Preparing a trek from afar in a foreign country which we know nothing about is really not easy. We give you in this article tips to prepare your trek around Pokhara (also valid for other treks) and you can follow my adventures in this article. The prices indicated are those of this year.
Preparation for the trek
Shopping: no stress if you forget something when you leave, you will find what you are looking for in the tourist area of Lakeside in Pokhara and Thamel in Kathmandu: sports, food, pharmacies, doctors, book stores.
Rent equipment: instead of buying equipment to use it very little, it is quite possible to rent equipment on site. This is what I did when renting a winter sleeping bag (~ 75 rupees).
The backpack: as light as possible, 50 liters is enough. Some Nepalese have even trekked with a 20 liter backpack, not taking a sleeping bag (see below).
Using the services of a porter: We saw on the way (young and old) porters carrying up to 40 kg. Faced with the arduousness of the service rendered, it is certainly those who have the most merit on this trek and whom I have most admired and prayed for.
Arrival in Nepal
You must buy an entry permit to enter the Annapurna conservation area (2000 rupees) and register for the TIM service (20 US dollars payable in rupees at the daily rate) in Pokhara or Kathmandu. 4 identity photos are required. Make yourself the cheapest photos possible (200 rupees for 4 photos in Pokhara, printed with inkjet on photo paper), with poor quality, that’s more than enough.
During the trek
Villages: every 2 to 7 kilometers there is a village offering accommodation and catering. Take only the minimum amount of food and water (2 liters maximum), the prices in the mountains being much higher than in town, I just took 1.5 kg of Snickers and Twix with me.
Water: to limit pollution and recycling of plastic bottles, take water from the tap or fountains and put a Micropur type tablet in your personal bottle. There is water in all the villages.
Walking: give your body time to adapt to changes in altitude. The higher you climb, the fewer kilometers you have to do during the day and above all walk (very) slowly (never run). The goal: avoid getting out of breath and not take the risk of catching acute mountain sickness. A day of acclimatization is strongly recommended in Brakha or Manang. During this day, climb as high as possible, then descend (if possible at least 300 meters).
The route of the circuit: overall, the circuit runs along rivers and a road (except around the pass) which serves all the villages of the circuit. If you are tired, walk on the road, the ascent or descent is more gradual. On the other hand, as the road is very busy, you will be entitled to a lot, a lot of dust. If you are very tired, take a jeep or a motorcycle to get around.
At the end of the Trek
To leave the circuit and go where you want in Nepal (generally Pokhara and Kathmandu), you have to catch the buses either in Beni, or if you continue the trek a little bit from Ghorepani to Nayapul or if you are still in good shape, walk to Pokhara!