Nepal: Budget

Number of days spent in country: 17

Goal daily budget pp/d: $25 CAD

Actual daily expenditure pp/d: $33.78

Things that were expensive: Due to the petrol shortage transport was almost double or triple the normal price, driving our cost per day up. We also splurged quite a bit after our hike which would account for the higher daily budget.

Things that were cheap: Our daily expenditure while hiking was extremely cheap as we did it without a guide or porter (see my post on Nepal for daily figures)

Nepal

Hello everyone!

I will begin my post describing the saga that took place to make it to Nepal.

From Varanasi it is only a 10 hour bus ride to the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu. However, as you may or may not have read in the news, Nepal instituted a constitution for the first time in their history the week before we were scheduled to arrive in Nepal. Some of the minority groups feel the constitution marginalizes them, and thus began protesting. The majority of these groups live along the border of India, and subsequently India closed the borders due to the unrest. Furthermore, India began enforcing restrictions on what vehicles could cross the border, severely limiting supplies and petrol to Nepal. India blames the unrest, Nepal blames India and says they are enforcing this embargo to force Nepal to revise the constitution, and unfortunately it is a lose-lose for Nepal. As we were unable to cross via land border we had to book a last minute flight from Delhi to Kathmandu. This meant we had to board a 16-hour night train from Varanasi to Delhi in order to catch our flight. We booked a train that was due to arrive at 6:10 am, and our flight was at 11:05 am, leaving us a 5-hour window to make our way from the train station to the airport via the metro system. We figured even if the train was two hours late we would still have plenty of time to make the flight. To that point the latest any of the trains we had taken had been was an hour and a half, leaving us feeling confident there would be no issues.

We awoke on the train twenty minutes before we were scheduled to arrive and asked someone how far we were from Delhi and they told us two hours. We were a bit alarmed, and hoped perhaps there was a translation issue and they misunderstood our question. The next two hours passed painstakingly slow as at each station we peered hopefully out the window to see the station name. Two hours came and went, and we still hadn’t arrived. We were growing more and more concerned and began discussing what the latest time we could arrive and still potentially make the flight. An hour later (a total of 3 hours and 15 minutes late) we pulled into the Delhi station and took off in full sprint to the metro station. Our chances of making our flight were very slim, but we thought it was worth a shot. Our mad dash had us weaving in and out of the hoards of people making their way to work, slipping and sliding on the freshly polished tile floor (treads on our shoes are all but nonexistent). All was going fine until we were flying down a set of stairs, and as I had a bag on my back and one on my front I was unable to see the steps, and I missed the bottom stair and absolutely wiped out, twisting my ankle majorly in the process. The two bags also make it impossible to get up on my own, I was a bit like a turtle found on my back, and luckily some nice Indian men stopped and helped me up as Chris was too far ahead of me to even realize anything was amiss. When he turned around I was limping towards him shouting that I had fallen and twisted my ankle. He [thankfully] took one of my bags and we were off again, albeit slightly slower. We made it onto the airport express metro train at 9:34 am and prayed we would be able to make it. Arriving to the airport terminal meant another mad dash to try and find our counter to check-in at, which we successfully did at 10:01, an hour and four minutes before the flight was to leave. All of the counters had closed, but one of the attendants thankfully allowed us to check-in, encouraging us to hurry as boarding was about to start. We were in disbelief that we had done it, thanked her profusely, and hurried to passport control and security. We cleared both and arrived to our gate as they announced they were beginning boarding. We finally let out a sigh of relief, high-fived, and collapsed into our seats on the plane. I imagine that is what it would feel like to be on the Amazing Race, it was quite the adrenaline rush.

The flight was only an hour and twenty minutes, just enough time to purchase something to eat as we hadn’t eaten since dinner the evening prior. We landed in Kathmandu and had to organize our visa on arrival. We were really surprised at how efficient the process was, they had just implemented 5 kiosks where you filled in your details, had a picture taken with a webcam, and received a printed receipt. You then took that receipt to a counter where you paid the visa fee, which you were able to do with a credit card! You then took both these receipts to a counter where an immigration officer filled out your visa and stuck it in your passport. I was very impressed with how easy to process was.

We had organzied an airport pickup with our guesthouse as we were concerned with the petrol shortage there would be no taxis. We were very glad we had done this as it would have cost us an arm and leg to get a taxi at the airport. We arrived to our guesthouse, had a quick shower, and then headed out to explore and have a bite to eat. We were staying in the backpacker area of Thamel where you can find anything and everything you may need for your trek. Immediately we noticed how quiet the roads were, especially coming from India. It was rather eery as Kathmandu is meant to be a bit like India in terms of how busy the roads are and the incessant honking. Also, the air pollution in Kathmandu is suppose to be horrendous, but we did not notice any of these things during our stay, likely due to the petrol shortage. We found a place with a good happy hour special and gratefully ordered two celebratory beers. We were absolutely smashed from the previous 36 hours of travel so it was a very early night for the two of us.

The next morning was an early one as we had arranged a bus to get to Pokhara as we were concerned the buses were going to stop running soon due to the lack of fuel. Taxis were not an option to get to the bus station as the rates had already been enflated by two or three times the regular price, so our guesthouse owner had his brother walk us to the station. The bus companies had all banded together and combined their patrons to fill one bus. We left promptly and began the slow journey towards Pokhara. The bus made frequent stops to pick people up or drop them off within Kathmandu, it took us over an hour just to get out of the city. Once on the road we stopped what felt like every 15-20 kms for chai, bathroom breaks, snack breaks, or lunch breaks. The drive was beautiful along the river, but it honestly felt like we would just get going and it would be time for another break! About half-way through the journey I began to feel unwell, and my nausea intensified as the journey continued. By the time we made it to Pokhara I was in a panic as I knew I had some sort of food poisoning that was about to come to a head very shortly. We took an exorbitantly priced taxi to our guesthouse where I sprinted to our room and confined myself to the bathroom. Needless to say, I spent the remainder of the day in bed.

The following day I was feeling much better and was able to eat breakfast without any issues. We headed to the trekking permit office to organize our trekking permits for the following day. This process was seamless and efficient. We needed two permits; one was for entry into the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACAP), and the other was the Trekkers Information Management System Permit (TIMS card). You need two passport photos for each permit, as well as to show your passport. Having completed this we headed to a bookshop to purchase a trekking map and then met with the owner of our guesthouse (Pushpa Guesthouse) to go over our trekking route. He was a guide for over 20 years and could have told us the route with his eyes closed. He made us feel very at ease about going on our own without a guide or porter. With our route finalized we packed our bags, bought a trekking pole each, had a good supper, and headed to bed early in anticipation of departing the next day.

We showed up at the bus station the next morning at 6:20 am and were ushered onto a bus that was packed and seemingly ready to go. We were pleased with our timing, until the driver turned the key in the ignition and the bus sputtered and died. He happily announced “No Fuel!” and everyone began disembarking the bus without any objections. Another bus then pulled in and we were told that bus would be leaving at 7:30 for Nayapol, the town at the start of our hike. We sat on the bus for over an hour before we were told the bus wasn’t full enough to leave, that only when it was full would it go. A few other hikers had boarded the bus with us and we joined together and approached a taxi driver to enquire about sharing a taxi to the start of the hike. It was double the price as the bus per person, but seeing as it could take hours for the bus to fill we decided to go with the taxi. The drive was beautiful, and the taxi driver definitely earned his wage as the roads were awful. We arrived to Nayapol an hour and 10 minutes later, more than an hour quicker than the bus would have taken. We thanked the taxi driver and headed down the path to begin our hike. We were filled with anticipation and excitement to finally be on the trail after all of the uncertainty about whether we would be able to make it Nepal, let alone be able to hike.

Day 1 Summary: 5 hours hike from Nayapul elevation: 1070 meters to Ulleri elevation: 2020 meters. Total elevation gain: 950 meters Where we spent the night: The Super View Guesthouse & Restaurant
Total Daily expenditure for both of us : $38.25 CAD

We reached the ACAP and TIMS checkpoints after about 20 minutes of walking and signed into the conservation area. Having made things official, we set off under the blazing heat of the sun. The temperature soared in the 30°s despite it only being 9:30 am. I realized fairly early into the hike that I had perhaps over estimated my recovery after my bout of food poisoning only a day earlier. I was feeling quite weak as I still hadn’t found my appetite and had very little to eat in the previous 24 hours. Luckily, the trail is dotted with teahouses and we were able to stop frequently for breaks to refuel with sodas or snacks. The first few hours were overall uphill, but had flat sections as well as several downhill sections. The guesthouse owner had mentioned there was a section of the trail where you climbed 3,200 stairs, but I was under the impression they were on day 2, not day 1. By the time we were half way though the stairs I finally admitted to myself that the stairs were in fact, on day 1. I struggled up the stairs needing frequent breaks where I would collapse for a rest and water. It was not one of my finest days hiking, I was elated when we reached our final destination for the day, Ulleri. We stayed at The Super View Guesthouse and Restaurant, in their new building which had wonderfully hot water and very clean rooms. Our room had a spectacular view (as the name implies), and the rooftop restaurant was lovely. Over dinner we shared a table with Fran and Charles, a couple from England, who we got on famously with. Fran had spent several years backpacking before meeting Charles so we had a lovely time hearing her travel experiences. The evening passed quickly with stellar conversation and warm drinks. We retired to bed very early as we [mostly me] were entirely spent from the first day on the trail.
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The trail the entire day was very easy and straight forward, there were no confusing bits or parts you could get lost on.

Day 2 Summary: 3 hours hike from Ulleri (2020m) to Ghorepani elevation: 2860 meters Total elevation gain: 840 meters Where we spent the night: Nice View Guesthouse located on the way to Poon Hill, has a beautiful balcony with picnic tables
Total daily expenditure for both of us: $36 CAD

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I awoke feeling infinitely better than I had the day before, and was ready to tackle the day. We had an early breakfast and hit the trail shortly after to get ahead of everyone else staying in Ulleri. The first half an hour we had to climb more stairs, but thankfully after that the trail was relatively flat and through the cover of the jungle. It was very easy compared to the previous day, and we were extremely surprised how quickly we ended up smashing it out when we asked a porter on the trail how far to Ghorepani and he said 20 minutes, when we thought we had an additional two hours to go. Overall we ended up finishing the day in 3 hours, when the suggested time is 5 hours. We had lunch at the first guesthouse you reach in Lower Ghorepani and the Dal Bhat and pancakes were fantastic, we recommend having lunch there! We continued on to Upper Ghorepani and checked out numerous guesthouses before settling on Nice View Guesthouse (notice a theme with the names of the guesthouses) which is on the way up to Poon Hill, and has a lovely balcony with patio tables at the front. We stayed in the best room in the house, room #6, which had windows 180° of windows with spectacular views, check out the picture below! The food here was also great, we definitely recommend staying here. We met Robert, from New Brunswick, at this guesthouse and had a lovely evening chatting. We couldn’t help remark how slim the chances of us three maritimers meeting in the Himalayas was, but there we were!

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Day 3 Summary: Sunrise trek from Ghorepani to Poon Hill elevation: 3210 meters: 45 minutes up and 25 minutes down. Then we continued on to Tadapani elevation: 2630 meters (via Deurali Pass at 3090 meters but at some points on the trail we reached over 3200 meters): 3 hours and 15 mins Total elevation change: A decrease in elevation of 230 meters Where we spent the evening: Panorama Point Guesthouse
Total daily expenditure for both of us: $44.13

Day 3 had a very early start as we wanted to be at the top of Poon Hill for sunrise. We set out guided by the light of our headtorches at 4:45am, along with almost every other tourist staying in Ghorepani. It was all worth it when we got to the top and there was a small stand selling hot drinks. We settled in with our coffees and waited for the sun to peak up over the mountains and illuminate them for us, and more importantly, warm us up. I love the feeling of waiting for the sun to rise, it feels like a fresh start and when those first beams hit your face it is nothing short of perfect. We stayed for as long as possible up there, and in no time at all the throngs of the other tourists left due to the cold or their grumbling stomachs and we found we had the place basically ti ourselves. Chris got some incredible shots from up there, check them out below!

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We reluctantly began to make our way down, relishing in the views for as long as possible. We had breakfast at our guesthouse, packed up, and then hit the trail for Tadapani. We had to climb our way up to Deurali Pass at 3090 meters, which was an effort after having already climbed to Poon Hill! At the top the views, in our opinion, were even better than at Poon Hill. If I had a do-over, I would aim to be at the top of the pass for sunrise as you would definitely have the place to yourself, and shave off 45 minutes of steep uphill climb from your day! After the pass it was flat for a while, before we began our steep descent to the river. Going down requires much more concentration, and is much harder on your legs. It seemed to be never-ending, but we finally made it and stopped for a coca-cola and a toastie. We set off for Tadapani, knowing we would have to climb our way back up from the river. We were astonished when we arrived in Tadapani 45 minutes later, an hour and 45 minutes ahead of schedule! We had only been hiking for 3 hours and 15 minutes (excluding the Poon Hill hike) and could have pressed on, but the views from Panorama Point Guesthouse were too good to leave. We had a fantastic lunch of spring rolls, chips and salad taking in the view. The menus at all of the guesthouses are government regulated so they cannot undercut one another, but in doing so every single guesthouse has the exact same menu, with prices increasing with the altitude. The execution of the menus varied greatly, with the only reliable option being Dal Bhat (traditional meal). However, these spring rolls rocked, make sure to order them it you find yourself at Panorama Point! Shower was hot, and the rooms satisfactory. The evening dining hall had a glorious wood fire that they kept going all night, keeping you toasty warm over dinner. Chris had the mushroom enchilada, a specialty item they offered, and said it was the best enchilada he had ever had!

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Day 4 Summary: 5.5 hours hike from Tadapani to Upper Sinuwa 2360 metersTotal elevation change: A decrease in 270 meters Where we spent the evening: At the second guesthouse you encounter when you reach Upper Sinuwa (the middle one) called Sinuwa Lodge and Restaurant Total daily expenditure for both of us: $48.13 CAD

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Do not be deceived by the total elevation change in the summary, this was a very hard day that had more uphill climbing than down. The day started with a further descent from Tadapani to our first suspension bridge, then a climb from the bridge to upper Chhomrong, then a steep descent to Chhomrong. We stopped along the way for lunch at Chhomrong Cottage and were so, so happy we did. We had a pizza each that was perfectly executed thin crust pizza (the mushroom pizza was especially nice), and to top it off we shared a slice of their Chocolate Cake that Time Magazine wrote about in 2010 calling it the ‘Best Chocolate Cake in Asia.’ It was devine,true chocolate cake that was exactly what we needed. Her bean burritos were also mentioned in the Time article and we were sad we missed trying them. You must stop for at least lunch and chocolate cake (their tea is delicious as well) on the way, and if you are planning to stay in Chhomrong I would suggest there as the rooms looked very nice. It had been recommended that we stay in Chhomrong by the guesthouse owner in Pokhara, but we wanted to push on to shorten our next day. With full bellies we headed out to finish the steep descent and the very steep ascent to Sinuwa. When we reached Lower Sinuwa we could see Upper and it looked about only 30 more minutes away. We decided to press on, which we would regret. It took an hour and ten minutes to reach Upper Sinuwa,in the direct heat of the afternoon sun. It was entirely uphill, and we were both gassed from covering so much ground already. In total the day is recommended to take 8 hours to finish, and we did it in 5.5 hours. We were grateful to collapse on our beds and take an afternoon catnap. The guesthouse we stayed in was the second on you come to, and had hot showers, pleasant rooms, and decent food. We were in bed very early after such a grueling day.

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Day 5 Summary: 4.5 hours hike from Upper Sinuwa to Dureli 3200 meters Total elevation change: Ascended 849 meters Where we spent the evening: At Deureli Guesthouse and Lodge at the very top of Deureli, away from all the other guesthouses Total daily expenditure for both of us: $39.13

We hit the trail early as there was a large group of French people we kept running into on the trail also staying in Sinuwa that we wanted to get ahead of. I must make mention here of ethical tourism in regards to trekking; if you are going to hire a porter it is your responsibility to abide by the recommendation to keep your bag that is to be carried by the porter to a maximum of 20 kg. The French group had a blatant disregard for this and had loaded their porters to the absolute brink of what was humanly possible, with full charcuterie boards and bottles and bottles of wine from France that they would bring out each evening. I would estimate the porters were easily carrying 40-60 kilograms each. Two women we ran into on the trail had confronted the group about this and how they morally could do this, and they defended themselves by saying it was the company they went with cutting corners by not providing enough porters. This is not an acceptable excuse coming from people from first world countries. It is our duty to demand that companies abide by these rules and regulations, and that most importantly we abide by them! It is ridiculous claim you can do nothing when you have your bottles of fine wine and cheese packed safely in these bags. I was infuriated by their ignorance and lack of disregard for their porters. If you do chose to employ a porter or guide or both, please be an ethical trekker and keep your bag below 20 kg. Leave the wine at home, and eat local.

With that rant aside, day 5 was a much nicer day than day 4, with the gains in altitude being very gradual, with the terrain being over-all flat. We arrived to Himalaya, our original destination for the day, by 10:00 am and instead decided to have a snack and press on to Deurali. We made it to Deurali by lunch time, hiking for a total of 4.5 hours and covering a distance that should have taken 7-8 hours. We wanted to stop in Deurali as it is the perfect place to stop before heading to basecamp, if your intention is to spend the night at basecamp as ours was. There are several guesthouses clumped together in Deurali, and then one single guesthouse at the top of a steep hill above the others. We decided to head up to the guesthouse at the top of the hill to save ourselves the hill the next day. We were the first ones who arrived and easily obtained a room. We spent the day lazing in the sun. They have no proper shower, only a bucket with a hose, but the water that comes from the hose is warm. The rooms were the most basic we had encountered thus far, simply sheets of plywood. The food was acceptable at best. What really put the nail in the coffin for the guesthouse for us however, was when we went to go to bed they refused to provide us with a blanket as they said they had too many Nepalese guides and porters, there werent’t enough for us as well as them. We attempted to sleep with all of our clothes on in our sleeping bags, but it was just too cold. I went out and begged one of the worker for blankets, which he begrudgingly gave us one. We really felt we were being punished by this guesthouse for not having a guide or porter, despite the fact it had nothing to do with the guesthouse! We spent just as much money, or more, than those who had guides/porters. We were really disgusted with this uncharacteristic behavior from the owner. I would not recommend staying at that guesthouse. The only good thing that came out of us staying there was we met Nile and Sophie, a brilliant couple from England who we got on with like a house on fire!

Day 6: Dureli to Annapurna Base camp(ABC): Dureli to Machhapuchhre Base Camp (MBC) elevation: 3700 meters 1 hour 20 mins hiking. MCB to ABC 1 hour 10 minutes hiking elevation: 4130 meters Total Elevation change: Ascended 930 meters. Where we spent the night: Annapurna Guesthouse which is the first guesthousr on the right when you get to the top of the stairs Total expenditure for both of us for the day: $60.75

Our day started very early as we were concerned about getting a room at ABC as Nile and Soph’s guide informed us it was going to be very busy up there. We hit the trail at 6:30 am and had a few gentle rolling hills before a 20 minute flat section along the river. We then ascended 500 meters to MBC, where we stopped to have a tea and share a snickers. The sun still hadn’t gotten over the monstrous mountains, making it a very chilly hike. As we departed MBC the sun peaked over the mountains, warming our frigid hands and faces. The walk from MBC to ABC was much easier than I had been anticipating, perhaps because of the breathtaking 360° view on the way. We stopped several times for photos, as well as to pause to take things in. We were joined by two Nepalese mountain dogs for one section of the walk, and I was tempted to take them home. They are similar in look to Bernese Mountain Dogs but are much smaller. I loved meeting them on the trail as they were always friendly and looking for a pet or two on your way past. We reached ABC at 9:30 am after 2 hours 45 minutes trekking (1 hour and 30 minutes quicker than the suggested times) arranged our room at Annapurna Guesthouse and Restaurant (making sure we would be given blankets) and headed out to snap pictures before the clouds rolled in. By 10:00 am the clouds completely obscured the mountains, you would have no idea the were looming behind them if you hadn’t seen them prior.

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The above quote is found at ABC at reads:

The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve,
they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.

I love that, it resonates deeply with me.
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Soph and Nile arrived shortly thereafter and we spent the day chatting and playing cards. The guesthouse food was delicious, and we treated ourselves with hot chocolate throughout the day. Best of all, the dining area was toasty warm. By early evening it began to snow, continuing off and on until we went to bed that evening. Most people sleep at MBC, hike to ABC early in the morning, spend a few hours there and then begin their hike out. We felt this to be a waste as the pinnacle of the hike is to reach ABC! We thoroughly enjoyed our day there and recommend completing the hike this way, so long as you do okay at altitude.

Day 7 Summary: 4.5 hours hiking from ABC elevation: 4130 meters to High Sinuwa elevation 2360 meters Total elevation change: Descended 1770 meters

We awoke for sunrise at ABC and were amazed by the overnight transformation; it had evidently snowed all evening, having a dramatic effect on the landscape in making itseem much more barren. We snapped endless pictures as the lighting changed with the rising sun. We then had breakfast, took our last photos, and set out. We stopped several more times along the way, the lighting and setting were just too good!

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Although getting down is much quicker than going up, it is mentally and physically draining. We made it all the way to Bamboo, had a quick lunch, and pressed on to High Sinuwa. This time we stayed at the last guesthouse of three (Based on a recommendation from Soph and nile), where the rooms were much nicer than where we previously stayed and we had the best shower of the entire trek. Nile and Soph ended up staying there as well, so our card games and banter continued for another evening. Some people experience runners high, while I can say I definitely experience hikers high. When you finish for the day, take off your boots, have a warm shower, and sit down for the evening with a warm drink and good company there is no better feeling. My feet took an absolute beating throughout the day on the downhill, and two blisters that had previously been surface level were several layers deep and had been joined by 4 black toenails. I have owned my boots for 2 years and hiked extensively with them, and they had given me some grief in the past, but nothing ever to this extent. My feet throbbed as we sat playing cards, and I began to worry about the next few days of hiking.

Day 8: 5.5 hours of hiking from high Sinuwa to Siwai elevation: 1390 meters Total elevation change: We descended 970 meters Where we spent the night: We made it back to Pokhara and stayed at our original guesthouse, Pushpa.

My concerns regarding my feet were confirmed when I awoke for day 8 of our hike. Chris and I tried to affix bandages and padding as best we could, stuffed kleenex in the toes of my boots, and tied them as right as possible. These things did pretty much nothing to ease my discomfort, but there are no alternative options to get out of the mountains so I told myself I just had to suck it up. Chris tried to convince me to get out over several days so each day we only had to hike a few hours, but this would just make things worse as getting my boots on and my feet moving were the hardest part, stopping frequently made it worse. We set off with the intention to make it as far as feasible. I limped along the trail, thankful for the aid of my trekking pole, running at certain points as it hurt less to run than to walk. People we met on their way up must have thought I was absolutely mental but at that point I really didn’t care. We made it all the way to New Bridge before breaking for lunch, pleased with our progress with my troublesome feet. During lunch a single porter and one client stopped to eat lunch as well, and the porter began inquiring where we were headed. He mentioned they intended to make it back go Pokhara that day, which made my ears perk. He said they were going to go to Siwai, a further two hours walk, and try to arrange a jeep and he invited us along to share the jeep as prices were likely go be high due to the continued petrol shortage. I was ecstatic as that meant we would finish a day early, and we would be cutting several hours of hiking off by taking the jeep which I would desperately benefit from. We headed out together after lunch and I was determined to just put one foot infront of the other to make it to Siwai. We arrived after an hour and thirty-five minutes and I was thanking my lucky stars I was able to guts it out as we were able to arrange a taxi. It cost an exorbitant amount of money for Nepalese standards, but due to the petrol shortage we didn’t have much bargaining power, and frankly I really didn’t care the price.

Chris and I were both so relieved to make it back to Pokhara after the hair raising two hour taxi ourney. We quickly showered and headed out for pizza and beers to celebrate completing the trek. We ended up at Godfathers Pizza where the pizza was so good we spent the next 4 evenings there as well, taking both Fran and Charles and Sophie and Nile there for dinner when they each finished their treks. I really don’t have anything interesting to describe about our days post-trek as they were spent recovering. The only things I will mention is we moved guesthouses to Sacred Valley Inn which was beautiful and very comfortable, and we had breakfast each morning at AM/PM Cafe which was devine.

Overall trek tips:
1.Bring your own tea bags, coffee or hot chocolate as the higher you go the more expensive they are, but a cup of hot water is very cheap.
2. Bring filter tablets, liquid or a bottle that can filter as plastic bottles are not allowed in the Annapurna Conservation Area
3. Bring toilet paper
4. Bring duct tape and gauze for blister repair, and if in doubt about your boots don’t be cheap, buy new ones (trust me)
5. Bring a sleeping bag, even if it is a lightweight one graded for only 5-8 degrees. That is all we had, and when combined with the blankets provided it was perfect. Also, that way the mildew smelling blankets don’t actually touch you.
6. A quick dry towel is a must
7. Bring enough socks that you will have a dry pair each day
8. Oral rehydration salts are a good way to keep hydrated at the end of the hiking day, bring satchels from home
9. Make sure your pack is lightweight enough you can carry it for the entire day without being sore
10. If you are an experienced hiker who has extensive experience with long-distance treks and has spent significant amount of time at altitude, don’t be afraid to go alone. The path is incredibly well defined, you would really have to duff it to lose it. You don’t need to carry food as the teahouses are so plentiful along the trail.

******On that note, we encountered two guides who were absolutely fantastic with their clients (Our friends Nile/Soph and Fran/Charles). If you are looking for a guide/porter I highly recommend contacting either of the two listed below, they are top notch! They helped us and went above and being in doing so as we were individual hikers. Also, our friends both had very positive experiences with them. (I am not receiving any compensation for writing this, they were awesome so I offered to mention them!)

1. Ramchandra subedi (Ram)
Email: ramchandra_12@yahoo.com
Contact number: +977 9846280962 Government register number: 512
2. Dilip Trekking Guide
Email: bhandarik12@yahoo.com
Contacr number: +9856026872

Phew, what a post! The trek was one of our best travel experiences, I could go on for ages about how amazing it was. The only way you can possibly understand it is to make your way to Nepal and experience it yourself. I highly, highly recommend doing so. Nepal is perfectly safe, and the people are among the friendliest we have encountered. They need tourists to return as so much of the country is dependent on our revenue. In the short two weeks we have spent here, Nepal has become one of our all time favorite countries. Book your ticket, plan your trek, and discover it for yourself. You won’t regret it!