Beneath the intimidating rock faces and snow fields of Annapurna’s south face lies the utterly charming and attractive Annapurna Sanctuary. It is reached via the Modi Khola valley, which is Nepal’s easiest path to the famous Himalayan giants which doesn’t require waiting for unpredictable flights (to Lukla, for example), and is relatively straightforward in terms of acclimatization. At the start of the trek you are greeted by sunrise on Poon Hill, which is truly mesmerising. Dhaulaghiri, Machhapuchhare, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli slowly rise from complete darkness into the clearest of blue skies.
The ridge from Ghorepani to the small village of Banthanti was where our transformation became complete; from then on, our days resembled one fairytale after another. When we returned to Phedi, all dirty and covered with dust, and were sipping cold beer atop a marble staircase, waiting for our ride back to Pokhara, a group of children came running by. Their cheerful demeanour reminded me of the first time we came here, and I saw it in my friends’ eyes that our Nepalese fairytale is far from being over... See more photos Flickr Annapurna... Mountain guide IFMGA Milan Romih