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LIFESTYLE TRAVEL


Luxury Trekking


If you prefer the thought of relaxation rather than exhilaration with your trekking, visit the Ananda in India. This former palace high in the Indian Himalayas offers one-day treks into the surrounding areas. Afterwards you can relax in their world-renowned spa, which offers more than 80 treatments, as well as some of the world’s experts in Ayurvedic medicine. For more information visit www.wellbeingescapes.co.uk And if you don’t fancy camping with gap-year


students, try staying in the Mountain Lodges of Peru, a series of four luxury hotels spaced along an Incan path that threads through plunging valleys and over mountain passes to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. This route, known as the Salkantay or the Santa Teresa Trek, is a variant of the Inca Trail, but less busy and, some say, more scenic. For more details visit www.wandotravel.com


Himalayan trekking: when to go


l September to November Skies are clear with little rain, although it will be cold at night over 4,000m, where you will need thermals and duvet jackets. l December to February While the skies will be very clear, providing spectacular views of the mountains, night temperatures can plummet to as low as -25C, so ensure you travel with the proper technical equipment. l March to May In spring, the mountains are flooded with flowers, particularly beautiful forests of rhododendrons that blanket the hillsides. At lower altitudes you can wear shorts and T-shirts, but temperatures will still drop as low as zero. It is a busy time for trekking although the skies can become hazy. l June to August Very wet and not conducive to trekking, with the views often obscured by cloud, mist and fog.


five months off work, you can always sign up for just a section of the walk. Try the 18-day route to Langtang via Tilman Pass, which will


give you stunning views over the mountains bordering Tibet. You won’t have to carry anything as porters will set up camp every night and provide freshly cooked meals, breakfast and lunch. It costs £2,350, which includes everything except external flights. For more information visit www.worldexpeditions.co.uk. If you have never trekked before, you may be imagining


yourself hanging from a rock face. In reality, few treks in Nepal require mountaineering or climbing experience. It mostly involves walking along clearly marked high-altitude mountain paths, which are graded according to difficulty and length. You can either hire a guide when you arrive in Nepal – the hub


for most trekking agencies is Kathmandu or Pokhara – or join a group hike, which often involves camping although everything is taken care of including the carrying of equipment. Alternatively, you can opt for a teahouse trek, where you stay in lodges run by the villagers. This offers a unique insight into the lives of the Nepalese, as well as the chance to sample delicious local cuisine. Even halfway up a mountain, you can enjoy a slab of locally


made yak’s cheese with a loaf of bread warm from the oven, and sweet chai, a spicy tea. Or relax and refuel with dhal and chappatis or momos, delicious steamed dumplings filled with spiced local meat or cheese. At the moment most of these teahouse treks are found on routes that are pretty used to tourist traffic, and for the time


58 businesslife.co April/May 2011


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