Trekking in Nepal - Enough or take the time?

Trekking in Nepal - Enough or take the time?

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Many hikers in Nepal come for a trek in the Nepalese Himalayas, offering comfortable treks that combine stunning views with varying walking levels. Trekking in Nepal has a lot to offer - so much so that the hiker is left with a feeling of pressure, that not everything is enough, and one should try to eat as much of the cake as possible.
A question that is repeated over and over again, each season anew - "Can I complete Trek A and Trek B in one month?". Except in exceptional cases, the answer is always "maybe". It depends on many factors. How long will the trek take you? What do you want when you finish it? Want to rest? Start straight another trek? You have no way of knowing beforehand. So my answer will always be "Finish one trek, then see what happens…"

Wait a minute, but why didn't a hiker know how long the trek would take him? After all, in principle, every trek has its own length, even if it is within a day or two. Annapurna Base Camp treks take 8-12 days, Poon Hill 5 - 7 days, Everest trek 11-14 days, etc. 

Is that so?

So this is, not exactly.
Let's take the Annapurna circuit trek for example - also because it is also the most popular trek and definitely the best example of the point I'm trying to convey - once people were trekking three weeks full of Annapurna around - from Besisahar to Beni.

As the jeeps opened, there was a widespread belief that it is not worth walking the sections where there are jeeps, so in fact people start to go from Jagat or Siyang and finish at Muktinath. It takes 12-14 days, and if you want, you can also shorten it even further and drive to Manang. Those who walk from Manang to Muktinath get a trek that is only at heights - Lake Tilicho and the Pass and home.

This is not the reason why this trek is becoming famous and popular. The original attraction of the Annapurna area was its diversity - starting with green landscapes with a stunning blue river and lots of vegetation, advancing to a rocky and exposed landscape, continuing to a snowy landscape, crossing the pass, and reaching a desert landscape. Almost everyone doing the trek today misses most of the green landscape and all the desert scenery.

I went to the Annapurna Route in 2016, and together with Poon Hill, it was a 21-day trek. How? First of all, because I ignored the agencies' recommendations. I started two days earlier and discovered stunning views and great hiking trails and almost empty of slopes. The trails I walked on after the pass was also deserted, and the most beautiful desert landscapes I have seen in Nepal. 

To this day, I regret that I took a jeep in the last days of the route, and I still plan to go back there and walk from Marpa. Yes, there are also great hiking trails parallel to the jeep road, almost along the entire route.

Another reason for extending the trek was relaxation and side trips during which - sometimes we came to the village and stayed another night because it was nice, and sometimes we got tired and stayed in the same place for a recovery day. There was always something to do and see around the villages where we stayed another day. There are always side trips to the hills, springs, and surrounding lakes.

So how long will the trek take you? It's up to you. Are you going to run it, take a jeep to shorten it, go at a fast pace to finish, and get enough, or are you going to stop and smell the flowers?

Another important point - there is something magical about the experience of walking for so long. That is to say, there is an added value to walking three consecutive weeks in a trek, as opposed to two treks of a week and a half. Feel it in the body, feel it in the head, feel it in the heart.

My advice: do not try to suffice. Take the time, stop, breathe, research, enjoy. Even if it means giving up another trek later



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