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We have shown the itinerary on the basis of a complete holiday purely for illustrative purposes. Naturally as tailor-made Nepal holiday specialists we would be happy to discuss additional options, whether it be other activities, more/less sightseeing, alternative/upgraded accommodation etc dependent upon your interests, preferences and time available. We even tailor-make a suggested 'what to pack' list for you based upon your ultimately chosen Nepal tailor-made holiday too.
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu
Arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you'll be met and receive a private transfer for the short distance into central Kathmandu and to the "KGH" Hotel in the heart of the Thamel district. You'll be given a briefing on your forthcoming adventure, and in the evening can take dinner at your leisure in one of the many choices of cafes & restaurants in Kathmandu, although the open air courtyard cafe of the KGH Hotel is as good as anywhere,
A private transfer back to the airport for the 25min flight to Pokhara. You're met on arrival and transferred to your lake side hotel. The day is yours to enjoy the sub-tropical climate of Pokhara and the more laid back atmosphere (compared to frenetic Kathmandu), thus affording you the opportunity to relax a little before starting your trek.There are many lake side cafes and bars to chill out in, and lots of choices for eating.
In the morning you take the 18min flight between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna to Jomsom (2736m). The walk to Kagbeni only takes 3-4hrs, so you can have a brew after landing at one of the teahouses in Jomsom and absorb the fantastic views of the peak of Nilgiri South and look up into the arid Upper Kali Gandaki Valley and notice the contrasts with that of the view down valley where there is greenery. An indication as to where the monsoon reaches and that you are 'between' the Himalaya. It's mostly fairly level walking from Jomsom, with just little uphill and downhill sections as Kagbeni (2810m) is less than 100m above Jomsom. Not too far out of Jomsom if you look back you'll see the immense white pyramid of Dhaulagiri.
As Mustang is esentially part of the Tibetan Plateau and by default is relentless high altitude all the way, we think it's a good idea to have an acclimatisation day in Kagbeni before heading further and higher. There are several possibilities to take some relatively short walks above Kagbeni and to then return and explore the village, or even take refreshments at Yakdonalds or the real Italian Coffee House!
At the edge of Kagbeni the police post will check that the necessary permits to enter the restricted Upper Mustang area are all in order. You'll then walk down onto the broad valley floor, and as today is a rather short and straightforward walking day there's no reason to hurry. Looking behind you the Nilgiri Peaks and Dhaulagiri are most impressive and in front of you the very different landscape of Mustang. You soon reach the village of Tengbe and can take a look around this typical Mustang village with its colourful houses often painted in a horizontal striped pattern and with roofs made of timber logs. The village has apple orchards and carefully tended fields of crops that are just about able to grow up here. Moving on you ascend gradually and soon your overnight halt of Chukksang (approx 3020m) comes into view and is easily reached. Walking time approx 3-4hrs.
Walking across the virtually dried out river bed of the Kali Gandaki (you may just hear the river flowing beneath) you then ascend gradually to Chele (3100m). Looking back you'll see the summit of distant Annapurna 1. The trail after Chele rises steeply and soon after part of the path has been hewn out of the cliff side above the valley. There's more ascent as you reach around 3600m and then contour the hillside losing a little height to reach Samar (approx. 3400m). Walking time is around 4-5hrs.
A longer day heading firstly up to a col and then ascending even higher to cross a 3900m pass. The views of the Mustang mountainscapes are particularly dramatic. Heading down a bit and then around you reach another wonderful viewpoint and will see your overnight halt down below. The descent is straightforward to reach Geling (3570m). Walking time approx. 6hrs.
Arguably the trek to Lo Manthang has become less of an ideal with the encroachment of the ever expanding jeep road that will ultimately stretch from Tibet, across Mustang to Lo Manthang and all the way down the Kali Gandaki to Beni, and subsequently one day you'll be able to drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara to Beni and all the way to Tibet. Some drive! The 'road' sees little in the way of vehicular traffic at the moment, but nonetheless their presence somehow compromises the wilderness walking experience. So, today you'll be driven to Lo Manthang by a locally chartered 4wd vehicle. There are passes as high as 4000m to cross and much of interest along the way and stops can be made at dramatic view points and interesting places too. Reaching the Sungda Chorten you enter the 'Kingdom of Lo' and eventually the fabled walled 'city' of Lo Manthang (approx. 3800m). Hardly a city with around 180 homes.
It's possible that sometime soon Lo Manthang may become a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is certainly much to explore here including the former Raja's Palace and outside of town a walk up to a ruined fortress reveals a great panoramic view of Lo Manthang, the surrounding area and even as far back as the Annapurnas. A 2 hour round trip on foot possibility is to visit the Namgyal Monastery.
A gradual walk that rises steadily & gains some 300m in height to reach the Dhi La (4100m). Great views of the Kali Gandaki and Himalayan peaks on the far horizon. It's then steeply down the dusty trail to the valley floor and walking beyond the village of Dhi a final climb brings you to Yara (3760m). Walking time 5-6hrs,
A steady rise to a col followed by a descent into the Dechyang Khola Valley. You then ascend onto the broad Sertang Danda ridge and traverse the slopes and then up to a 3850m pass. Below is Tange (3370m), and you walk down to this tiny village. There are one or two times today where small rivers will need to be forded. Wet boots is not a good idea, so we suggest you have some sandals with you in order to ford these.Walking time is around 6-7hrs.
Quite probably the hardest and longest day of walking. Crossing the Tange Khola (there's a bridge for this one) there follows a long, hard and rather steep slog to the Lelo La (4200m). Efforts may be rewarded with fine views over the Mustang landscape and to Dhaulagiri. Just below the pass are the springs at Pha and remaining at around 4000m the trail then contours the mountain side and at times can be difficult to follow before a long, steep downhill to Chukksang. Walking time 9-10hrs.
Although you will be losing height very gradually today there remains sections of ascent and descent (but not particularly sustained). Walking to Jharkot you can visit the monastery and old fortress here before continuing across the valley floor to Kagbeni and the final couple of hours to Jomsom. Walking time approx. 6-7hrs.
Detailed Example Itinerary