Nepal, being a developing country, offers a wide range of accommodation: from tattered backpacker dives all the way to flash presidential suites of expensive hotels. While long term travellers enjoy the rough feel of budget rooms, we believe that there is a large benefit in getting a proper rest at a quality hotel before setting out onto the trail. Therefore, in Kathmandu, we will stay either at the Yak and Yeti Hotel or the Annapurna Hotel, not far from the centre of Thamel. This location, in a very charismatic part of the city with plentiful restaurants and cafes, as well as a multitude of shops, is the ideal spot for getting over the inevitable jetlag, and easing into the local culture.
While on the trail, we will experience a full range of accommodation standards. Some villages offer quite comfy lodging with 24 hour electricity, hot showers, and even WiFi access. Others, especially in the higher elevations, are significantly more basic. You will stay in private bedrooms, and take your meals in warm dining/lounging areas which have a wonderful atmosphere and provide a great place to relax and chat with your fellow trekkers, but do not expect the Hyatt experience.
All guesthouses are carefully vetted by the Trexplorers team based on the available facilities, hygiene, safety, and convenience. We are in easy contact with guesthouses in every village which allows us to modify the day’s itinerary in case of inclement weather or other inconvenience, or simply to stop early because we have simply had enough for the day. One thing is for sure though: no matter how warm the friendships that you make with fellow trekkers, there will be no central heating, so bring a warm sleeping bag! 🙂
Nepal is a melting pot of many cultures, and consequently offers a variety of food, from the spicy Indian-influenced curry dishes to the more bland Tibetan fare, plus the option of western-style meals.
The usual breakfast on the trek is a choice of cereals, porridge, eggs, toast, potatoes, or chapatis (Indian flatbreads). During the day we will stop for noodle soup or Tibetan bread and cheese, as well as hot lemon tea / hot chocolate. Often, more elaborate lunches will be purchased if available in the village of the day. Additionally, we will have dry fruit, trail mix and granola bars available for those who wish to have an extra boost while hiking.
Dinners are based around a starter of hearty soup, and a meal of fresh vegetables, rice, potatoes, and noodles, optionally accompanied by meat or chicken. What seems like a carb-rich diet for lowlanders is actually an ideal diet at high elevations, especially given our physical output and lower temperatures.
One dish that will stand out for you is ‘dhal bhat’, a thick lentil soup eaten with rice and accompanied by a vegetable curry (‘tarkari’) as well as pickled vegetables (‘achar’) which enhance the otherwise plain dish. Being a large serving of carbohydrates, this is a very popular dish, and a favorite of trekkers.
Other people indulge in yak meat, an exotic local specialty. Served in many different forms, including but not limited to momos (steamed dumplings originating from Tibet), stews, mixed with noodles, or presented as steaks and sizzler plates, yak meat offers a yummy protein boost, and steaks are definitely head-turners in restaurants. Bon appetit!