Jours: 10 / Difficulté: 3 of 5 (Modérée à intense)
This is a beautiful and rich nature trail, best thought of as a “Ridge-trail”! because most of the time you hike along the ridge beginning from Kande, one of the best starting points for this trek, situated 36 kms north of Pokhara. You have to follow this ridge west, until MHBC (Mardi Himal Base Camp) .The altitude starts from 1770m at Kande and reaches 4500m at the end point, MHBC. You hike through just a few villages in the beginning, and at the end of the trek some particularly beautiful villages. On this trek you will have to spend 80% of the whole trip in dense pristine forest! This is a very quiet and peaceful. This fascinating trip is a mixture, being both adventurous and peaceful and joyful. Above all, when you reach high camp at 3900m, or the upper view point at 4450m, the views are breathtaking: the snow- capped peaks include Annapurna I ,8091m, Annapurna South ,7219m, Himchuli ,6441m, Annapurna Fang (Baraha Shikher) ,7647m, Khangshar Kang (rock noir) ,7485m, Gangapurna ,7454m, Mardi Himal 5553m, Machhapuchhre’s (fish tail), both peaks (6997m — 6993m) and the beautiful sloping landscape to the south. For those who don’t like to walk where many other tourists are hiking, then Mardi Himal Trail is perfect to do. There are many confusing trails into the dense forest: everywhere you can see the small trails walked by yaks and sheep, which look similar to the main trail. An officially some years ago, The Mardi Himal Route was open for the trekkers, but you don’t feel it so when you are in the dense forest of it and some narrower paths above high camp! In my experienced there are many places along the trail need to fix and put more signposts, poles and metal bar etc. Originally it was made for yak and their herders, sheep and their shepherds. Seasonally, lower villagers go up to the forest and up to the sloping grassy lands to take things like bamboo and dhakai, a kind of wild vegetable, wild mushroom and some Himalayan herbs and Yarsa Gumba (cordyceps sinensis) . The Mardi Himal Trek is a beautiful, wild trek, into pure nature- a true gem of the Himalaya, a quiet and peaceful environment. It may be a bit adventurous but it is a more joyful destination for those who like to be away from the hectic rush of civilization.
Itinerary in detail
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Arrival in Kathmandu and you will be met at the airport by our representative who will be waiting with a Swiss Family Treks sign outside the terminal and transfer to Hotel by private car. Welcome drink and after you settle into the hotel there will be a group briefing with your tour leader. He will discuss the trek details and co-ordinate any last minute arrangements. Stay overnight at Hotel.
Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara 820m/25minutes and drive to Kande and trek to Pothana 1950m/3hours,
Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara in the morning with scenic mountain views including Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu and Annapurna Massif. Then drive from Pokhara to Kande by private car. You turn to the right hand side and slowly continue further, through small villages and houses; soon you will start ascending and enter the bushes and forests of rhododendron and red sandalwood with beautiful southern views. You will reach Australian Camp, a very beautiful little village. From there you can see the Annapurna mountain range, and a little of Manaslu and the Dhaulagiri range including Fishtail Mount and Pokhara valley in the south. There are good campsites and four nice lodges. It would be nice to sleep here, but for a first day the trek to Pathana is also nice. Australian Camp is famous around Pokhara for a picnic spot with easy access and a beautiful mountain scene. This place is surrounded by red sandalwood and rhododendron forest. The trail begins through a beautiful and pleasant short descent in the red sandalwood forest, and then let’s says, “Nepali flat “to Pathana. Sometimes you will get to see few red/white NATT-signs. There is an ACAP permit check point + tourist information center as well. Please make sure that all your necessary permits are arranged in Pokhara beforehand. Stay overnight at Lodge.
Day 3: Trek from Pothana to Forest Camp (Kokar) 2550m/5-6hours,
Pathana to Pitam Deurali is a wonderful hike in the red sandalwood and rhododendron forest and with some little open land between, known as buffalo pasture. After some minutes on the flat there is a slow, gentle climb up and then a bit more uphill until the flat resting place at Pitam Deurali. In between you can see some ACAP signposts and our NATT- logo in red/white. If those signs are taken away, you have to follow the straight direction; do not turn either left or right. Now is the official start of the Mardi Himal Trek. Leaving behind the Trekkers Inn Lodge, there is an ACAP signpost saying Mardi Route (Forest Camp). We did paint on the pole of ACAP signpost and at the corner wall of this lodge; you also clearly see the steps on the wall between the signpost and the lodge’s, behind the side wall. When you go up the steps, you immediately turn to the right and go straight, entering the scrubby forest. Then you can follow the blue/white sign. Most of the time we painted on the tree barks as there were only a few opportunities to mark on rocks. You climb gently and in 15 — 20 minutes, you reach a little area of open land, which is buffalo pasture (you might not recognize it as a pasture for animals) where we made a larger mark on the rock in blue/white color. Coming to this pasture you might get a little confused but if you look carefully, there should be no problem finding it. After the pasture you enter a dense forest and you will gradually climb up (for 2 to 3 hrs). Then most of the time you hike on Nepali forest” flat “(a little up and down). Finally, after a short, gentle descent you reach the flat at Forest Camp. From some places between Pitam Deurali and Forest Camp, you will have the chance to see vistas of Dhaulagiri and the Manaslu range. If the weather is good , I suggest you to take a packed lunch or something to eat and plenty to drink as there are no lodges, restaurants, villages or water- only dense and very quiet forest. Between Pitam Deurali and Forest Camp there are more than two signposts showing directions to Lwang village on the other side. Do not turn left or right, just go straight, following the directions of the blue/white colored signs. This little village is surrounded by beautiful green forest. They have nice campsites as well. From here there is also a trail going down via Sidding, Lwang and Pokhara. On the western side you can see Ghandruk and surrounding villages and Modi valley. Stay overnight at Lodge.
Day 4: Trek from Forest Camp (Kokar) to Low Camp (Humal) 3000m/4-5hours,
The trail goes through the courtyard of Hotel Forest Camp and Restaurant. At the corner wall of toilet we painted and put a little arrow. You follow the blue/white mark on the tree bark. The hike is an easy uphill start from right behind the Hotel Forest Camp. After 7 to 10 minutes, you will turn right and walk straight, going gently up and down. Finally you will climb up and you will reach Rest Camp. The trail starts from the end of the right corner of the teahouse and soon you can see the blue/white marks on the tree bark. Most of the time it is a gradient ascent, after just a few meters , turn right and continue straight; there is some uphill and “Nepali flat” then later there are mostly gradual trails, ascending into the dense rhododendron forest. Before 15 — 20 minutes; you reach a flat trail; finally you’re at Low Camp. There are two basic teahouses with restaurants with similar menus to Forest Camp. This is a very beautiful place with a beautiful campsite as well. It is surrounded by a beautiful rhododendron forest, a very quiet and peaceful environment, with a view of Machhapuchre and Mardi Himal, when the weather is clear. Stay overnight at Lodge.
Day 5: Trek from Low Camp (Humal) to High Camp (Kew) 3900m/4-5hours,
You still follow the blue/white sign, entering the scrubby rhododendron forest by a gentle ascent of 10 — 20 minutes, and then start going up the trail in the dense forest till reaching the lower viewpoint (3289m). This will take 1 ½ — 2.00 hrs. Now begins a grassy slope. From here you can also see many wonderful mountain views, especially at sunrise and sunset. Now, you continue further up to High Camp, hiking mostly on the grassy slope, up steep and some narrow paths and into some little rhododendron forests. Sometimes you may find difficulty in seeing our signs, because it was very difficult for us to find good rocks at the right distances. Sometimes we also had to use small rocks to paint on so when the grass grows higher those signs may be hidden. If the weather is good, this hike is also one of the nicest, because you have the chance to walk along the yak beaten trail on an open ridge with great mountain views: the Annapurna range , Machhapuchre,and the southern green landscape; below, can be seen the very deep Modi river valley, including Ghandruk, Chhomrong, Sinuwa and Dovan . This place itself is a natural viewpoint tower! In all directions you can see breathtaking views, including Machhapuchre, Mardi Himal, Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Baraha Shikhar, Himchuli and the southern slope including Pokhara valley! This place is also very suitable for yak and sheep-you can see many yaks around. Oh, Madhav Gautam, the yak herder, gave us fresh milk! Fantastic Himalayan milk!! There are a couple of yak shelters as well. Stay overnight at Lodge.
Day 6: Explore from High Camp — Upper View Point 4450m — High Camp (7 — 8hours)
Today you should start earlier, but do not start in the dark if you don’t know the trail. You still see blue/white signals till Upper View point. After you have hiked 20 to 30 minutes, further on to the trekker’s paradise of High Camp, there is a trail junction at the bottom of a high hill. Though it seems the real trail goes directly up through the dangerous steep hill, (and yes, some crazy trekkers and local people would take it because of the shortcut), I would never recommend you to do so, for then you would put your life at risk! Immediately from this junction you can turn to the right and you should look for the blue/white marks on the rocks. I hope they will last, even though we were not able to find the most suitable and best rocks. When you have just turned right, as I said above, you will see a flat, wide place, looking like a little dried up pond and you should walk through it. Further along you can see more marks and then continue straight for 15 — 20 minutes. After that, turn left, going steeply upwards. In another 15 — 20 minutes, you will reach a little pasture, then turn towards the left hand side and trek continually and gradually up the grassy slopes. In 15 — 20 minutes, you will join the trail junction coming up through the dangerous path. Then you follow the blue/white marks, before reaching the Upper View Point; for some hundred meters the path is very narrow. When it is covered by snow, it will be especially difficult and slippery, because both sides are very steep and you hike just along the ridge. But if the weather is good, you get a great chance to view the Annapurna I 8091m, Annapurna south 7219m, Himchuli 6441m, Baraha Shikhar (Fang) 7647m, Tent peak 5695m, Singachuli 6501m, Gangapurna 7454m, Gandarvachuli 6248m, little summit of Annapurna III 7555m, both peaks of Machhapuchre (Mt. fishtail) 6993m — 9997m and Mardi Himal 5553m, MBC (Machhapuchre Base Camp), Deurali, Dovan, Sinuwa, Chhomrong, Ghandruk and the southern slope, including Pokhara valley and MHBCW (Mardi Himal Base Camp W) 4500m, to go from the upper view point Mardi Himal Base Camp will take about 30 minutes only. Coming down to High Camp Hotel would take 3 — 4 hours maximum. Except for some hundred meters of narrow path, it is not that difficult, as long as there is no snow on the way. This day trip is quite adventurous, beautiful, joyful and definitely worth it. Stay overnight at Lodge.
Day 7: Trek from High Camp to Siding village (1,750m) -6 hours walking.
On the return trek we take a different route so completing a circuit, from Low Camp there is a trail that goes down to Siding village rather than going back down Mardi Himal back to Kokar. Siding is a traditional Nepalese village and still very much away from the busier tourist treks and it is likely you will stay at a homestay in Siding owned by the person who runs one of the lodges at Low Camp. It is a wonderful cultural experience finding out more about village life and you will probably eat dhal baht in the evening with the family in their kitchen. Overnight at Homestay or Teahouse or Lodge.
Day 8: Trek from Siding to Lumre and drive to Pokhara- 3 hours walking and 2 hours driving.
From Siding you walk out to the road head at Lumre, on the way from Siding you will pass the villages of Kalimati and Ghalel. Kalimati is mainly a Brahmin village with Ghalel and Siding mixed Brahmin and Gurung. At Lumre you will meet your jeep organized by us in advance to drive you back to Pokhara. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 9: Morning Hike to World Peace Stupa
In the morning after breakfast, we will go to world peace stupa by car. We can see panoramic view of high Himalayan range from Manaslu to Dhaulagiri range including Machhapuchhre and Annapurna Massif as well as scenic Pokhara Valley and Phewa Lake. Then, we will walk down to Phewa Lake through the forest which takes about 1 hour and take a boat to cross a Phewa Lake passing the small Island where Temple Barahi is situated middle of the Lake. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 10: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu,
Morning free time for shopping and afternoon flight back to Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.
Day 11: Final Departure from Kathmandu
Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements.
Our Tour Package includes;
* Airport/Hotel/Airport pick up and transfer by private car/van.
* 4 nights accommodation in twin bed sharing basis with breakfast at standard hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
* Domestic flight tickets from Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu and airport tax.
* Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with Tea & coffee and hot water during the Lodge trek.
* Lodge to lodge accommodation during the trek.
* 1 experienced helpful and friendly guide, porters (1 porter for 2 peoples), their food & accommodation, salary, equipment & insurance.
* All transportation by private vehicle.
* Annapurna Conservation Area Permit.
* All necessary permits.
* Tourist service charge,
* Office Service charge
* All Government Tax.
Our Tour Package doesn't include;
* Any meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara other than breakfast.
* Travel insurance (if you want us to arrange your travel insurance, we would greatly be happy to assist).
* International air fare to and from Nepal
Tourist Visa fee.
* Items and expenses of personal nature.
* Any kind of alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry, phone call, internet.
* Personal Trekking Equipment like sleeping bags, jackets (can all be hired in KTM)
* Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
* Any costs which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, domestic flight delays, political disturbance, and strikes etc.
* Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost included.
* Horse renting and additional porters during the trek.
* Tips for guide, porters, driver...
Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory.
N.B: The package can be redesigned or redeveloped as per your taste, For more information please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
NOTE: In case of emergency during the trip, Helicopter will be arranged by Swiss Family Treks & Expedition (P) Ltd. The charges must be paid by clients themselves.
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