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Last updated: 02/19/2009
Travel from the religious temples of Kathmandu to the jungle of Chitwan National Park. Breathe in the fresh mountain air of Pokhara on a 6 day trek through green valleys and mountain villages.
Arrival in Kathmandu
On arrival at Kathmandu Airport you'll be greeted by your driver and whisked away to the buzzing area of Thamel. When you've freshened up and recovered from the inevitable jetlag, take a stroll around the area to soak up the typical Nepalese atmosphere and find a good spot to eat. Definitely check out one of the many rooftop restaurants Thamel has to offer. Your hotel, located just outside the centre of Kathmandu is full of character and has a beautiful serene courtyard garden.
You'll have plenty of time to explore Kathmandu today. We can definitely recommend a visit to Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath and Swayambunath. It's easiest to take a taxi and travel between the different locations, or negotiate a fixed price with the taxi driver for a tour to all the sights. If you like, we can arrange a guided tour for you including transportation and English-speaking guide - just ask one of our travel specialists.
Kathmandu - Chitwan National Park
After breakfast you'll set off on the 5 hour private car drive to Chitwan National Park. After a short briefing, there's time to freshen up in your bungalow and grab some lunch. In the afternoon, you'll have your first elephant safari. Perched high on the back of these gentle giants you'll be safely out of reach of all that lurks in the high grass. If you're lucky you'll spot your first rhino, although there's a better chance of seeing them on foot on your walking safari tomorrow morning. If a rhino comes into view our elephant will sound the alarm with an almighty growl, just to subtly show the rhino who's boss...
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan is at its most beautiful at dawn, when the early morning golden light sweeps across the plains. The river is even more magical. Working elephants stride through the water, rickety ferries glide downstream and rhinos graze in the grass. Today, you'll start off with a guided walk through the jungle, hiking along narrow paths through the forests and plains where the high grass seems almost impenetrable.
It's scary but exciting to know that the grass could be a hiding spot for rhinos, leopards and tigers, but don't worry - the experienced guides know what they're doing. If a rhino gets too close you might even be quickly directed to scramble up the nearest big tree! As sweet and harmless as those rhinos may seem, don't underestimate them. They have very poor eyesight, and they tend to storm into any unfamiliar noise or smell - so follow your guide's instructions very closely. Later on there will be a crocodile walk and canoe trip or another elephant safari. Please note that the exact order of these itineraries may change according to weather.
Chitwan - Pokhara
Depending on what you did yesterday, this morning there will be another jungle walk or crocodile walk. Then, you'll drive on to Pokhara, a friendly little town on a lake where you will be able to prepare for your trek. You'll stay in a comfortable hotel with views of the mountains and the lake. In the afternoon there's time to stroll through the narrow streets or visit the colourful market where women in vibrant clothes try to sell you their chickens and spices.
Pokhara to Marpha via Jomsom
Today, you'll start your Nepal trek. Our guide will pick you up at our hotel. You only need to bring necessary equipment such as warm clothing, hiking boots, a camera and, of course, plenty of stamina. You can leave the rest of your luggage safely at the hotel. First you'll fly to Jomsom, the starting point of our trekking with a treat. In Jomsom, you will prepare for the trek together with the guide and local porters.
The trek begins down a broad path through banana trees. Women carrying children will wave to you along the way. The scenery is rugged and rocky and after about three hours you will arrive in the white chalkstone village of Marpha. Whoever thought apple pie was something very British is sorely mistaken. The area is full of apple trees and a couple of years ago the lodge owner got the bright idea of serving warm apple pie as the perfect treat after a long day's hike. You can sample a delicious slice at one of the local bakers. Your accommodation is a simple lodge in Nepali style.
Marpha to Ghasa
It's an early start this morning so you'll be out of the valley by midday in order to avoid the strong gusts of wind that tend to pick up at the end of the morning. The rocky valley of Marpha gradually becomes a sea of corn fields and apple orchards. You'll be walking for about 5 hours today so there's plenty of time to take pictures on the way or stop off for a hot cuppa in one of the traditional tea houses. Towards the end of the afternoon you'll arrive in Ghasa, a small village where colourful prayer flags fly in the wind. In the lodge where you will be staying for the night you can rest your weary feet on the terrace or the cosy dining room. As the sun sets, you can catch a final glimpse of the snowy Annapurna giants.
Ghasa to Tatopani
In the morning, you'll descend into the deepest canyon in the world (according to the Nepali people). Donkey caravans with cowbells lead the way down the narrow paths. On the way, you will pass the Rupse Chahara waterfalls and see the icy water crashing down the mountain. This is where you'll stop off for lunch in a teahouse where you can choose from a number of Nepali specialities such as lentil curry. After lunch it's a relaxing hike to your lodge in Tatopani, which means 'hot water'. We can recommend taking a dip in one of the natural pools after a long day's trek...
Tatopani to Ghorepani
It's another early start today. First, you'll hike down to one of several checkpoints you'll come across on this trek. The guide hands over the paperwork and registers you. This registration will give you access to the next valley in this area, a challenging climb of 2000 steps which will lead you to 2800m. Somewhat out of breath you slowly ascend from the green rice fields to greater heights, cheered along by excited children. You can stop off in one of the teahouses for a hot cup of tea with momo's, a Tibetan filled roll. Then it's time to tie up your shoelaces and climb the steps to Ghorepani, where you'll stay for the night. There'll be a tasty slice of apple pie waiting for you at the finish of the trek.
Ghorepani - Tirkhedhunga Today, you'll be up before dawn. It will still be dark outside as you make your way, torch in hand, to the top of Poon Hill (3190m). Your muscles may be a little stiff from yesterday's trek but the amazing sunrise will quickly make you forget any ailments. When you reach the top, you can sit down and enjoy the sun slowly lighting up the sky, painting the peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri deep orange. It's enough to give you goose bumps...
When the sun is high in the sky you'll hike back to Ghorepani for a hearty breakfast. The rest of the day you'll follow the churning Burugdi Khola river through the rhododendron forests in the valley. After lunch the trek continues on to the 'village of the blue rooftops' Tirkhedunga. To get there you need to cross a wobbly hanging bridge. From your accommodation you look out across the green trees.
Tirkhedhunga - Pokhara
Today is the last day of the trek. After a leisurely breakfast you'll hike to New Bridge, your final destination, and a minibus will be waiting to take you back to Pokhara. You'll stay in the same hotel as you did at the beginning of the trek so you'll find your luggage waiting for you there. In this laid-back town, you can enjoy pizzas, burgers and fresh fruit juices again. On a clear day, you can see the mountain peaks in the distance, take a paddle on the lake or visit the golden Varahi temple.
Flight to Kathmandu
In the morning, there's time for a last leisurely breakfast on the lake. After breakfast, you'll be picked up from the hotel and transferred to the airport. Your flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu is by small aircraft, so you'll be guaranteed a window seat. You'll have an amazing view of the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna on the one side, and if you're lucky you'll catch a glimpse of Mount Everest on the other.
On arrival in Kathmandu you will be greeted by our local agent and transferred to your hotel. You'll be pretty familiar with the city by now so it won't be hard to find your way to that great little restaurant you discovered during the first days of your trip. In the afternoon you can visit another temple or pick up some souvenirs at the local markets.
Kathmandu - End of itinerary
After breakfast this morning, your itinerary ends. If you're heading back to the UK today, we can arrange your transfer to the airport for you - just ask one of our travel specialists.
- Inclusions -
- 12 nights accommodation including breakfast, excursions as described, domestic flight Pokhara - Kathmandu, private transport, English-speaking guide and porter, National Park permit
- Exclusions -
- Other meals, tips, international flight.
- Extras -
- This is not a group tour and can be tailor made to create your perfect trip. We can play around with your itinerary until we get it just right.
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Email the tour operator - Go Nepal
Important Notice : Avoiding Fraud
It's rare, but some helpful hints to watch out for with regards to fraud:
- It is important to NEVER wire funds or use/employ other fund transfer mechanisms such as western union: Always use a credit card to protect yourself against fraud. If owners pressure you into providing a deposit or refuse to accept credit cards, there is a high probability that this is a scam.
- If at all suspicious of fraud, ask to see their website, or any other literature they can provide or send to you. Ask them for contact details for guests who have previously stayed on their property insisting on telephone numbers. Be suspicious of emails that originate from free email services (yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc)
- Research the property thoroughly on the internet to see if there is any history or mention of scams associated with the property.