During September’s Badau Purnima Festival, the hardy folk from nearby villages bathe in Lake Pautarko Kaire. The lake stands at well about 4,000 metres – dip your hand in, then try to imagine submerging any other body parts – a frankly terrifying prospect. Even further up is ‘hidden lake’, seldom visited, serenely beautiful and set amidst some of the finest scenery in all of Nepal. This is a truly special place, where calm waters are backed by a majestic parade of spires and peaks, the black and white teeth of mountains rearing up around the lake. Amidst seductive valleys, peaceful forests and towering summits, Annapurna’s high lakes are the region’s glistening gems.