Day - 1
Location: Kathmandu - Namaste! Welcome to Nepal. Your adventure kicks off with a welcome meeting at 2pm in Kathmandu, where you'll meet your trip leader and new travel pals. If you arrive early, there's plenty to do in this vibrant city. Kathmandu’s most important Buddhist shrine, Swayambhunath Stupa and the nearby ‘City of Devotees’ Bhaktapur are well worth a visit. If you want to delve deeper into ancient architecture and rich cultural heritage, there are some Urban Adventures day tours that can help you out (just see www.urbanadventures.com). After the meeting, Maybe have dinner with your group to get to know each other or hit up one of the nearby bars. Your leader will have a tonne of recommendations for a great place for a cocktail (or two).
Day - 2
Location: Trisuli River - Take a morning drive over the rim of the Kathmandu Valley and soak up the views of the Ganesh and Lantang ranges. Then hit the waters for some whitewater rafting on the Trisuli River – this is the most popular river for rafting in all of Nepal. Soak up the thrill of the rapids, aptly named Ladies Delight, Rock Garden and Snell's Nose, among the beauty of the nearby gorges. Explore the magnificent scenery from the rapids, and then tonight, camp on the beach and enjoy a local meal under the stars.
Day - 3
Location: Trisuli River - Pokhara - This morning is for some more fun on the river, including negotiating the Monsoon and Upset rapids. In Kurintar, refuel your energy with a light lunch with your group and then drive to Pokhara. When you arrive, take an afternoon walk around the city with your leader, who will point out some of the best sights and sounds in the area including the gorgeous Phewa Lake. This evening is free for you to chill out at one of the many lakeside restaurants or bars. Maybe get yourself a plate of momos (dumplings) or a nourishing bowl of dal bhat (thick lentil or bean soup) for dinner tonight.
Day - 4
Location: Ghandruk (1950m / 6397ft) - Today, you’ll make the drive from Pokhara to Shyauli Bazaar – this is where the trekking adventure begins! Your hike is mostly uphill today on some pretty diverse terrain. There’s a dirt track leading to Birethanti and Shyauli villages, then you’ll reach a stone staircase up to Kimche, where you’ll stop for lunch. There are gorgeous views of snowcapped mountains and expansive fields below, so make sure you’ve got your camera. From here, you’ll follow the stone flags that lead you through fields of wheat to Ghandruk. Tonight, you'll stay in your first Nepalese teahouse.
Day - 5
Location: Tolkha (1700m / 5577ft) - Look east this morning – that’s Landruk, the next village on your route. Look down – that’s the Modi Kola River 600 m below. Your breakfast this morning will be a refreshing start, with a mountain view so you can take it all in. When you’ve refuelled, start the trek towards Tolkha – where you’ll be staying for the night. Along the way, take in the diverse scenery of the river below, the mountain above and the wild landscape on every side. The Annapurna range makes for a pretty great photo subject (and she’s not shy, either).
Day - 6
Location: Hemjakot (1530m / 5019ft) - This morning after some breakfast, you’ll continue your trek from Tolkha to Hemjakot – the best spot to connect with some locals. As you start today’s walk, you’ll notice you’re surrounded by pink and purple rhododendrons. Do you know what you won’t see much of? Other people – this trail from Dhampus to Hemjakot is pretty remote, giving you the chance to really switch off and enjoy the scenery. Tonight, you’ll stay with a local family. The homes in Hemjakot reflect the traditional style of this part of the Himalayas and are made from natural stones from this region. This displays a domestic style of architecture that has largely been overshadowed in Nepal's big cities. When you arrive, you’ll experience the rural way of life in the mountains, gaining insight into the local culture of the Gurung population, who migrated here from Tibet.
Day - 7
Location: Pokhara - Say goodbye to your new friends in Hemjakot and head out again – this morning’s trek is a short descent to Phedi. When you arrive, you’ll take a transfer to Pokhara and arrive in time for lunch. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon to do all the things you didn’t do the first time around in Pokhara – a popular choice is taking a rowboat (doonga) out on Phewa Lake. If there are blue skies today, you’ll have mountain views for miles! After, maybe check out the Tal Barahi Temple and the Shree Bindhyabasini Temple, which are both free to explore.
Day - 8
Location: Kathmandu - It’s a long bus ride back to Kathmandu (so bring some snacks, road trip games and a good book). When you arrive, maybe grab a banana lassi to soak away the bus ride and say goodbye to your fellow travellers – with no further activities planned, your trip comes to an end this afternoon. If you’d like to stay longer and explore Kathmandu’s nightlife further (what better way to celebrate a good trek?), just speak to your booking agent.