We begin our trek across the foothills of the Himalayas from Pokhara, where we take either a flight or bus from Kathmandu. We pass through small villages, terraced hillsides, rhododendron and bamboo forests, ascending to Ghorepani and Poon Hill for splendid dawn views of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. At Tatopani, famous for its hot springs, we enter the spectacular Kali Gandaki river valley, the deepest gorge in the world. The mighty Kali Gandaki river passes between the mountains of Annapurna 1 and Dhaulagiri, both over 8000m high. The Kali Gandaki valley was the main trading route with Tibet and the system of lodges and tea-houses here is well developed.
The Thakali people who inhabit this area are renowned for their hospitality and for being obliging hosts. Our trail follows the Kali Gandaki river valley from the Hindu lowlands in the south to the Buddhist villages and people in the upper valley. At Tukuche we head off the main trail to the spectacular Dhaulagiri Icefall, from where we can have superb views of the tumbling ice seracs. Subsequently, we continue north and finally we reach Lower Mustang region, where we explore Muktinath with its famous temples and also make an excursion to the base of the Thorong La Pass. After descending to Jomsom, we fly to Pokhara and back to Kathmandu.