Once we get to Pokhara, we will drive to Kaande to start our trek. It is an hour drive from Pokhara. From Kaande it is a pretty steep 2 hour ascend to Australian camp passing through small villages at the beginning. On clear days terrific panoramic views can be expected at Australian camp at 2100 meters. Depending on the time we arrive here, we will either stop for lunch here. We hike through a forest until we reach Pothana 1900 meters and stay here for the night. 3 hours trek.
It takes around 6-7 hours from Pothana. We begin the morning climbing gradually with occasional steep ascends to Pitam Deurali. From here we leave the main Annapurna trail and start climbing in the Rhododendron forest. This used to be the shepherds’ trail to bring their animals to higher pastures during the summer monsoon. Several paths lead to some neighboring villages; We will stop in one of the forest openings to have our packed lunch. We will walk on the ridge of the forest ascending mostly with occasional descends. We stay for the night in one of the three lodges Forest Camp. It is a beautiful setting as the name implies in the middle of a forest.
We continue to climb gradually in the Rhododendron forest. We will reach Low camp in about 3 hours. It is an opening in the woods with three lodges. We stop for lunch here. After lunch, we go on for another hour of an uphill climb to Badal Danda, where is only a single lodge with six rooms there. Badal danda is above the tree line, and on clear days, spectacular views of Machapuchare, Mardi Himal, and Annapurna South can be admired from here. You can enjoy the sunset from just behind the lodge the evening you arrive at Badal Danda. There is a point above the lodge on the left for spectacular views in the morning for sunrise the next morning.
We hike the trail that is on a ridge of a hill with small shrubs above the tree line with Annapurna South, Machapuchare and Mardi Himal dominating the skyline to the North, a deep valley to the east and one can see the trekking trail to Annapurna base camp about a thousand meters below to the West. High camp is a small open pasture with three lodges.
The trail is narrow and exposed at some parts with sheer drops. We need to be very careful at those points, forget about going higher if you are there in winter and if there is snow. Today we will launch from a suitable take-off point. The paraglide pilot will decide the launching site. The tandem paraglide flight will take about 45 minutes to one hour. It depends on the weather conditions.
Contingency day in case the previous day’s weather isn’t right. If the pilot decides the weather isn’t going to improve, then you need to start trekking towards Pokhara.