(Our sincere thanks to Paolo for sharing this adventure with us and for giving such a captivating talk at the museum. A small selection of Paolo’s magnificent photos is at the end, click on an image and a slideshow will start.)
Here is a summary of our trip. A small selection of photographs is at the end of this article.
Annapurna Sanctuary (AS) aka Base Camp(ABC) / Poon Hill/ Kopra Ridge.
On this trip we decided to bring a friend and her daughter, limited time and fitness on their part being important factors.
The walks bring you in a short time to stunning views of the Annapurna massif and Machhapuchhare, the fishtail mountain, which is my favourite.
- Duration 12 days
- Maximum Elevation 4100m
- Season Oct-Nov or Mar-Aug
- Difficulty Medium
We were there in mid Feb. to avoid the crowds. The major problem at that time of year is the potential for snow and avalanches which would have made the trek to ABC impassable. There was lots of snow and ice, but we were fortunate, always managing to arrive at our stopping points safely.
The trip started in Pokhara, an 8hr ride from Kathmandu by bus.
The following day from Pokhara we went west by 4×4 for 3hrs to where the trek started, Tolka a small village (1130m).
The route to the AS and ABC is a spectacular short trek. Long steep climbs and descents through rice terraced villages to glacial moraine.
The AS is an amphitheatre of huge Himalayan peaks with amazing views of the Annapurna range with AnnapurnaOne (8091m) and Machhapuchhare (6997m.
On the return route a diversion to Poon Hill offers spectacular views of Dhaulagiri (8167m). Rhododendrons were a bonus at that time of the year.
Ria and I decided on another diversion, the 1400m ascent up Khopra Ridge (3660m). It was a first time for us. The route is not well known but worth it for amazing views. The descent was a long (2500m).
Back to Pokhara and Kathmandu and then the big bird home to Darling.
Why return over and over? There are numerous treks we can still do even when we get older, and when the body fails Yoga and meditation are always options.
The main reason to return is to enjoy the company of the amazingly lovely people and to witness their kindness and philosophy of life and living.