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Annapurna Circuit with Trek Nepal Int’l

Best Trekking Company in Nepal to do the Annapurna Circuit

 

When I researched on adventures in Nepal, I was at first a bit hesitant to do one of the many treks offered as I thought I was not physically fit enough to do one. One would have thought, growing up in Switzerland would make me a hiking / trekking fanatic. The truth is, apart from school expeditions, where the odd hiking day was obligatory, and a few family days out where I was winging ‘are we there YET?’ all the way, not particularly enjoying the ordeal forced upon me, I’ve never been someone to hike much!

I decided that this is going to change. Always having done office jobs, meant that I got to spend a lot of time on my derrière. The occasional yoga or gym session was never enough to compensate for the many hours spent in an office chair. I was going to move my body – no matter how painful it will be. This year, will be the year I will get in shape and stay active!

*By the way: If you are concerned about your level of fitness. My partner and I are both not particularly fit – we did reach our limits on this trek at times, but it was never too strenuous not to be able to continue (I felt unwell at times due to my health issues and still made it to the pass – even if I do recommend feeling 100% healthy when you do a long trek such as this one. It goes without saying, you would enjoy it so much more). We both had no trekking experience at all.

 

Why I chose Trek Nepal Int’l

 

I was always going to choose a local Nepalese company as opposed to one in the UK, as I wanted to support a local business. Plus, I wanted to do it in a group – which for me personally seemed much more appealing and safer. When I googled businesses in Nepal, I pretty much instantly decided to go with Trek Nepal Int’l as they had fantastic reviews, were a reputable long-standing nepalese company, but more importantly, I liked the fact that they operate under the credo of responsible travel and actually give back to the community. 

Trek Nepal Int’l aim is to continuously strengthen their eco commitments and have vowed to send their staff to regular environmental protection awareness courses briefing their staff on what to look out for during the treks: e.g. choosing tea houses that cook with kerosene as opposed to with fire wood, as an example. On top of it all, all their guides are certified. If you want to read more about Trek Nepal Int’l’s commitment, click here.

***At this point, I would like to stretch that Nepal is facing severe environmental problems, partly due to tourists’ actions (& inactions) and their unreasonable expectations. Following some easy guidelines prevents you and your trekking mates to further contribute to the issue.

 

Which trek to do?

 

Within a few hours of e-mailing Trek Nepal Int’l, I got a response from the lovely Sabina in the Kathmandu office. Coming to Nepal and not seeing Mt. Everest seemed obscure – so, I thought I would choose the Everest Base Camp trek. However, after talking to the team they convinced me to do the Annapurna Circuit Trek which has much more to offer in terms of landscape diversity and cultural experiences.

As I was going to be in Nepal in November, therefore the busiest trekking season, Everest Base Camp was going to be overcrowded. Perhaps there would be another opportunity in life to see Mt. Everest and so I booked the Annapurna Circuit – a 15 day moderate – to strenuous trek (am I insane ?!).

Trek Nepal assured me that the pace would be adjusted to the group’s level of fitness. However, I was still worried I would be the only one huffing and puffing my way up the hills whereas my group members, probably professionals who have done this since they could spell m-o-u-n-t-a-i-n, would hop up and down like elegant gazelles (or more like nepalese blue sheep).

It turned out to be pretty much like I feared, in fact. However, I was joined by non-professionals and first-time enthusiasts who had way more stamina than I had – but, to my defence, I was pretty much sick throughout the entirety of the trek which did not contribute positively to my lack of trekking experience.

 

A bit more about Trek Nepal Int’l

 

Gobs, the owner of the company, was a Porter himself (back in the days when trekking in Nepal was only possible if you were prepared to do camping – as teahouses were not (yet) open for tourists and all the heavy load was carried in heavy wooden baskets including tents, camping material etc.) – he studied English during Treks in the evening when everyone else would go to bed to rest for the next hard day.

With a little help from a generous Englishman, Gobs quickly progressed from Guide to Senior Manager and eventually started his own company, which is the successful Trek Nepal Int’l founded 15 years ago. When I spoke to him, he said “this is the kind of generosity I want to pass on – all of my staff have the opportunity to progress. All the Porters have the possibility to become Guides and make a career”. He also funds his staff’s education – if any of them put themselves forward to study for a degree. His company is also one of the only ones to guarantee a monthly salary to their Guides, even if no treks are scheduled – which is rare in the industry.


After the Trek

 

All in all, after trekking with the company for two weeks, I must say it was one of the best experiences I have ever had! Throughout the entirety of the trek, Ganesh, our guide, was very attentive and would make sure all of us were looked after – especially once we reached a certain altitude and some of us thought we experienced AMS symptoms. His knowledge of what to do, proved always right. We always felt very well informed and safe.

The entire trip was a mind-blowing experience and I thoroughly recommend it to everyone! Reaching the Thorong La Pass was incredible and a bucket list experience! I thoroughly recommend Trek Nepal Int’l – as I don’t think we would have had so much fun if it wasn’t for Ganesh & the Porters. By the end of the trek, we were all one big family and had a great time throughout!

***On a side note: I fell ill during the trek, as some respiratory problems which had worsened during the trek (make sure, if you decide to stay in Kathmandu for a few days, to wear a protective mask, if you are prone to suffer from respiratory problems as the bad pollution can leave you suffering from a chest infection really quickly which can take several weeks to shake off!)  and Ganesh & the Porters (Rakess, Kishor and Ubaraj) were absolutely outstanding when they offered to carry my day bag, look for Dr’s in nearby towns and offer general advice on which foods to consume and which ones to stay away from etc.

 

Discount for Readers 

 

I have teamed up with Trek Nepal INT’L to provide my readers a 10% discount on all Treks booked with them directly.  This discount is valid for all treks – not just the Annapurna Circuit. Drop me a line if you have any questions about the trek – always happy to help with your queries! Have fun!

*** Quote SERENDIPITY when you book with Trek Nepal INT’L and you receive a 10% discount on ALL treks they offer ***

 

*** Quote SERENDIPITY when you book with Trek Nepal INT’L and you receive a 10% discount on ALL treks they offer ***

 

 

heart-blueHave you ever trekked in Nepal? What was your experience? I would love to read your comments in the section below!

 

 

***We received a discounted rate – but as always, this is my honest opinion.

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  • Puru Timalsena

    19.04.2015 at 12:48 Reply

    Wonderful photos buddy. I am sure you enjoyed a lot.

  • Humnath Panthi

    18.01.2017 at 09:29 Reply

    Dear Tess Andrade,
    Namaste your each word and each photos touching my heart, Thank you for sharing Beautiful post.
    lots pf love from Nepal !!

    • Serendipity Tess

      07.02.2017 at 16:40 Reply

      Namaste Humnath 🙂 And thank you for your beautiful words also 🙂

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