a long day and if there is any snow it can take us a long time to cross the pass, especially the descent. The trail leaves Dharamsala and climbs steeply at first but then more gradually by the side of the moraine of the glacier with great views of Larkya Peak. The ascent is gradual most of the way and is fairly easy if there is no snow (if there is snow or ice it will take us much longer). As dawn nears Hindu Peak glows orange with the first rays of the sun. It’s a long and rocky ascent on the moraine with some short steeper sections all the way to the top of the Larkya Pass (5,130m). The first area of prayer flags at 5,130m is the official Larkya La from where the views are outstanding - a wonderful panorama of peaks including Larkya Peak, Cheo Himal and Hindu Peak and in the distance, we can see the tip of Annapurna 2. From the top there is a 10 minute almost level walk to the second summit (which is a little higher and is also marked with a few prayer flags). From here the long very steep descent starts. We need to take care as the path is steep and narrow. It is a sandy scree trail when there is no snow but if there is snow and ice we need to take care on the descent. There is a landslide which we must cross carefully. The steep part of the trail eventually eases off onto a path which takes us down to the glacial moraine. The views are superb as we descend, and we can just spot Pongkar Lake, a brilliant blue glacial lake amidst the three glaciers below us. We stop for a well-deserved rest at the bottom of the steep part of the descent surrounded by immense snow-capped peaks. The descent now becomes a bit easier, but no less spectacular, as we descend the valley to Bimthang, where we stay tonight at 3,700m. If it’s clear, we can just see the summit of Manaslu high above. Sleeping altitude: 3700m *Teahouse*

  • 13

    Daywalk to Pongkar Lake or spare day as required.

    A spare day to be used as and when required - if the weather is good and everything runs to schedule then we will spend the day exploring the area around Bimthang and resting after the pass. There is a daywalk to a beautiful glacial lake, Pongkar Lake, which we can do in the morning, then return to the lodge for lunch and have a free afternoon to rest.  If however there has been a delay earlier in the trek, the group needs more acclimatisation or rest before the pass, or if there is poor weather, your leader may decide to use the spare day earlier in the trek. This is at the leader's discretion. *Teahouse *

  • 14

    Spectacular walk to Tilje (2,240m).

    From Bimthang we cross high pasture land and have a magnificent walk down into the valley of the Burdin Khola. The walk from Bimthang is one of the most spectacular of the trek as a wall of mountains lies behind us and in front of us. We pass the terminal moraine of the Cheo Himal and cross a small wooden bridge. Ahead we have our last magnificent views of Manaslu. We now descend into rhododendron forest and follow a trail through a narrow valley to Karche and the Soti Khola. A short climb past terraced fields brings us to the Karche La from where we will be in sight of the Marsyangdi River below. Descending through forest we come to Tilje, where we spend the night. *Teahouse *

  • 15

    Join the main Annapurna Circuit trail at Dharapani; on to Jagat.

    A long day today but easier walking and spectacular views. From Tilje we have an easy descent, and cross two bridges to Dharapani, where we join the main Annapurna Circuit trail and the Marsyangdi River. We descend the valley to Tal for lunch. A short climb out of Tal brings us to a long descent to cross the Marsyangdi by bridge followed by a short climb to Chamje and then a last short walk along the new jeep track to Jagat and the end of our trek. Sleeping altitude: 1300m *Teahouse *

  • 16

    Jeep to Besisahar; transfer by bus to Kathmandu.

    A log day today as we return to Kathmandu. Leaving early use local jeeps for the drive to Besisahar. Although the distance is not great, the road is very rough and bumpy and will take about 2.5hrs. From Besisahar we continue by private bus to Kathmandu (approx. 7/8hrs). We will arrive at our hotel in the evening. *Hotel Royal Singi* (or similar)

  • 17

    Free day in Kathmandu.

    Today is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. We offer a full range of sightseeing tours, which can be booked and paid for locally. Please see the Optional Excursions section of the Trip Notes or the Exodus notice board in the hotel in Kathmandu. *Hotel Royal Singi *(or similar)

  • 18

    End Kathmandu.

    The trip ends after breakfast. The group flight is a daytime flight, scheduled to depart in the morning and arrive into London in the evening - a group departure transfer to Kathmandu airport is included for flight inclusive passengers. Free departure transfers are available for any flight, provided you have supplied Exodus with your flight details in advance and have requested a transfer.

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