The founder and the managing director of North Nepal Travels and Treks, Mohan Raj Bhandari shares his trekking experience that will inspire you to plan your next vacation in this exotic nation.
During the autumn of 2018, I guided a group of Japanese trekkers in the Mardi Himal Trek. It was a short trek of 5 days in the Annapurna region.
The Beginning of our Mardi Himal Trek
We began our journey from Pokhara by driving up to Phedi and starting our hike. It was cold and foggy in the morning, but the sky cleared up quickly after a while. As we ascended uphill, the vegetation gradually changed with the altitude. We were now hiking through a dense rhododendron forest with trees covered in lichen. We took a short break at Australian Camp and passed along the ethnic Gurung village of Dhampus. From the village, we trekked further to reach Deurali.
Next day too, the weather was foggy, but it cleared up to a blue sky later. We could see the blue sky along with the shining snow-clad mountains as we hiked from Deurali to Forest Camp. After having lunch, we ascended to Low Camp. The view from the Low Camp was astounding as we could see the Annapurna Range and Machhapuchhre peak.
Getting Closer to the Mountains
On the third day of our Mardi Himal Trek, we climbed for two hours to reach the ridge of Badal Danda. It offers a majestic 360-degree view of the Himalayan Mountains. After having lunch at a guest house, we walked for another two hours along a grassy trail to High Camp. The guest house at high camp was better than the ones at Low Camp and Forest Camp. They also had good food and Wi-Fi service.
On the fourth day, we started early at 5:00 a.m. and began our hike towards the Mardi Himal Base Camp. Sheep and goats were grazing on the grasslands. The weather was also in our favor, as it was clear and dry. Upon reaching the Base Camp at 4500 meters, we could see the mountains right in front of us. It was almost like we were surrounded by these peaks that included Machhapuchhre, Himchuli, Mardi, and Annapurna South.
We returned to High Camp and had our breakfast. After that, we traced our way back until Low Camp.
Change of Route
On the way back, we decided to take a different route. Instead of going back to Forest Camp, we climbed downhill on a steep descent to Sidhing. From the village of Sidhing, we walked to Lumre via Kalimati and Ghale village. From there, we got on a jeep ride back to Pokhara. Then, our journey of Mardi Himal Trek came to an end.
- As our trekking was during high season, we faced difficulties in finding rooms at Low Camp.
- We also faced slight rainfall due to which the trail from High Camp to the Base Camp got slippery.
You can find the detailed itinerary of this trek here.