We mentioned the Annapurna Circuit a few weeks back, calling it one of the world’s classic treks, but also lamenting the fact that a new road, built in the name of progress, was altering the experience forever. What once took the better part of three weeks to traverse, can now be driven in just two days, and the solitude of the Himalayan hike is now gone.
While the traditional Annapurna Circuit may never be the same, according to this story from the Times Online, a new one may be emerging to take its place. An adventure travel tour operator based in the U.K. called Mountain Kingdoms, foresaw the impact of the new road, and hired three Sherpa Sirdars to create a new route. The result? An eight day trek around the Annapurna Massif, home of the 10th highest mountain in the world, that begins in Muktinath and runs back to Naya Phu, a village not far from Pokhara, the hub of that part of Nepal.
This new trekking circuit offers much the same experience as the old one. The clearly defined and easy to follow trail passes through a remote village every few hours, and those villages have the traditional teahouses that are popular along most trekking routes in the Himalaya. Teahouses offer inexpensive food and places to sleep, allowing hikers to travel much more lightly than on similar treks in other parts of the world.
The article indicates that the new route is breathtakingly beautiful, and a throwback to the quiet solitude of the old Annapurna circuit. For now, it remains a bit of a secret, but that is likely to change soon. Go now for a really unique trekking experience.