John, Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
Both my wife and I took Annapurna Base Camp Trekking offered by Nepal Hiking Team in the middle of October, 2012. We chose this tour operator based on our Internet website review as well as the fact one of our one local hiking friends booked his Mount Everest Base Camp Trekking with this company.
Both of us are seniors but we are relatively healthy. We took this trekking with one friend couple. We found ABC trekking quite challenging. But we finished it in the end. I believe good weather we had also helped us. We are glad that we did it. When you see a glimpse of majestic mountains in a close range, you forget all about huffing and puffing and sweating to get there.
I would highly recommend Nepal Hiking Team. Their guide and porters were very able and helpful and kind. Ganga, the owner / general manger seems to be a nice gentleman. He himself picked us up at the airport and saw up off at the airport. Our guide and porters were trying to carry our own personal day packs whenever we looked exhausted especially at the end of the day. There was one thing we did not quite expect. On two occasions, the lodges (“tea house”) we were supposed to stay in particular location according to the original information package were fully “booked” and so we had to hike more or less distance to check into lodges in other location. I somehow believed that our accommodations were fully booked upon our booking. But it turned out that it was not the case.
I would like to offer a couple of suggestions in terms of what to bring. It would be good to bring (1) some kind of mask (either surgical or wood-working type): The highway between Kathmandu and Pokhara is extremely dusty and polluted with exhausts from old vehicles. I think a mask will help your mind if not your lung. (2) water purification tablets: Even though they serve boiled water, you will feel safer with additional water purification tablets having seen the source of water in some places. and (3) light weight, compact battery operated lantern: Most lodges have rudimentary solar powered electrical lighting. But during our trip power went off often and even it was on, the room always seemed to be dark. So if you want to read or do something before sleep, you definitely need some extra lighting. For me, I usually fell into sleep as soon as I got into my sleeping bag after a hard day of trekking.
Have good trekking!