Most Inspirational Moment
Being surrounded by majestic mountain peaks at Annapurna Base Camp. Sunrise at Poon Hill.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Phurba Sherpa is a great leader. He organized everything efficiently. Our rooms and bags were always ready for us. We thought he had arranged the most suitable accommodation available for us. His team worked well together and appeared happy to work with him. The pace set was comfortable, no-one felt pressured. Phurba brought up the rear. He checked everyone was comfortable. I enjoyed his evening lectures on local culture etc. He explained his plan for the next day clearly – useful to know time to next break etc. He helped the group to gel. I would be pleased to have Phurba as leader on our next Nepal trek.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Do some practice walks before the trek. There are a lot of steps – I think poles help (altho’ most of our group didn’t use them). Minimise weight of your trek bag and ruck sack. Check your boots before you pack. We had a steripen, filter bottles, boiled water and chlorine tablets – tablets were the simplest / cheapest / lightest. Thermals and a head torch required if you want to go to the loo in the night. Take layers & a lightweight paddy jacket, thin gloves & hat for sunrises. It was hot during the day but cold as soon as sun went down. If you have time, arriving a day early is good. If you’re on the group flight there is not much time before trek – we left Kathmandu before breakfast. Exchange rate was similar in airport, hotels and Thamel money changers. It is more convenient to get your cash at the airport – keep the receipt. Bring £20 notes to exchange. Exchange enough for the 11 day trek & tips at least. We spent about NRs 25,000 pp on food / drink / showers on the trek days alone – food is cheap but you will need more than this if you want more beer, bottled drinks, desserts, choc snacks, wifi or charging. We spent about NRs 12,000 pp on tips. Food & drink more expensive in Pokhara / Kathmandu. All the teahouses had showers and loos with seats (often in the shower so the seat got wet) – take loo roll. At most of the stops you can buy loo roll / tissues / chocolate. The rest day in Pokhara was welcome – we took a boat across Phewa lake (NRs 1260 pp) and walked up to the Peace Temple (1 hour) - lovely views. It’s more convenient to have cash for this and shopping and the group meals in Kathmandu & Pokhara also. We spent about NRs 68,000 pp in total, but this included outings, shopping and extra dinners as we had an extra day in Kathmandu before & after trip. (Exchange rate c £1 = NRs 145). If you have spare time in Kathmandu I would recommend Durbar Square (NRs 1000 pp, interesting architecture & museum), Garden of Dreams (Nrs 200 pp, peaceful), Swayambhunath Temple (Nrs 200 pp, lovely views over Kathmandu), Boudhanath Stupa (Nrs 400 pp, lovely & interesting) or Thamel (shopping & restaurants). I would not recommend Pashupatinath Temple (NRs 1000 pp, dirty, crowded, hassle by peddlars). You can exchange surplus NRs at the airport before you go thro’ security – max NRs 13,000 pp with your original receipt.