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Mount Machapuchare. From left: the view from Langtang to Ganesh Himal; Indian chai; a suspension bridge in Himalaya. Far left: Machu Picchu, Peru


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 tea


being at least, most largely involve camping. But you can get a taste of this experience on the new Panch Pokhari Trek, a 12-day moderate route which reaches 4,100m at the site of five holy lakes. On the descent to the village of Dhap inhabited by Tamang people you will get the chance to stay with locals. For more details visit www.himalayan-trails.com


Natural beauty For a short camping trek, the new Bhairav Kund takes 14 days (10 days’ trekking) and snakes through traditional villages that have been untouched by modern civilisation for years. It peaks at the sacred pilgrimage site, Bhairav Kund. This translates as ‘milky lake’ and is visited by shamans at full moon who perform dances and spiritual healing. After all that climbing you can then look forward to resting


your weary muscles in natural hot springs further down the valley before re-entering civilisation once again in Kathmandu. The trek costs €1,100 excluding international flights with www.trekking-in-nepal.net. If you want a fascinating insight into the country’s recent


past, try the new Myagdi trek, penned as the Guerilla Trek. Starting from Beni in Myagdi, this 13-day trek is a walk through


the history of the Maoists’ People’s Movement. Rated as moderately difficult, it retraces the steps of the Maoist trail used during the armed conflict. At the village of Beni you will come across ruined homes where the Maoists attacked in 2004. Nowadays of course the only gunshots you hear are of the local villagers hunting mountain goats in the nearby forests – and the region retains its rich cultural heritage. This is a beautiful trail that winds through rhododendron


forests in the spring, and picks its way past wild raspberries and peaches to help fuel your walk. It costs $1,144pp in tented accommodation with Swiss Nepal Family Trekking (www.trekking-in-nepal.net). The new business generated by these new treks promises to


help transform the lives of those living in the mountain villages and help prevent traffic to areas such as Everest base camp, which have begun to suffer. Social conscience aside though, trekking in Nepal will offer a holiday experience like no other. The views and friendliness of the people will etch itself on your soul to the extent to which it will become close to impossible to resist being drawn back to this beautiful land. n


RACHAEL WOOLSTON is a freelance travel writer April/May 2011 businesslife.co 59


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