Circuit is one of the world's classic walks. It offers stunning views of some
of the highest mountains in the world, and insights into the lives of the Nepali
people. Our thanks go to
The 125-mile route passes through a variety of Himalayan environments,
beginning in the lush Marsyangdi Valley, home of Hindu farming families, then
entering the dry, arid region of Manang inhabited by Buddhist Manangis with
their Tibetan origins. Higher, there are spectacular views of mountains such as
Annapurna II (7937m), Gangapurna (7485m) and
Here's the route:
It is possible to do the trek self-supported, staying in the numerous tea-houses along the route, but we chose to do a 'full service' trek. Our guide, sherpas, kitchen staff and porters looked after all our needs, even down to supplying hot water bottles for the cold nights under canvas at higher altitudes!
I'll report on this trip, some 17 years later, by way of daily entries from the diary we kept at the time. Since then there have been significant changes in the area, and I suspect the current version of the circuit is rather different to ours. I hope these postings provide good memories for those on the trip, and maybe some amusement to casual readers.
I'm looking forward to transcribing the diary entries. Here goes:
[Diarist: Martin] The
trip started on Sunday 31st October 2004 on an autumny claggy day in
The journey to
Andrew had joined Sue
and me in
Andrew is in Business Class. Then, after
jealously watching him lazing in luxury from our sitting positions on a hard
airport floor, we embarked on the 4 ½ hour flight from
Fantastic mountain views as we pass the main Himalayan peaks. 9am to 4:10pm, after clocks push on a further 2 ¾ hours. Andrew has his business class, the other three stretch out on empty seats, and Sue and I soldier on in our cramped (but window) seats.
Visa documents are approved and we enter
The Awesome Travel bus takes us to Hotel Radisson where Sanjeev meets us. After more form filling he goes off with our return air tickets and passports, to copy them. We return to our ubiquitously styled hotel rooms and ready ourselves for an evening out by 7pm. Plenty of space in the rooms. Huge bed. Lindy visits the gym. Sue and I pass the pool on the way to reception. We mustn't drink the water. Bottled water is provided.
Then off in the bus to Sanjeev's house.
Sanjeev is our Sirdar - Andrew knows him
well, and it is great that he is leading our trek. He tells us that three out
of four Awesome Travel treks this year have been cancelled due to Maoist
concerns. (Unfounded.) Ours is the only one running! He has given us some huge 'duffle'
bags - much bigger than our pink
The evening passes quickly, with Andrew, Mary and me chatting with Sanjeev, the others with his wife Sherishe. His son, Sidart (3) has gone to bed at 8pm. Gin, beer, wine, port - and it's a good job we brought lots of wine - Sanjeev has a bit to learn regarding drinks, eg gin and tonic is an aperitif, not a drink to be topped up like wine, and port is for after the meal, not a wine substitute. Or do they really do it differently here?
Anyway, by 10:30pm we are all tired, though
it's only 5:30pm in