One of the most fantastic thing I’ve ever done. The Annapurna route is listed as one of the most magical trek in the world. Marvelous landscapes and a well preserved Tibetan culture in the villages make it an unbelievable experience. Not a day is similar to an other, you pass through green spaces, rocky surroundings, walk by colorful Tibetan villages with encens odors gliding through the air, you’ll cross purple, yellow and reddish flower fiels, you’ll even be walking on snow and feel like on the top of the world. All those reasons are enough to have a tremendous trek, but other surprises can come along the way. One of mine was the people met along that gave an higher degree of wonderfulness to this experience. I like to walk alone and naturally i’ve decided to do it on my own, at least i thought so, but it changed very quickly. On the first day i met Christina, on the second night, we met an other bunch of people, Paul, Selma, Adi, Chris and few more. The next day it was 12 of us walking through the Himalayan mountains. Each of us had is pace during the daily walk, and the first ones in the village would book room for all of us. It allowed to have beautiful moments together, sharing our experiences and feelings, which i’ve particularly appreciated. We stayed together till the end and all of us pass few days in Pokhara to recover and do some outdoor activities. It’s a cool rafting spot not far away for those who might enjoy it.
What else to say ?
I’ve started in Benisahar (Direct vans leave early morning from Kathmandu). I would recommend starting from there because it allows to do the big loop, which i believe is totally worth it. The loop last 12 to 16 days, depending the options you take after Muktinath.
You’ll pass by some amazing places like Upper Pisang, Manang, and Muktinath. Each of those villages is worth staying a day or two, with loads of different walks in the surrounding of those villages. The big highlight of the trek is Thorung La Pass (5380) which is the highest pass in the world. Trust me the panoramical point of view from there is breathtaking. You’ll finish this day sleeping in Muktinath. It is at 3800m amsl. Muktinath is a cute little village down the pass. It is very comfortable (you will be able to enjoy a hot shower!! Probably the first time since 10 days. An incredible feeling), and the ideal place to have a good rest after the day. Passing an extra day there would not be the most unpleasant as it has important religious sites to visit around. You’ll be also able to find a drive back to Pokhara from the village if you feel like it. if not, you can pursue the trek towards Johnson. It’s a one day detour, passing through a village called Kagbeni (Lower Mustang) that i would highly recommend. Kagbeni used to be an important trading village between Nepal and Tibet. The view on the Lower Mustang from the bottom of the village is amazing. This place as a beautiful soul.
After Johnson, don’t miss out a village called Marpha, famous for its Brandi & apples. Nice place very different that the other villages you would have see before. Loving it! Worth staying an extra day there.
I really loved all of this experience, and hope you’ll feel the same.