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27telephone: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only)international telephone: +44 1453 844 400www.mountainkingdoms.comThe Himalaya The Annapurna RegionS etting out from Pokhara through enchanting terraced villages, we eventually pass between the peaks of Machhapuchare and Hiunchuli, which guard the entrance to the Sanctuary. Annapurna Sanctuary is a huge ice-clad cirque of some of the highest mountains in the world, including the awesome South Face of Annapurna. We spend two days here exploring, with a visit to Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,550ft). The trek back to Pokhara is by a different route and includes a dawn hike up Poon Hill for sunrise over the Himalaya. This is one of the best first treks to do in the Himalaya, as the trail gets spectacularly close to the mountains but does not go dramatically high. T he route starts in Pokhara and follows the Marshyangdi River to the head of the valley. Here we cross the Thorong La, which at 5,416m/17,765ft is the high point of the trek. Descending to the west we enter the Kali Gandaki Valley, the world's deepest gorge which passes between the giants of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. We have revised our route along the valley to avoid the dirt road being built here. This section of the trek now detours to follow footpaths through pretty villages away from the road, but returns to the traditional circuit villages for overnight lodge stays. The Annapurna Circuit truly offers everything you could want from a Himalayan adventure. T his trek takes us through an incredible spectrum of landscape and culture. At the start, we pass through paddy fields and sub-tropical forests, but by the end we are on the edge of the semi-autonomous kingdom of Mustang, a dry region like Tibet. This is after tackling the Thorong La, 5,416m/17,765ft with its fantastic views of the entire Annapurna range. Descending from the pass we spend a night at the pilgrimage township of Muktinath, where Hindus and Buddhists come to see the 'burning' water. Another day drops us to Jomsom, a Tibetan township with a small airstrip. We feel like tiny insects flying down the Kali Gandaki Gorge, the deepest in the world, to Pokhara, and then on to Kathmandu. Annapurna Sanctuary The perfect first Himalayan trek through classic Nepali scenery into the heart of the Annapurnas. Annapurna Circuit A truly classic walk circumnavigating the Annapurna Massif on an unforgettable 200 mile journey. Mini Annapurna Circuit A shorter version of the circuit that still offers sensational views and good acclimatisation.£1,295£1,295£1,360£1,475£1,550£1,475£1,395£1,395£1,995£1,895£2,095£2,195£2,295£2,150£2,095£2,050Land OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedThu 07 Apr - Sat 23 Apr 11Thu 14 Apr - Sat 30 Apr 11Thu 03 Nov - Sat 19 Nov 11Thu 29 Sep - Sat 15 Oct 11Thu 06 Oct - Sat 22 Oct 11Thu 13 Oct - Sat 29 Oct 11Thu 05 Apr - Sat 21 Apr 12Thu 12 Apr - Sat 28 Apr 12Fri 08 Apr - Sun 01 May 11Fri 15 Apr - Sun 08 May 11Fri 23 Mar - Sun 15 Apr 12Fri 30 Mar - Sun 22 Apr 12Fri 30 Sep - Sun 23 Oct 11Fri 14 Oct - Sun 06 Nov 11Fri 28 Oct - Sun 20 Nov 11Thu 31 Mar - Sun 17 Apr 11Thu 29 Sep - Sun 16 Oct 11Thu 20 Oct - Sun 06 Nov 11On Trek: 12 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 4 Tea Houses: 11Optional: Single Room £120 KathmanduInsurance: £95On Trek: 19 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 4 Tea Houses: 18Optional: Single Room £115 Kathmandu & PokharaInsurance: £99On Trek: 12 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 4 Tea Houses: 12Optional: Single Room £115 Kathmandu & PokharaInsurance: £99Trek | Duration: 17 DaysTrek | Duration: 24 DaysTrek | Duration: 18 DaysGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clientsGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clientsGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clientsGrade: Vigorous Grade: StrenuousGrade: Vigorous/StrenuousFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFirst day on the Mini Annapurna Circuit, Andi Harrison

28Download holiday itineraries fromwww.mountainkingdoms.come: info@mountainkingdoms.comThe Everest Region Home to the Sherpa people and the world's highest mountain, the Khumbu region offers spectacular trekking for serious trekkers and fit novices alike. Whilst climbing Mount Everest must be the mountaineer's ultimate objective, the trek to Everest Base Camp is a more achievable once in a lifetime experience for those of us who prefer to keep our feet on the ground. The Everest Dream - Steve Berry, Mountain Kingdoms MD'Despite completing some 60 or so treks and expeditions in the Himalaya, I had never actually gone to the foot of the world's highest mountain before. I was therefore thrilled to finally fulfil my dream and complete the Everest Base Camp Trek this spring with my 19 year old daughter, Katie. We enjoyed a very special time under perfect blue skies throughout. Reaching Base Camp was an experience and privilege for us both, and the whole trek was some of the best quality time we have ever spent together'.