DAY 5: Trekking the Annapurna Gurung Trail
An enchanting experience trekking in Nepal
-  22 Oct 2017 | nepaltraveller.com
Nepaltraveller.com embarks on the Annapurna Gurung Trail, a 5-day trek with Ker and Downey Nepal. This is the final day details of the awesome trip around the Annapurna region.
Majgaun to Dhampus
My first trekking adventure in Nepal has been a great one. Starting at Lumle I walked all the way to Birethanti, Ghandruk, Landruk and Majgaun and today we will be going to our final stop – Dhampus.
I wake up to the sound of birds chirping and remember that today will be the last day we’ll be walking through this beautiful area. After the rain the previous night, the morning was clear but clouds looked to be gathering on the horizon. The view from Majgaun is wonderful as we get to see a different angle of Annapurna South and contrary to Landruk we got glimpses of Machapuchre as well.
After our morning tea looking at the mountains we meet our guide who tells us that due to the rain we’d have to walk the long way today as well as the shortcut will be full of leeches. Breakfast included cornflakes, toast, boiled eggs sausage and the traditional bowl of fruits. After breakfast, we set off for Dhampus which is around 4 hours walk from Majgaun.
The trail to Dhampus wasn’t great. We started off on the trail used by vehicles to get to Majgaun. I must say walking on the unpaved roads used by jeeps isn’t fun to walk on. The road was a slight incline which was full of leaches which meant I wasn’t going to stop anywhere. We had to climb up to a small village called Pothana which was at 1900m.
After walking on the road full of stones and leeches for more than an hour our guide takes us on a shortcut that passed through the jungle and included a steep climb full of stairs. As we pass through the woods avoiding leeches we finally reach Pothana which is like an outpost on the way up the mountain, completely secluded. It is also the last place you can reach without a permit to trek in the Annapurna region. Pothana is a place to which pictures can’t do justice. Finding a small community in the middle of nowhere in one of the most scenic places you’ll ever be, it’s really something. Proudly standing atop a hill with the Fishtail peak watching from afar, Pothana is a town of taverns, meant for the weary feet of trekkers.
As Pothana was really misty and the air there was really chilly, we decided not to go to the Australian Camp as the clouds would spoil the view. We rest after the uphill climb and have tea before we head to Dhampus which our guide says is only an hour from Pothana.
The trail from Pothana was really easy as it was mostly downhill even though it did include stairs. We walked past winding roads that showed us amazing glimpses of the valley below even though it was cloudy.
After coming downhill for 45 minutes from Pothana we reach Dhampus a village on the Annapurna trekking trail blessed with majestic views of the Annapurna Range and the valleys. The village is attractive with a number of slate roofed houses and is now accessible by road.
We soon reach Ker and Downey Nepal’s Basanta Lodge, opened in the 90s set on top of a hill overlooking the mountains and the valley. The place is neatly kept and is nice warm and cosy. As usual we are served a pitcher of lemonade and a table is set up for us to enjoy our lunch while we gazed at the valley below us. They served us noodle soup and ham and cheese rolls along with fruits.
As we finished our lunch the weather started to change. It started to get misty and as clouds surround the place it starts to rain. The visibility is very low and we just pray it clears in the morning. At tea time we sit and reflect on what has been a really memorable trip it has been and the thought of going back makes us really sad.
At 6 pm we head over to the lounge area where the staff had prepared a small fire for us where we enjoyed the last happy hour of our trip. Soon we are served dinner. Having not had Dal-Bhat for the last 2 days we absolutely loved the meal we had in Basanta Lodge. The fresh spinach dish stood out and we ate like we hadn’t eaten for days. For dessert, we were served pancakes which topped off a really fulfilling meal. We thank the staff for the wonderful meal and went back to our rooms.
Day 6: Dhampus to Phedi
I got up really early in the morning to witness the mountains one last time. Watching the fading moon, the mountains and stars with the fresh morning breeze coming from the valley was mesmerizing and I felt at peace. We enjoy our breakfast with the mountains in the backdrop for the last time and head towards Phedi (base of the hill) where we would be picked up by Ker and Downey Pokhara office staff.
The entire trek has been a wonderful experience and with Ker and Downey’s professional team we have enjoyed every moment of it. Their comfortable lodges, warm hospitality and lovely meals along with their amazing knowledge of the area and attention to every detail ensured we would be taking back memories for a lifetime.
For reservations contact:
2nd Floor, Thirbam Street
Bhatbhateni Kathmandu -03, Nepal
+977 1 4435686 / 4435645