Arrive Kathmandu, transfer to hotel; evening free.
After breakfast we have a fairly long drive to Arughat Bazaar. We follow the river to the Gorkha, where we leave the main road. Past Gorkha the road is bumpy and dusty as we continue on to Arughat in the Buri Gandaki Valley. (Very occasionally the road to Arughat is blocked so we may have to vary the route slightly for the first few days of our trek).
Our route begins by following the Buri Gandaki Valley north. Today is a fairly easy walk passing several small villages and cultivated fields. After a short climb up to Kyoropani we drop down to the Soti Khola. Continuing we camp near Liding.
We continue following the Buri Gandaki as we climb high above the river through fairly dense forest. Throughout the day the trail undulates, passing several small hamlets and farms. We camp at Machha Khola (fish river), which is a tributary running into the Buri Gandaki. 5- 6 hours walking.
We cross a bridge at The Machha Khola and follow the rocky undulating trail to Tatopani. The water from the natural hot springs here is funnelled through a few taps in the centre of the village. Crossing the river we arrive at Dovan, where there are a few tea houses. After some steep sections the river and trail level out until we cross a suspension bridge at Yaru, where we camp near a small stream. Approximately 5 hours walking.
A short day. The trail undulates to Jagat, a well kept paved village. From here the trail continues up the valley to Sirdabas, offering great views of the Sringi Himal ahead. We then drop down to the river, cross a long suspension bridge and climb steeply up to Philim. There will be time in the afternoon to explore the village and surrounding hillside. Approximately 5 hours walking.
The trail now undulates spectacularly with impressive waterfalls on either side of the valley. We pass Eklabatti and head to the river and cross it twice on suspension bridges. We pass Euwa, where there is a small campsite and continue following the valley until we reach the village of Deng. Approximately 5 hours walking.
Descending to the river our route crosses it before scrambling steeply up onto a spectacular trail. We pass through some small settlements as we ascend the impressive valley. We will see mani stones (prayer stones) carved into wayside rocks, a sign that we are now in a Buddhist area. We camp half an hour on from the village at Gyapsa. This afternoon the energetic can make an excursion to the small settlement of Prok, which is a two hour round trip. There is an interesting monastery in Prok. Approximately 5 hours walking
Gaining altituide we walk through alpine forests, home to white-faced monkeys. From Gyapsa we have a long climb to Namrung. From here the valley becomes wider and there is extensive farmland all around where we may see the occasional look-out platform, built to ward off bears. Climbing steadily we pass the Tibetan village of Sho and above the village we get our first view of Manaslu ahead. A little further on we come to our camp in Lho. Approximately 6.5-7 hours walking.
A short day as we continue up the valley. The trail climbs out of Lho and follows the valley with great views of Peak 29 ahead. As we pass through Shala village, Manaslu, Himalchuli and Phungi all come into view. Soon we reach the fields and stone houses of Samagaon (3525m), where our campsite is located. Across the valley there are magnificent views of Manaslu. We should arrive at Samagaon by lunchtime so there will be time to explore the village and visit the monastery in the afternoon. Approximately 3-4 hours walking.
We spend the day at Samagaon acclimatising. There are various options for full or half day walks. Those who are feeling energetic can take a packed lunch and walk up to Manaslu Base Camp (approximately 10 hour round trip). Alternatively there are half day walks either to the glacier across the valley or to Birendra Tal.
The trail crosses grazing areas and gradually climbs the valley. We have fantastic views of the mountains especially Manaslu and reach Samdo (3860m), the last permanent settlement in the valley. This remote village is only a day's walk from the Tibetan border. In the afternoon there will be time to explore the village and surrounding hills. Approximately 3 hours walking.
Leaving the village we cross a stream to deserted Larkya Bazaar. Years ago this village thrived off trade with Tibet. Climbing steadily we reach a lodge at 4450m, which is the last campsite before the pass. Approximately 4 hours walking.
A very early start as crossing the pass makes it a long day. The trail climbs onto the moraine of the glacier with views of Larkya Peak. The ascent is gradual at first with a final steep climb to the top of the Larkya pass (5213m). This is the highest point of the trek and the views are outstanding - a wonderful panorama of peaks including Annapurna 2, Himlung Himal and Kang Guru. Descending carefully over snow and scree the steep trail eventually eases off onto a path which takes us down to Tanbuche. Further down the valley is Bimthang, where we camp tonight at 3590m. Approximately 10-11 hours walking.
From Bimthang we cross high pasture land and descend the valley of the Burdin Khola, passing the base camp used for attempts of Manaslu summit. From a ridge we have magnificent views of Manaslu and Annapurna 2. We now descend into rhododendron forest and follow a trail through a narrow valley to Karche. A short climb past terraced fields brings us to the Karche La from where we will be in sight of the Marsyangdi River. Descending through forest we camp before Tilje. Approximately 5 - 6 hours walking.
Day 16 - 17
We descend through Tilje and several other small villages before we join the main Annapurna Circuit trail at Dharapani. We now follow the Marsyangdi River south, passing a broad, flat area at Tal before continuing steeply down to the village of Chyamje. Further down the Marsyangdi Valley, we will see other trekkers and teahouses. A leisurely descent of this impressive valley brings us to our campsite at Bhulebule.
We complete the circuit at Besisiahar. We then drive back to Kathmandu, arriving late afternoon.
Today is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You may wish to visit Durbar Square in the heart of the old city where the old Royal Palace is located. Outside is Kumari Chowk, home of the Kumari, the young girl who is revered as a living goddess. The whole area is a maze of temples and images. Leading away from the square in all directions are narrow alleys, full of the most amazing variety of shops and stalls. Alternatively you may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. We off er a full range of sightseeing tours, which can be booked and paid for locally. Please see the Optional Excursions section or the Exodus notice board in the hotel in Kathmandu.
The trip ends after breakfast. Those flying with the group will transfer to the airport for the flight back to London.