Annapurna Circuit and the Thorung La
Nepal, Trek & Walk, 15 days - from £1,195 (land only) - from €1,435 (land only) - from $1,975 (land only)
By: Maureen Marshall, Wigan, Greater Manchester
Rajendra, the local leader, is extremely knowledgeable about local ecology, especially the bird life. The acclimatization programme worked fine, largely thanks to him. He went way beyond the call of duty in getting back to Kathmandu a bag I had inadvertently left at Jomsom, calling in favours from his wide range of contacts, and making a special trip out to the airport.
No AMS, no diarrhoea - never needed to open the medical kit except for one Elastoplast for a cold-cracked thumb.
I really enjoyed the holiday, though as always the hole-in-the-ground toilets took a bit of getting used to.
I most enjoyed just being in the mountains and walking in such amazing surroundings. After overnight snow, the trail through white-sprinkled greenery was magical. Blue sheep, vultures and lammergeier. Weird plants like the cobra lily. Bhaktipur sightseeing was really interesting too. The lodges were (some of them!) better than the dossier implied.
I chose KE after many previous trips over the years.
By: Tracy Witter, San Francisco, USA
Gopal is an exceptional trip leader. He provided excellent leadership, patience and humor during our trip. We were offered opportunities and experiences that Gopal made happen that other groups did not seem to have available. For instance, we were able to enter Nepali homes due to Gopal's communication skills.
By: Ann Shawley, Sheffield, UK
It was the best trek I have been on so far as regards views, weather, support from the crew and leader and my own health. I would certainly recommend this trip to family and friends.
By: Dave Sorensen, Edinburgh, Scotland
Pacing was good. No rushing. Group also understood it had some flexibility re certain expects. Food was good and rooms were basic but better than I had thought. I had enough freedom to take photos whenever I pleased and also to lag a few mins behind the group without feeling I was causing a problem. I thought accommodation better than expected and a surprise to get a shower most nights. The jeep track also affects things, good and bad. Walking along a jeep track for quite long sections was not really what I had in mind and not sure if the amount of this was influenced by the pace and fitness of our group.
My friend Julie Brown told me she was going with you and did I want to join her. That said, I've used KE before and the admin was excellent, plus I know you are very competent and specialist when it comes to Nepal. If memory serves, drinking water always come up as an issue. On this trip, the ample boiled water provided was welcome and the ideal solution. I haven't checked the trip dossier but I think it would be really helpful to make it clear that this service is provided (apologies if you already do).
By: Mark Clinkscales, Coventry, UK
Information was provided efficiently every time we asked a question.Amazing support from the trek support team, who ensured well being at every opportunity. The local agent was efficient and heplful. Our trip Leader Rinji Sherwa was superb, it was his first trip as a Leader. He ensured our trip was a success,no doubt his subsequent trips will also be successful. A definite asset to the KE organisation.
Post going over ThorungLa, our group were exhausted. So at Makinath we chose to book a Jeep from Makinath to Jomsom, thus avoiding a 4 hr walk. From Jomsom we then walked onto Marpha. The intinery suggested a 6-8hr walk post going over the pass. Not sure this is feasible. Most other trekkers were having a day off after going over the pass.
By: Graeme Lindley, Skegness, UK
Very well organised trip in all aspects. The leader and guide were very knowledgable and had us well organised. Both Rinji and Kalden were also very knowledgable and passed on info re culture etc of the country. All the accommodation was good. Perhaps one of the lodges could be improved. I can't recall the name of the village but the leader might assist. The lodge had a dining area which was very cold and the rooms here were the worst by far on the trip. Sorry I can't be more specific but the lodge did stand out with the other guests too. One aspect which might help is that guests, on introduction evening are given a form with the leader/guides names written down. Sounds daft, but until few days into it not everyone was calling them by their correct pronunciation. I was surprised by quality of lodges and foods. I was expecting more basic conditions.