- Encounters with locals
- Hiking / Trekking
- Sustainable Tourism
The Annapurnas is a legendary mountain range. If you catch a bus from Pokhara to join one of the many different treks, you'll see an immense mountain range appear; a line of snowy peaks that dominate the horizon. On a clear day, as you face north, the huge Annapurnas mountains seem to touch the sky, towering over the valleys below.
The Annapurnas range comprises of several peaks. Annapurna l is the highest and was the first mountain of more than 8,000m to be conquered by man - in this case two Frenchmen, Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal (friends of Edmund Hillary!) who led an expedition in 1950, in what must have been dire conditions. The remaining peaks are Annapurna II, III, IV, Gangapurna and Annapurna South. Rest assured that you don't need to be an expert climber, as there are numerous treks where you can explore the range without having to reach the top. The best known treks are the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek and the Annapurna Circuit - highly recommended to hiking fans!
*After the devastating earthquakes that shook Nepal in April and May 2015the country is slowly getting back on its feet. This article was written before these catastrophic events occurred.
What a beautiful place this is! There are not enough superlatives to adequately describe just how tiny we felt amidst the giant landscape all around us during these eighteen days of hiking. It's not that the hikes are all that long, with sections taking from four and a half to seven hours to complete (It is possible to cut these lengths down, but you run the risk of developing altitude sickness if you do so, which would spoil your enjoyment of your time in these majestic mountains), but rather that the continuous effort involved means you'll regularly experience feelings of weariness.
However, this is all more than compensated for by the stunning scenery. You first pass through an area of what can almost be described as tropical forest, which means it's hot going during the early part of the trek. Then, after walking through an area that feels much like European broadleaved woodland, you arrive at the foot of the giant mountains themselves, where the terrain is like a desert of rocks, stones and permanent snow. And all around you … just wide open space. There's absolutely nothing to obstruct the views. If you do this circuit in autumn, the skies will be clear, the light bright and intense, and you'll have sunshine all the time.
As you've probably gathered by now, I really enjoyed the three weeks I spent in these mountains. Doing the Annapurna Circuit is a unique experience. One piece of advice: prepare yourself in advance for the return to civilisation. I didn't give it any thought beforehand, and it ended up coming as quite a shock!
*Following the powerful earthquakes that struck Nepal in Avril and May of 2015, the country is gradually being rebuilt. This article was written before the natural disaster occurred.
Without doubt one of the most popular trekking routes of the country, the Annapurna circuit is already reason enough to go to Nepal. Apart from preparation for the route and safety equipment, venturing into this region is not very complicated.
As the road is travelled by many tourists, hostels and eating places have opened up and there are many among the local population who earn their living from these activities. Take into account that the daily rate and the cost of food increases with altitude and distance, the difficulty of receiving supplies forces...
If you would like to go accompanied by guides and porters, go through a local agent. A trekking permit is required, those who opt to go independently can get a permit at the immigration office.
*After the powerful earthquakes which struck Nepal in April and May 2015, the country is being rebuilt little by little. This article was written before the disaster.