My yoga studio organized a 10-day trek to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) and Poon Hill in early October, with Binod Mahat and his amazing team from HikeNepal.com. After about a 90-minute bumpy van ride from Pokhara to Nayapul (the trail head), we began Day 1 of our trek to Ghandruk Village. The weather that day was really sunny, and we found ourselves slathering more sunblock whenever we had a pitstop. The terrain was rugged, quite barren at first, with the occasional waterfall, as we passed some small villages and up many stone steps. Over the next few days, we gained altitude towards Chomrong, Dovan, Deurali, Machapuchare Base Camp (MBC), and finally Annapurna Base Camp (ABC at 4130m) on Day 6.
Don’t come on this trek expecting 5-star (or any star, for that matter!) luxury accommodation. While the tea houses were generally clean and welcoming, tepid or cold showers in shared facilities were the norm. Some tea houses had twin-share rooms with en-suite bathrooms (here’s your chance to wash your hair and get a decent shower!), but most had a common toilet/bathroom shared by many other trekkers, and often times, I found myself brushing my teeth squatting by a ditch in the cold, with a water bottle in hand. Our itinerary was planned in a such a way, that there was a good balance between private twin-share accommodation, and roughing it in ‘dorm-style’ living.
Binod’s “what-to-pack” list and must-read info sheet was very helpful, especially for those hiking for the first time over such a long period. He and his team were very professional, experienced and informative. Quick to accommodate our different requirements throughout the trek, they were very patient, considerate and encouraging when the going got tough for some of the trekkers in our team. Binod was quick to act when one of our members sprained her ankle on the way back up to Bamboo after ABC. He efficiently arranged for a horse to take her from Chomrong to nearby Ghandruk, then subsequently land transport back to our hotel in Pokhara. Progressive updates on her whereabouts were given, which we greatly appreciated.
The ever-changing landscape throughout the trek was inspiring, and breathtaking. From craggy rocks, to cosy village life, rhododendron bushes, fields of millet, majestic waterfalls, suspension bridges, gushing rapids, and foliage transitioning from late Summer to Fall, to the snowy peaks of the Himalayan range, the ABC trek is one that we will all cherish and remember always.
Look him up if you’re thinking of trekking in Nepal. You’ll be in good hands. Hike Nepal truly lives up to their tagline of “Trekking with a Personal Touch”.
Thank you, Binod and team. I look forward to my next trek with you. Namaste.