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Nepal is known for its mountains and the trekking there in. It is an opportunity to get out in nature, visit villages and experience the height and majesty of the Himalayas. Trekking the Annapurna Conservation Area in Spring offers the additional spectacle of blooming rhododendrons, daphne and magnolia, in numbers most gardeners could only dream of.
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Photo 1. During Spring, the mountains of the Himalaya are ablaze with colour including rhododendrons, daphne and magnolias. It is also a time of clear skies with spectacular mountain views. Here is the view from Ghandruk.
Photo 2. Much of the trail between Ghandruk and Ghorepani goes up and down mountainsides, winding through forest where the actually species present change as the altitude changes.
Photo 3. Rhododendron lowers and petals litter the trail near Ghorepani early one foggy morning. The mountainsides are tinted in pink as the rhododendrons are so plentiful.
Photo 4. On the forest floor are more blooming flowers such as these orchids seen while trekking near Ghorepani. Remember to look around you as you trek as there is so much to see.
Photo 5. Trekking in the Annapurnas is also an opportunity to interact with the local Nepali people. Here our hosts are making momos, the local savoury dumpling, for dinner.
Photo 6. Fishtail, or Machhapuchhre, at 6993 metres is one of the prettiest Annapurna mountain peaks to view from Ghandruk. It is revered by the local people due to its links to Shiva.
Photo 7. A mani stone next to the trekking trail near Ghorepani. On it are Buddhist inscriptions indicating devotion.
Photo 8. Annapurna trail between Ghandruk and Ghorepani. The trail consists of hundreds of irregularly-sized stone steps as it winds up and down the mountains, from ridge tops down to valleys and bubbling streams.
Photo 9. Daphne is just one of the many flowering plants seen growing in wild abundance in the Annapurna Mountain range. So abundant is the daphne in Nepal that is stems and bark are used to hand make paper.
Photo 10. In areas of Nepal where there are no roads, mules become the main form of transport. Here they carry live chickens near Ghorepani in the Annapurna Conservation Area.
Photo 11. Pink rhododendron flowers provide a contrast to the starkness of the stones that cover much of the track near Ghorepani.
Photo 12. So large are the rhododendron trees, that trekkers hiking beneath are dwarfed. Mountainsides near Ghorepani, with the appropriate altitude and weather are covered by hundreds of rhododendrons giving them a tinge of pink during Spring.
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