The complete lowdown and itinerary for the solo traveller to the Annapurna base camp and sanctuary.
|ACAP/TIMS Permits||NTB, Pardi, Damside, Pokhara;
NTB, Pradarshani Marg, Bhrikuti Mandap [near Ratnapark], KTM
|Got my permits done in KTM.
Should take around half an hour which includes filling forms. Carry Nepal Currency(NC).
You can walk back to Thamel from NTB.
Change your money at the airport or at Thamel. Money changers also available on the road on the right side of the NTB gate if you are facing it.
|Sleeping bags||Shona’s, Amrit Marg, Thamel, KTM||High quality sleeping bags at 1/3rd the price of a European brand. Can also be rented out.|
|Books||Pilgrims Book House, Thamel, KTM||For the best books, posters about mountains and Nepal, visit Pilgrims. Had a wondeful conversation with the owner who studied in Bangalore, India. It seems that the original Pilgrim’s further down the road got burnt sometime ago.|
|Delhi||KTM||Stay in KTM, Reservations in Hotel Happy Home, JP Marg||Decent hotel for a night’s stay. Quite a few travellers stay here. The best part is, it is right in front of Chaksibari Marg which has quite some happening places and a lot of ATM’s.|
|KTM||Pokhara||You get mini/micro buses at Prithivi chowk, Pokhara.
I stayed at New Annapurna Guest House,
Phewa, Lakeside. The lane is opposite the gate of Fishtail Lodge.
|Do not take a mini bus or a regular bus unless it is a Greenline or a standard bus. Buses are notorious for frequently stopping to herd in more passengers. I took a micro bus which basically is a Toyota Hiace and is compact and comfortable. It costs around 500 NC to Pokhara.
Annapurna is a decent guest house with clean sheets and a clean bathroom. I was upgraded during my first stay to the new block. Though the guest house does not have a restaurant, its proximity to Lake Side makes it a very convenient place. Paid around 1500 NC per day.
|Pokhara||Nayapul||Kalanki Bus Park||Took a mini bus.||2-3 hours|
|Nayapul 1000m||Ghandrung 1940m||Lunch can be had at Syauli Bazaar. Stayed at Annapurna Guest House, Ghandrung. I started my trek at 12 pm and reached destination around 5.30 pm.||Stone staircase from Syauli Bazar all the way to Ghandruk. Annapurna GH is a decent place but felt that Trekker’s Inn could be better. Shower available.||5 hrs without lunch|
|Ghandrung||Chomrong 2170||Started at around 8.45 am. Reached Kimrong Danda in the valley for lunch at 12.35 pm. Left at 1.45 pm and reached Ghandruk at 3.15 pm. Stayed at Chomrong Cottage, +97 5600 0211.||Flat trail till the forest and then downhill to the valley before a steep uphill. Chomrong Cottage is a decent place with a hot shower available. Kalpana GH seems to be another decent option. The inns on the road to Jinnu seem to be good (Panorama Point Lodge).||6 hrs with lunch|
|Chomrong||Dovan 2510||Let at 8.40 am. Talked to an Italian for 15 mins. Reached bridge at 9.30 am. Lower Sinuwa – 10.25 am. Upper Sinuwa – 11.35 am. Lunch at Bamboo at 1.35 pm for 1 hr. Reached Dovan Guest House at 4pm heavily drenched.||The uphill from the valley to Upper Sinuwa is taxing. Then it is a flat trail before a descent over Long Steep Stone Staircase. Basic guest houses from here. Stayed in a dorm.||7 hrs with lunch|
|Dovan||Deorali 3230||Left at 8.10 am. reached Himalaya at 10 am. 12.15 pm – Deorali. Had lunch at Deorali itself due to a snow storm but otherwise can head further to MBC. Stay at Panorama Lodge for the night.||Panorama Lodge is good and has a cappuccino machine.||4.5 hours|
|Deorali||ABC 4130||Left at 7.30 am via the safe route across the bridge. Snowed out route and slipped many times. 11 am – MBC. 3 pm – ABC. Stayed at Annapurna Sanctuary Lodge.||Altitude gain makes the journey slow. Avoid the avalanche track after Deurali during the snow season. Most basic guest houses. Usually the guest houses are full and are thus first-come-first-serve.||7 hrs without lunch|
|ABC||Bamboo 2340||Left ABC at 7.50 am. Lunch at Deorali at 12.30 pm.Reached Bamboo at 5.30 pm. Stayed at Bamboo Guest House.||Would recommend Buddha Guest House. Avoid Bamboo GH as the lunch room is not comfortable.||8.5 hrs incl lunch|
|Bamboo||Jinnu||Lunch in Chomrong. Stayed at Hotel Namaste, Jinnu.||The staircase to Chhomrong will tire you after the descent from Sinuwa. Great ambience and good food at Hotel Namaste including sizzlers et al. Soak in the hot springs in Jinnu.||7.5 hrs with a 2 hr lunch break|
|Jinnu||Kyumi/Pokhara||8 am – Jinnu. 9.30 am – New Bridge. 11 – Kyumi. 12.15 – Siwai Can have lunch at Bee Hive.||At Siwai, the road head starts and buses and jeeps are available to Pokhara. Thus one needn’t trek all the way back to Syauli Bazaar or Nayapool. In Pokhara, Godfather’s Pizzeria and Pokhara Thakali are decent eats.||4 hrs|
|Pokhara||KTM||Micro bus at Prithvi Chowk.||Read about my journey back to KTM in another post. A six hour journey became a 11 hour journey due to breakdowns and traffic jams.|
|Budget around 2000 NC per day for the trek.
Stay is cheap but food is expensive.A dal baht on an average is around 450 NC.
Boiled water is available at a cost in the upper reaches. A Steripen makes a lot of sense for the money spent on buying expensive water.
Paid wi-fi is available till Deorali.
Trekking boots and even micro spikes are recommended in March as there usually will be snow from Deorali to ABC.
My back pack weight was around 12 kgs and my fitness levels were basic to intermediary. Did not engage any porter or guide but had a detailed map of the region.