This well-loved trail threads through millet and maize fields, farmlands and forests, beneath the revered peaks of Machapuchare and the Annapurnas. You’ll cross suspension bridges over roaring rivers, mount stone steps, follow ridge lines, to be delivered each day to another friendly stone village to bathe in the warm mountain welcome of the Gurung. Accept a glass of chai outside a tiled-roof teahouse as you drink in the stunning views. Sample fresh local produce. Dive into local stores, tranquil monasteries, and farms full of children and chickens. Connect with fellow travelers. And end each day’s hike in pure MLN comfort.
The Gurungs’ northern origins shine through the broad faces and strong cheekbones of this Tibeto Burman ethnic group who for thousands of years have settled Nepal’s mid-hill slopes and welcomed passing travellers. In their own language they are Tamu (“Ta” means thunder, “mu” is sky), followers of a tolerant combination of Buddhist, Hindu and animist religions.
Emanating such warmth, it’s interesting to know the Gurungs are also proud soldiers who served the early Shah kings during their expansionist military conquests. These are the men who compete each year to join the British and Indian fighting force, the Gurkhas. Veterans, still wearing their medals, will be keen to share stories. The capable women (equal to men in this culture) will be bantering together in the sunshine, or preparing their local specialities, and the children, too, will delight you with their energy and curiosity.
March to May offers clear weather and relative calm before Everest expedition teams descend on the region and then the days start to become rainy and overcast in May.
September to November may be the most ideal time to visit, with most of the tourists gone and the monsoon season over, making way for crisp, pre-winter days. During these four months expect comfortable temperatures and blue skies during the day and opportunities for some exceptional long exposure photography and many shooting stars at night.
May and September, expect damp and overcast weather on the trail, and with it weather-related delays for flights in and out of Kathmandu.
Inside your main bag
ITEMS PROVIDED (On Borrow)