Mystical Mardi Base Camp Trek – Mini break in the proximity of Annapurna region of Nepal
If you are somebody who wishes to get closer to the mountains but doesn't have enough time frame in your pocket? Then, the Trek to Mardi Himal is the ideal alternative for you. Annapurna South, Himchuli, and Mt. Fishtail peaks maintain special rendezvous with you while you hike to the Mardi Himal Base Camp. You’ll find them standing still, right ahead of you and your companions!
Among the many routes which lead us to the Mardi Himal Base Camp, we chose the Kande – Australian Base Camp – Deurali – Forest Camp – Low Camp – High Camp to MBC. For another and faster approach, you can also get a jeep/pick up to either Kalimati or Siddhing from Pokhara, and then have to commence the hike to Forest Camp or Low Camp from there. You can also start this thrilling adventure with various city tours in Nepal including Kathmandu, Chitwan, Lumbini and Pokhara.
There is a widely-accepted saying in Nepal that a wise man once said: "Heaven is myth and Nepal is real.” It may sound cheesy but this statement holds true for many during trek towards the Annapurna region of Nepal. The trip to Mardi Base Camp is four-six days trek from Pokhara, the most beautiful city of entire Nepal, that take you away from the mayhem of city life and deep into the pristine Mother Nature.
The exhilarating adventure to MBC gets started from Kande, a famous stop on the Pokhara-Baglung Highway. The steep trails from Kande to the Australian Base Camp will inform holiday-makers about the challenges coming up on their way ahead. It is quite not sure that the weather will fully cooperate or not and only those fortunate few shall get to see mountains from the Australian Base Camp and visitors have to continue walking on to Pothana. In Pothana one can lounge his/her footwear, devoured on authentic Daal Bhaat and conversed their stories and experiences regarding wandering in and around Nepal. Sooner, we have to left for Deurali. In this way, the first day ends in Forest Camp, second day at Low Camp and finally the third day at High Camp. And while returning, you have ample of options to adopt. No worries! Depending upon your spare time, it is up to you guys. :)
Located to the east of the classic Annapurna Base Camp, Mardi Himal Trek is a short and sweet trek which takes wandering souls to the base of Mardi Himal. In spite of being a relatively new trekking spot, the popularity of this seems to have been rising in an exponential fashion. This trail guides us through the beautiful rhododendron forests giving you the magnificent eye shots of mountains like Annapurna South, Mardi, Hiuchuli and most prominently, Mt. Fishtail, the Machhapuchhre which resembles with the shape fish's tail.
En route to Forest Camp, one can stop at an abandoned sheep shed. It is like a vantage point, and where you can relax there for a while taking stunning photographs. A cool breeze blowing past the visitors relaxes their senses. That's the real power of nature and it is more than enough to heal any distracted soul and bored minds! On reaching the Forest Camp, any meandering hearts will be amazed to see hordes of trekkers resting on the lodge grounds. As this relatively new as well as the most scenic route, there are lodges available at the regular gap en routes. However, all the lodges seem to be fairly packed, including the dining rooms, but can be easily managed to get a room with three beds, where at least four people would cramp together. Especially, after the drink, even five can adjust. :) If you know, what we mean.
Forest Camp, as the name is implying, it literally does justice for its name lies at an altitude of over 2,600 meters, and is a preferred stop-over for trekkers heading to Mardi Himal. Another reason is: it has lodged with larger capacity. Most importantly, the lodges serving at Forest Camp posses large open spaces where travelers/groups can gather and make merry.
And, as moving further on the jaunt to Mardi Himal Trek, we can see a small lodge on top of a hill called Badal Danda (meaning hillock amongst clouds), with Mount Annapurna South levitating over it. To the right of Badal Danda there lies Mt. Fishtail, shining in its full glory. It is sad as well as amusing at the same time because in no time or all of sudden, clouds hide those staggering vistas of nature covering the hillock, and the beautiful view of Fishtail gets behind the clouds. That's why they've termed the hillock as Badal Danda. Astounding was that metamorphosis right in front of our vision in a matter of seconds!
Then, comes our another yet last human settlement below the MBC, High Camp, which most of the time seem gloomy, being covered in dense mist, (actually, the white fluffy clouds as seen from a distance) facilitated by the wandering clouds. Fortunate few among legions of travelers only get that precious chance to see the tail of Mt. Everest amidst their cloud number 9. At High Camp, one best and practical fact is that, around four in the evening, the clouds basically start moving here and there, and the views sunshine/sunset in the area can be observed. One can see the Machhapuchhre peak clearly, much nearer than that from Badal Danda and few other standpoints. And within twenty minutes, for sure all will be covered by the clouds. Ahaha =D that is the regular chores of Mother Nature at High Camp.
Brace yourselves! For the best good night of your entire lifetime at High Camp. Nepal Calls You highly recommend to ensure your bookings your space before getting there, otherwise, you have to get down to either Low Camp or Forest Camp to spend the night. This is because due to the limited numbers of shelters positioned there in order to accommodate visitors. We need to start early, at around 4:00 am in the early morning from High Camp to get to the viewpoint, upper viewpoint and ultimately the base camp of Mardi Himal. We must be aware as two stretches on this route are really menacing. We will literally need to grapple on our four limbs to climb them, due to a steep cliff on both sides of the stretch. Even though with the presence of thrilling ridges, the Mardi Base Camp never stop to lure all adventurers from the globe to get there. If you happen to be a victim of acrophobia, we would like to suggest that ‘just keep up with your pace, and don't look sideways’.
Hold on guys, we are just eagle’s eye distance far from our destination, MBC. Hiking early morning in the morning through the pitch dark edges and crossing the dangerous stretches between High Camp and Viewpoint may not be everyone’s cup of tea. We must be more aware as well as controlled at the same time. If aided by handheld torches and guided by the experienced guides one can easily tackle this stretch. Approaching higher, one can see big animal forms grunting and grazing even the dark, pitch dark. Most of the people easily get afraid of the yaks, but they are huge yet gentle. Trust us! They won’t interfere us until you gotta trespass them. :)