Trek Day 1 - Nayapul to Tikhedhunga, Nepal

On The TrailWe arise in Pokhara and begin with yoga and meditation. From the roof of our hotel we can see the white caps of the mountains in dawn's early glow. There is a wonder in exercising with such a gorgeous view. Pokhara whispers around us as it gradually comes alive. A small breakfast then out to our bus.

The tourist bus looks like it belongs in 1970's disco movie – all bright colours and reflective surfaces, making for a cheery drive to Nayapul.

At Nayapul we disembark and gather into our trekking groups, apply sunscreen and Bushmans. Nayapul is a small village near the river and for many travellers it is the start of the Anapurna loop, a 70 kilometre path through the mountains to Phedi. Our group will spend six days journeying through the hilly terrain. Today we walk the 10 kilometres to Tikhedunga where we will spend the night.

This region of Nepal is beautiful and alive. Below is the GPS of the days walk. The path is wide and relatively easy going, the scenery inspiring.

Tikhedunga is a small village with a few Guest Houses for travellers. The Guest Houses are all blue and can be seen from a distance. When you arrive at a guest house you place a food order with your guide before relaxing. This allows for the kitchen to prepare everything for the time your group has specified to eat. The food at Guest Houses is something very wonderful – home cooked. The guest houses are run by families who do everything.

The accommodations are sparse but comfortable which is all you need. There are showers available but a thing to be aware of is that most of the hot water is generated by wood fire, and as such should be used sparingly. An alternative to using the showers while trekking, or if you are trekking and don't have access to shower facilities, is to use Baby Wipes to clean your pits and bits because in all likelihood, regardless of how much you shower you will still smell by the end of the trip. Using Baby Wipes will allow you to sanitise the areas that need it and will generally have a lower environmental impact.

Tourist Bus 1Tourist Bus 2


 Welcome To Annapurna Nayapul to Tikhedhunga, Nepal Nayapul to Tikhedhunga, Nepal

 Nayapul to Tikhedhunga, Nepal Nayapul to Tikhedhunga, Nepal

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6



Trek Day 1 - Nayapul to Tikhedhunga, Nepal

Other Nepal Articles

The Journey West: A Summary

The Journey West: A Summary part 2

Trekking in the Annnapurna (6 articles)

White Water Rafting the Trishuli River


The Journey West

The flight to Kathmandu was with Dragon Air, a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific, with a stop off at Dhakar. The flight runs in a triangle of Hong Kong, Dhakar, Kathmandu andHong Kong. The flight wasn't bad but due to Bangladeshi law we were unable to leave the plane during the 2 hour stop over, and we weren't allowed to move from our seats which made it a little uncomfortable.

When we did land at Kathmandu the passengers not disembarking were told the same thing as we in Dhakar. We disembarked to a bus which took us the 100 metres to the terminal. It is a simple terminal with one large building containing Passport control and baggage collection on the lower floor. Passport control was well staffed because they did everything by hand. Outside the airport were dozens of cabbies and drivers all trying to get a passenger. Our group used the toilets outside and they were in rather bad condition and had people asking for money for the use of them.

TRAVELERS ADVICE: If you need to use a Bathroom at the airport, use the one inside Passport Control before you go through.

At 11pm we found our driver and began our way through the maze of streets into Thamel. It's almost impossible to get your bearings at night in this city. The streets are narrow and uneven and the lighting doesn't seem to show any street signs. When our bus stopped we were taken up an alley to a hotel, and it wasn't the one we were booked into.

Our driver told us the Thamel had overbooked and there wasn't enough room for us so they had organised this instead. And so we had our first lesson in Nepalese communication; it is minimal and not at all precise. We argued with the driver for a while before the owner of he hotel came out and told us the same thing. He did call the Thamel for us, and the Thamel were quite abrupt telling us there as nothing that could be done but that we would be collected by a guide in the morning and taken to the Thamel.

We accepted the situation after a time, and were taken to our rooms. The owner escorted us and I was upgraded to a suite after the air-conditioner didn't work in our room. We also had them open the bar up so that we could have a few drinks to relax after the long flight. So it was that this night we conquered Everest... Larger. In the bar we were joined by several others who had been on the same flight, were also booked into the Thamel and had been delivered here. We talked, drank and smoked into the dawn.

The following morning we ad breakfast on the roof of the hotel with a view of the crazy sprawl of Kathmandu. There is an ever present haze that limits the view of the mountains in the distance, and also blurs the city in the mid-range.

After breakfast we had the concierge of the Thamel arrive and escort us to the hotel. It was about 100 metres down the road, also at the end of short alley. The Thamel is a very nice hotel, and we settled in before exploring the district.

The streets are lined with various clothing, hiking, camera, jewellery, khoukiri knives, art and craft stores repeating ad infinitum. There are minor variations in each store and if you are looking for a bargain, there are plenty available. In the evening we meet at the hotel for orientation. There are 42 people in a room receiving our instructions from Earthbound Expeditions. Once the orientation is complete there is a meditation class followed by a laughing yoga class with a discussion on Local culture, before dining at the hotel.

The next day begins with a morning Yoga class before we break into three groups to tour the city visiting the Pashaputi, Bauda Nath Monkey Temple, and Patan Durbarsquare. We spend the night in Nagarkot, up in the hills. We have another meditation class in the evening before a buffet dinner.

Morning Yoga again to start the day then we drive into historic Bhaktapur visiting the the town squares and learning of the history of the region before returning to Kathmandu. We have another laughter Yoga class and cultural discussion. We wander the streets after class and are quite astounded to hear live music coming from a number of bars – Audioslave, Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd. Kathmandu rocks.

Morning Yoga begins another day before a very long bus ride to Pokhara where we stay overnight before heading onto our trek. Pokhara is a vastly different city to Kathmandu. It feels wealthier than elsewhere with many of the homes having complex tiled facades or beautiful paint work. The streets are also wider and cleaner, the store owners more relaxed. Pokhara is a great city. We are also treated to another class of evening meditation.

The morning begins with more Yoga and breakfast before we take the bus to Nayapul from where we begin our trek. The countryside is absolutely gorgeous on the way to Tikhedhunga.

From Tikhedhunga we take what we are told to be 3200 stone steps to Ghorepani. While the area is absolutely gorgeous, I'm pretty sure there are vastly more than 3200 steps. The start is pretty hard going and gets easier once we reach the jungle/rain forest.

We wake at 3am in Ghorepani for our 4:30am wakeup call due to the massive amount of noise made by the tea houses support staff and porters. At 5am we trek up to Poon Hill for sunrise and unfortunately I forgot to take the GPS so I don't have full data on that. The sunrise was amazing as the sun crested the Annapurna South range over Ghorepani. We descend to the tea house for breakfast before beginning our trek to Tadapani.

The trek from Tadapani is mostly down hill but starts with a hike up a hill to 3199 metres. After lunch we began our descent in earnest and part way along it starts to shower. Just before we reach the valley floor it starts to hail pea-sized spheres of ice. The hail stings as it hits our hands and we can feel the impact through our raincoats. The uphill trek to Tadapani is filled with our challenge to the gods to do better, and they do. The hail and rain comes so thick and fast hat we are walking up a river through the rocks, and the ground is littered with ice providing further traction. The walk is the most invigorating we have had on the trip and when we reach our lodgings we stay outside, further challenging the elements to do more. The Ice Storm continues through the night and the hail covers everything as though it were snow. We while away the night drinking 'real' Ukrainian vodka with two young Ukrainian trekkers and a English/American couple.

We head out that morning towards Jhinu which is mostly downhill but as with all of Nepal, there is always a bit of up. It is great walk through some amazing countryside as the jungle/rain forest gives way to forest and valley. At Jhinu we rest and talk with an American family who have been living in Cambodia and a Thai and British trekker.

The following morning we head down the hill 1.2 kilometres to the hot springs which are excellent, a perfect 25 degrees to soak the body with. After an hour we return to Jhinu, breakfast and head off to Tolka.

In Tolka we celebrate our travels together with the porters playing drums and singing, dancing and jumping around, drinking and dinner. It is a fun time by all.

From Tolka we have a steep up for a couple of hours before we go straight down to Phedi where we catch the bus to Pokhara. All up the trek was 71 kilometres over 6 days with the group ascending 4781 metres and descending 4542 metres, reaching a maximum altitude of 3210 metres above sea level. It was also just enough of a taste that I'm pretty certain I will return to Nepal for more.

In Pokhara we rest and while away the afternoon with shopping before evening meditation and a steak dinner at 'Once Upon a Time'. In the morning we take a boat ride around the lake, visiting the temple and enjoying being moved around by another's locomotion over our own. The lake while green in colour has spectacular views of the hills and mountains. You would think I'd be bored of the view by now but far from it, I relish it. Sadly, all too soon our time in the sun upon the lake is over and we have an hour or so before making our way to the airport.

The airport is an experience in itself. There is a departure tax of 200 rupee to pay before you check in, which most people wouldn't even think about before checking in and some don't. Then you have the security check whereby the X-Ray machine they use for your checked-in luggage is the same as that used for your carry-on. The departure security check is divided into male and female. You step through the metal detector with everything you are taking on the plane and are then searched. It doesn't matter who you are, you are given the pat down. In the departure lounge there is one small news-counter out of a 1940's thriller selling cans of coke for 200 rupee when they are normally 80 which just goes to show that airports are the same the world over. Our Yeti airlines flight is delayed by an hour so we just sit in the departure lounge waiting. After an hour with no update on the screen we leave the departures lounge going back through security to check on the status to find out that it is delayed until at least 3:30, maybe 4:30. So, like most Australians, we find the airport bar to wait out the delay. The bar is on the roof and the view is grand. We meet the Americans from Cambodia again and chat a while over Ghourka beer.

When our flight does depart at 3:45 it is a quick flight into Kathmandu and for the first time we all understand the scale of the city. It spreads across the valley as a network of farm towns, stretching as far as the eye can see in all directions to the mountains.

Today is Nepalese new year and in Kathmandu we have our farewell dinner of Dahl Bhat while watching some local dances while outside the city erupts into celebration. Nepal brings in the year 2069 with a roar as the heavens shatter with light, electricity arcing and dividing across the black of night with a ferocity and beauty I've only seen in film.

The following breakfast is cavalcade of farewells as we all scurry for last minute gifts and packing for flights.

For me though, this is just the end of the first leg. Today I rest for tomorrow I drive up the Trishuli to spend 2 days rafting on the river before heading into Chitwan for two more then back to Kathmandu.

Other Nepal Articles

The Journey West: A Summary part 2

Trekking in the Annnapurna (6 articles)

White Water Rafting the Trishuli River

Joomla! Debug Console


Profile Information

Memory Usage

Database Queries