Pokhara, Annapurna Foothills, Nepal
I won’t lie, I am not a hiker, a trekker, a runner, or a full on hill walker tbh… I love climbing to get to an amazing view though, and pushing myself, so this lead to me booking a trek within the AnnaPurna Mountain range National Park in Pokhara for the day. To spend a day away from the city to soak in the natural beauty of the mountain ranges and Nepalese villages.
My must haves on your Day Hike;
During this 8-hour trek, you must be accompanied by a professional guide as you cover the parts of the larger treks and the National park can keep tabs on who is on the route as well as in the National Park, They include Australian Camp, Dhampus village and Phedi. The trek starts after driving to Kande through a scenic highway, and ends at Phedi village, just three of hundreds of the cutest little villages surrounded the Himilyans mountains.
At 6.30am, my guide picked me up from the Hostel (they will pick up from anywhere in Pokhara lakeside). The cost of the day trek also includes a private car and drive to Kande, following the scenic winding highway the offers views of Pokhara valley and the Himalayan ranges. The roads are not the straightest, or smoothest so be prepared for a bumpy ride. Kande is located on the way to Nayapool where a longer version of Annapurna treks start. We started the hike on the trekking route carved inside forest, this will be the hardest part of the whole hike, so might as well get it out the way to start it all off. 15 minutes in you will appreciate just how high you already are with views of the valley, the clouds were still low creating a mystical, eery feel over the whole area. It was very muggy walking up, I even spotted a leech on me at one point (I found this oretty cool due to never seeing one, the guide thought I was kindof weird), anyways make sure you wear long sock, or leggings, trousers to make sure non of the creatures get to you skin. We crossed downwards streams and small waterfalls, with a lot of steep steps, very hard on my knees. But its your day, your hike so the guide will also take their time and wait until you feel okay to walk again if you need a break.
You will finally reach the Australian Camp where you will see on a clear day panoramic views of the Annapurna range with the famous Fishtail. Unfortunately the clouds were low and I couldn’t really see anything when I reached the top, but being out of breath and shattered from the climb meant it didn’t matter, I was happy just to roam around the Camp, taking in that this was 1789 metres above sea level and I had managed to climb some of it. I had brought snacks so ate them with a drink to cool down, catch my breath, and just enjoy the peace of the camp. It takes about 2 hours to reach the Australian Camp, so I might as well enjoy it, there’s even swings to play on while looking out onto the views. With fully equipped rooms, for everyone staying for the night and food canteens to make sure everyone is eating on their treks.
After a good break, we continued our walk further to Dhampus village. The trekking trail between Australian Camp and Dhampus village passes through a hill ridge and is more challenging compared to initial hike, however it is not as steeps or up hill. It takes about 2 hours to reach to Dhampus. Dhampus is a typical Gurung village located on the lap of Annapurna. This village is one of the most photographed villages in the Annapurna region and I took full advantage of this with so many photos of the traditional houses houses and lush rice fields surrounding them. Some of the village children were coming upto us and asking for sweets, bad idea you wont get rid of them and news spreads fast apparently that theres a person giving sweets out.. The village settlement is typical with stone paved lanes and faces towards the mighty Himalayan ranges. The view stretches from Dhaulagiri to Manaslu with the major attraction being Annapurna range and Fishtail if you lucky enough for a perfectly clear day to see them. If not just take in the magnitude of what you have accomplished, I take pride in the time it took me and the fact Dipak said I was ‘athletic’, not sure I have ever been called that. Your guide will take you to visit the village to witness Gurung cultures and traditions, I even got to witness a school assembly going on, followed by play time which was lovely, with the children waving while playing football.
After your visit, start your walk to Phedi. This village took my breath away, it was so beautiful, walking down the hundreds of steps towards it was hard due to wanting to take the village in but also not wanting to trip up. The houses were aalmost Austrian Mountains like, with colourful flowers planted round them for colour and smells. The views from the village of the foothills were stunning, and the small streams which run through the village a nice refreshing wash after a sweaty day. The trekking trail is mostly downhill through the forest, which means there is time to stop and take in the views you can now witness, I was lucky that the clouds and sun came out. It takes 2 – 3 hours to reach Phedi, from which you will meet your vehicle and driver to transfer you back to your hotel in Pokhara. Taking in the views of the Pokhara Valley, with all the hustle and bustle of the life along the roads.
I couldn’t recommend this Hike enough, at the time on the first hour, it was hard I was seriously thinking why I had decided to do this, but in the end it was a really accomplishment. It also made me realise just how amazing the people doing the 12 – 21 day treks really are (also kindof a little crazy)
If you would like the contact I hiked with, just message me