Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

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Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby under10kg » Sun 21 Oct, 2012 12:09 pm

Hi Guys,

Just returned from 22 days walking Annapurna circuit, poon hill and annapurna base camp in 23 days.
Without a guide and porter, the cost of accomondation and food worked out to about $20 a day when walking

So basic cost is $460 for 3 treks which does not include the permit and transport costs to the start and end of the walk.
Local buses are very cheep but slow and dangerous. I suggest not to use one in rain as one went over the cliff the day before I caught one in rain and killed 2.
Note if you buy spirits and a lot of tea the cost per day would be more.

Air Asia has specials from the gold coast to nepal for $850 now and then.

Note in September and October you do not need a down parka or even a winter sleeping bag. High tea houses have blankets.
Also, based on my experince, you do not need boots and light weight runners were fine at all times.
Porters were carring loads over 100 k with plastic sandals.

I used Inov talon 212 gms and the comfort and grip was great on wet rock.
My gear weight was 5 kg without water. With a bit of cuban gear I could get it down to 3 kg I think.

Pacer poles were very useful on the many thousands of stone steps and the 1600 m decent from the pass at 5400m
On this decent, others using the usual poles had sore knees but the pacer poles unique grip allowed me to be 20% faster and no knee issues at all.

If you have some experince walking you do not need a guide as all locals will point you in the right direction if needed.

Abc was packed so I suggest to start at 6 am and finish at noon to get accomondation before the masses.
Walking this early gives you the track to yourself which is nice.

A porter is about $12 a day that you can share between 2 or 3. Porters do not like to carry over 20 k
A guide is about $18 a day (more for excellent ones) that can be shared between everyone, so for 3 it is $6 a day.
You can get some guides to carry up to 10k if you twist their arms.

So walking with 3 the total cost booking using a local agent is $40 a day sharing a porter and guide and you pay for accomondation and food.
I suggest not to let the agent prepay food and accomondation as they could charge you $40 a day just for this!!!

Using a local porter helps a poor nepal person make some good money.

Contact me for more info as Nepal is just mind blowiing.

Kayaking is amazing too. I plan do go back next year and do 4 weeks kyaking the main rivers and to walk in everest and some home stay off the usual track walks.
Last edited by under10kg on Mon 22 Oct, 2012 8:57 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby ninjapuppet » Sun 21 Oct, 2012 5:54 pm

Thanks very much, some very useful information right there.

Nepal is supposed to be a very poor country where teachers and policeman earn about $100 per month. It does amaze me when 1 local trekking company can charge $4000 for a specific program, while another can charge about half of that [both having identical itineries and inclusions]

Some companies such as Himalayan glacier do charge on the upper end but are very professional and probably worth it as their sherpa's expertise are top notch. However If you dont do your homework, you can easily be squeezed for your tourist dollar to the max and provided a not so top level type of service. A mate went with a certain company [which charged on the upper end] to climb a 7000m peak. when they were half way up the mountain, turns out the sherpa had never been on that route before. They had only been briefed on it by their boss with old photos. Ended up taking the wrong route, couldnt get any higher and had to back track over 5 days to access the correct route. With some bad weather nearer to the end, they ran out of time to summit.

Did hear any more news about the plan to introduce laws to bar solo walkers trekking alone?

Were there plenty of opportunities to charge your electronic devices in the guesthouses?
An electrician mate of mine got sick of getting charged $5 each time he wanted his battery charged in the khumbu. He got a lightbulb, broke of the bulb and soldered some wires to it, and hooked it up to the light socket to charge his device. I would personally rather pay the $5 or bring a solo charger, but each to their own.
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby Nick S » Sun 21 Oct, 2012 9:35 pm

All good info there under10kg. Same goes for Everest region. Anyone who has done some hiking previously will be fine without a porter or guide. Its another discussion as to why you might anyway..

Funny you mentioned about the battery charging trick.. we met an israeli traveller who did that exact thing to charge his iphone.. Personally i didnt take anything that needed charging regularly, had a few spare camera batteries, and recharging a cheap phone could wait till the low country. Saw the occasional tablet being used.

Didnt hear anything about restrictions on solo travellers. Read on the lonely planet forums that its not an issue on the main trekking areas. Certainly for climbing peaks you need a guide.

Also recommend extra time in Pokhara for a kayaking trip ;)
Might post on our Everest trip when we return.
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby ninjapuppet » Sun 21 Oct, 2012 9:53 pm

Nick S wrote:.. we met an israeli traveller who did that exact thing to charge his iphone..


I dont know why, but there seems to be alot of angst against israeli travellers wherever I go.
No offense to any Isrealis reading this, but it really is a common dinner topic that others start when i travel.
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby Strider » Sun 21 Oct, 2012 10:01 pm

Nick S wrote:Funny you mentioned about the battery charging trick.. we met an israeli traveller who did that exact thing to charge his iphone..

One of these with a socket wired to the opposing end would be perfect for that job :)

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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby Nick S » Sun 21 Oct, 2012 10:38 pm

ninjapuppet wrote:
Nick S wrote:.. we met an israeli traveller who did that exact thing to charge his iphone..


I dont know why, but there seems to be alot of angst against israeli travellers wherever I go.
No offense to any Isrealis reading this, but it really is a common dinner topic that others start when i travel.


From my experience, currently in Nepal where every second person seems to be an Israeli, it's a combination of the fact that they tend to travel in larger groups, they bargain for anything and many of them are young people straight from their compulsory time in the army.

For myself it's not so much angst as bemusement or slight annoyance. Yes they are an easy topic to discuss when travelling, they are an easy group to generalise but in saying that, I think larger groups from any nationality can behave in ways you might expect. Like aussies in Thailand.

My friend and i travelled with an israeli/french for a while who, while welcoming all his fellow countrymen around, was quite independant and easy going. Preferring to travel off the main track with whoever he could find instead of a large group. Although he still loved to bargain!
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby ninjapuppet » Sun 21 Oct, 2012 11:39 pm

Strider, where can i get meself one of those???? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I see you've done some research into this idea yourself....
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby Strider » Sun 21 Oct, 2012 11:46 pm

ninjapuppet wrote:Strider, where can i get meself one of those???? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I see you've done some research into this idea yourself....

No the idea just popped into my head - logic :mrgreen:

Heaps of them on Ebay (BC Bayonet Plug) or any large hardware store should have them.

*EDIT*
Google found this
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby ninjapuppet » Mon 22 Oct, 2012 2:54 am

Are there any specific GPS maps you guys are using? or just the good ol paper maps?
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby Nick S » Mon 22 Oct, 2012 3:01 am

Hardly saw anyone using a gps. The main routes are that obvious in the everest and annapurna regions its really just extra weight/bother you dont need.
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby under10kg » Mon 22 Oct, 2012 8:32 am

Yep at the start of the walk there were 90% Israeli walkers in big groups. It seems I hit the Israeli holiday time. Not a very good idea to talk about politics to this group as most have just come off military service.

Most of the time there was a lot smaller charge to recharge my camera that $5. Usually about $1.20

I did not see anyone with gps. I think doing the 3 passes in everest solo it might be an idea to use gps if you had a track stored. Otherwise just follow a guided party. Any advice from others on this? I also read the book Into Thin Air where heaps died on Everest. If they followed a gps track back to the top camp I think the death rate would haved been a lot less???

By the way, this forum makes you famous. One tasmanian I met kyaking asked me if I was under10kg after a 10 minute conversation. Real lucky guess I think.
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby wayno » Tue 23 Oct, 2012 9:12 am

leave your cell phones off unless you are using them or in flight mode if not requiring to communicate or receive internet or email
cell phones transmit using variable power output. the poorer the reception or if non existant the phone will transmit at maximum power to try and obtain / maintain a connection with cell towers.... so if you're in an area with poor or no reception your phone will go flat a lot quicker than if you are in an area with good reception where the phone can transmit on low power.
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby wayno » Tue 23 Oct, 2012 9:15 am

i dont think israelis tend to get paid much. they dont tend to have as much spare cash as a lot of westerners, they tend to go for travelling in cheaper countries a lot.
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby ninjapuppet » Thu 25 Oct, 2012 2:07 am

I am hoping to have the GPS not for the trekking routes, but more for my own reference up the mountaineering routes. Its also so that my friends can replicate my trip at a later date if need be, and I'm happy to post up KTM files for anyone keen on attempting the same routes I do. Some of these mountains do not have routes up and you are required to do your own routefinding if no sherpa is used.

Theres just something a little more exciting going without a sherpa in a foreign country, relying on your own research and sense of direction to find your way.

I have seen a few GPS maps out there but wasnt sure which are the best recommended ones. I have found this which looks to be suitable: http://www.nepalgpsmap.com/en
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby Peter C » Fri 26 Oct, 2012 12:15 am

Hello under10kg! We met in Pokhara, I was the chap who went awol from the kayaking trip, a pretty face had more appeal ;)

Interesting to hear about your impressions of Annapurna. We did the Everest region but the info re pricing and gear translates directly. I wore a pair of Vibram Five Fingers for the whole Three Passes trek as is my wont with no problems aside from cold toes on a couple of early mornings. Its cheap and very easily accessible walking. Easy walking also, on well formed tracks, the only part which is a little tough is the altitude if you are not a good adjuster. We encountered 80 year olds doing it, as well as a couple of families of parents and boys who would have been aged 8-12 at a guess.

Edit: I should have clarified. EBC is easy walking wise, the Three passes are defiantly more challenging, but still well within the scope of any person with a reasonable level of fitness.
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby under10kg » Sun 04 Nov, 2012 9:14 am

Hi Peter,
The kayaking boys were shocked that you would pass up 3 days kayaking on a nepal river for a pretty face. I hope she was worth it :D :D :D
I do plan to go back next year and do the 3 Passes and a more remote trip with home stay to get away from the masses. Does anyone have any tips and the required guide etc suggestions for this? I am not sure I want to go climbing as climbing as 6000 m seems like such hard work. Maybe if I was very acclimatised after 4 weeks in nepal.
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I did not see anyone with 5 fingers so it was great you found them fine for nepal. I think I would take gortex waterproof socks for my light runners if I went closer to winter for any deep snow walking. Then again maybe plastic bags would do the trick or just to wait for the snow to melt over the passes.

I also found kayaking in Nepal a great change from walking every day. I found I still had all the skills from my Uni days to do grade 4 rapids, although my roll needs a bit of practice so it is 100% reliable. The book 'White Water Nepal' By Knowles and Clarkson King is a very good guide for the rivers in Nepal.
You can hire a personal kayaking guide for about $25 a day and do any river you wish. Local buses go most places and do not charge you for your kayak on the roof. Gear costs about $25 if you do not bring a boat. Most airlines do not charge you for your kayak if you are under the weight limit. Some kayakers book in the kayak at the check in then add weight to the kayak when they drop it off at the oversize counter.

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Also you can join a rafting trip and go kayaking with the rescue kayak and camping support. However, this does not allow you to play in the rapids much as you need to keep up with the raft and rescue kayak. One of the guides had a short play boat and was doing forward loops in flat water and stoppers. I need a boat like this. :D Just another $1000.
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Re: Bushwalking Annapurna Area in Nepal on $20 a day

Postby Onestepmore » Fri 16 Nov, 2012 10:44 pm

under10kg wrote:Hi Peter,
The kayaking boys were shocked that you would pass up 3 days kayaking on a nepal river for a pretty face. I hope she was worth it :D :D :D


Was it her face he was interested in???

So envious. Nepal is on my wish list (but Chile is next!)
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