Easy does it

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Adventure - ED DOU­GLAS

IF trekking was de­vel­oped for ex­plorer types who see disas­ter as a wel­come change of pace, then the in­dus­try has done a great deal to broaden its ap­peal. Young back­pack­ers have been wan­der­ing around the foothills of Nepal’s An­na­purna range for decades now, ar­riv­ing in Pokhara by bus and sur­viv­ing on next to noth­ing. World Ex­pe­di­tions of­fers an off-the-peg 11-day equiv­a­lent for new­bie trekkers, which takes in the pretty vil­lages of Lan­druk and Ghan­druk. You won’t sleep higher than 2500m, but you’ll still get stun­ning views of the An­na­purna range and the colos­sal pyra­mid of Dhaula­giri, the sev­enth-high­est peak in the world.

The Moun­tain Com­pany of­fers a beau­ti­ful 11-day vil­lage walk in In­dia’s Ku­maon moun­tains in Ut­tarak­hand. You stay in ba­sic but homely ac­com­mo­da­tion en route, fol­low easy trails be­tween vil­lages, and end with a few days at the lux­u­ri­ous and very re­lax­ing Hi­malayan re­treat Shakti 360 Leti.

Once kids get over the ini­tial shock of the idea that a walk can last for days, rather than hours, trekking can be a bril­liant fam­ily op­tion. Ex­o­dus of­fers a great itin­er­ary in Ladakh that takes in vis­its to Ti­betan monas­ter­ies, raft­ing on the In­dus and a three-day trek that crosses the Sar­man­chan La, a pass that reaches 3750m. The trip is suit­able for ages eight and older.

Nepal is also a great place to take chil­dren, com­bin­ing a trek with a visit to Chit­wan National Park, close to the bor­der with In­dia, where you can see wildlife and ride ele­phants. Long­time res­i­dent Steve Web­ster runs Es­cape2Nepal, a small travel com­pany spe­cial­is­ing in ‘‘soft’’ ad­ven­tures just right for chil­dren. He also has a quiet guest­house, Shiva­puri Heights, on the out­skirts of Kath­mandu, away from the ev­er­in­creas­ing noise of Thamel, the city’s tourist dis­trict. shak­ti­hi­malaya.com the­moun­tain­com­pany.co.uk ex­o­dus.co.uk es­cape2nepal.com

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