The Poonhill Trek Day 3 – Ghorepani to Tadapani: Annapurna trail in Naturally Nepal!

This blog is the account of the third day at the Poonhill Trek in Nepal, famous internationally for the astounding views of the Annapurna range viz. Dhaulagiri and the awe inspiring fishtail pinnacle of Machhapuchhre. It is a 4 part series. Link to other blogs from the series are in the footnote.

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Beginning of the trek. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal

Day 3rd of the famous Poonhill Trek was also the most important one. The pitter patter of the rain woke up at 3:30 a.m. and not the alarm. I saw my dreams of trekking upto Poonhill being dashed. I was disappointed but also secretly happy that I am saved 3 hours of trekking. Day 2 of Poonhill Trek was the most difficult and our bodies craved for rest.

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Few minutes into the trek. My co trekker Swati Jain rests. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal

The plan was to trek up to Poonhill (3 hours, going up, staying and coming down), return for breakfast and head to Tadapani. We planned to catch the Annapurna range bathed in early morning sun from the Poonhill. It is one of the most famous things to see in Nepal and needless to say, the whole point of the Poonhill Trek.

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Me En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal. Pic: Swati Jain

3:30 a.m.: Never mind, I feigned my disappointment when the trek leader Prasanna knocked my door to announce that the trek upto Poonhill was cancelled. We were asked to go to sleep again and meet at 7 a.m. for breakfast after which we had to leave for Tadapani. I tried to sleep again while mumbling to my co trekker in my adjoining room through wooden partition. Not having bathed for 2 days, I decided to go for paid hot shower (NC 100) early morning.

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Me, in the misty dense forest. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal. (Pic: Swati Jain)

8:25 a.m.: We bid adieu to the Hotel Hill Top in Ghorepani, the valley around it still shrouded in mist and mystery. During the beginning of the trek, we navigated through steep slate stairs amidst dense forest. Ponies jostled for space in the narrow patch. Around 9 a.m., we arrived at a clearing and trekked in open fields under clouded sun.  A large stone platform, decorated with colorful prayer flags offered us resting place as soon as the stairs ended. The buffaloes sat nonchalantly and chewed cud as we huffed and puffed our way through the lush green mountains.

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Deurali Danda. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal

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Me at Deurali Danda. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal. (Pic: Swati J.)

9:50 a.m.: We also passed the Deurali Danda, the highest point on the trek which clocked around 10,000 feet. Wooden logs artistically lodged in the mountain side served as the stairs (to heaven, eh).

The top was again decorated with prayer flags and neatly arranged stone slabs doubled up as seating place. It was misty, breezy and we sped up to save our exposed ears and hands.

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Me, in the forest near Deurali Danda. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal. (Pic: Swati Jain)

10:45 a.m.: We entered a dense forest, still cold and misty. Tall trees dwarfed us throughout. The fallen trees offered us good photo ops. The forest was abruptly interrupted with civilization in a small patch. At around 11:40 a.m., we rested for a while in a charming tea shop for loo and snacks break. The board near the tea shop indicated: ‘Ghandruk’.

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The abandoned house, the water stream & stairs to heaven, eh! En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal

12:11 p.m.: After a brief rest, we descended the neatly paved rock stairs to discover a forest even more gorgeous than the one we left behind. We crossed gentle water streams over small wooden bridges. 3rd day of the Poonhill trek was undoubtedly the best. Gushing waterfalls, voluptuous water streams, abandoned wooden houses in the middle of nowhere, fluttering Buddhist flags and damp forest marked the trail.

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Processionary Moth Caterpillars. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal

1: 00 p.m.: I believe the real joy of trekking lies in observing minute details. Processionary moth caterpillars caught our attention. A total of 43 (yes, we counted) processionary moth caterpillars marched in neat nose to tail columns, clinging to each other and moving forward in a disciplined manner. 2 or 3 had fallen out of the line and were attempting to join the parade again.

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Me resting on a wooden bridge. We crossed many of these. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal. (Pic: Swati Jain)

But why do they crawl in a procession? After a certain period of time, the caterpillars leave their nest and crawl down the tree in search of dry and soft mud to burrow underground and pupate. It’s fascinating to know that they turn into moths underground. Unfortunately, the cute creatures are seen as pests. It is advised not to touch them because their urticating hair causes skin irritation.

 

Around 2:30 p.m.: We stopped at a quaint restaurant in the middle of forest and I devoured lip smacking pasta. Detail about this place is in the foot note.

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Me, in the dense forest. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal. (Pic: Swati Jain)

4: 00 p.m.: Few minutes into the trail, Prasanna, our Nepalese guide signaled me and Swati, my co trekker from India to stay silent. Jeniffer, the American blogger friend who was trekking with me, was curiously looking at a dense tree. Me and Swati rushed to the spot expecting a leopard (not sure if they exist in this area) or any other exotic animal hanging out on the tree. We were sorely disappointed when we realized that it was a langoor monkey which stopped Jeniffer in her tracks. It was a novelty for her. Me and Swati have grown up hobnobbing with langoors. We laughed our way forward as Jennifer focused her lens on the languor monkey.

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Jennifer, the blogger from USA, Prasanna and Nitesh, our Nepalese guide and friend. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal

Just when I was thinking that the day was perfect, a tiny leech clung fiercely to my wrist, surreptitiously sucking my blood. On realizing its evil intentions, I immediately got rid of the leech without killing it. It was my first ‘leech on my body experience’. It was curious how that leech landed up on my wrist. I was just standing and resting under a dense canopy of trees when I felt slight irritation on my wrist. The mark left by the leech stayed for some days thereafter. Lasting travel memories are made up of these.

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View from Fishtail View Top Lodge in Tadapani. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal

5:20 p.m.: Raucous hens welcomed us in Tadapani. As we headed to Fishtail View Top Lodge, our abode for the day, I was charmed by the little village it was set in. It was cloudy and drizzling slightly. We freshened up and huddled together in the dining area over conversations and comforting ginger lemon honey tea. I stole some time and strolled around the village when Mark, my co trekker from UK joined me. I was most delighted to be in Tadapani. It was the most soothing place in the entire stretch for me.

 

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En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal

Let’s talk facts:

Lunch break at:

Tranquility Lodge in Banthanti, Kaski: They had some really well made pasta in arabiatta sauce. I also sampled the dal bhat ordered by my co trekker Swati. The accompanying chutney was delicious. It is set in the middle of the forest and has pleasing al fresco and indoor dining as well. Their lemonade was brilliant. Clean loos available.

Phone – 061 – 696871, 9746058695

Where I stayed in Tadapani:

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Fishtail View Top Lodge. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal

Fishtail View Top Lodge in Tadapani: Of all the 4 days of Poonhill treks (Pls see my other blogs from the series), I loved this lodge the most. The rooms were same as those of other lodges but what set it apart was its setting. The lodge had a large courtyard surrounded by rooms and dining area on 3 sides. The open side faced the Annapurna ranges. We had awe inspiring views of snow clad mountains the next morning. (Read about it in the next blog, link below) The food here is good. The potato Rösti or Thukpa were well made. The apple pie was no great shakes though. They also had a chocolate filled apple pie which didn’t appeal to me. Water bottle refilling facility is available here. The loo is shared and could have been better maintained. There are grocery shops near and within the lodge. They sell all the basics including beer and Pringles, eh! I suggest a walk around the village. We even indulged in a post prandial walk in the huge courtyard of the lodge under the stars over conversations.

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Water Streams. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal

Trekking Time from Ghorepani to Tadapani:

I started in Ghorepani: 8:40 a.m.

I reached Tadapani: 5:36 p.m.

(My trekking time is more than usual as I took time to compose pictures and videos and matched pace with co trekkers. Usually this stretch takes around 5 hrs)

Distance between Ghorepani to Tadapani via trek route:  15 kilometers.

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Ponies galore. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal

Date: 27th May 2017 (Winter is a better time for this trek)

Height difference on Day 3 of Poonhill Trek.

Ghorepani: 2900 meters

Poon Hill: 3210 meters

Tadapani: 2600 meters

Grade: Medium

The views from my #SoulWindow were soothing!

You would love these related blogs on adventure sports (Pls click to read):

Day 1 of Poonhill Trek in Nepal- Nayapul to Tikhedhunga

Day 2 of Poonhill Trek in Nepal- Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani

Day 4 of Poonhill Trek in Nepal- Tadapani to Ghandruk and Kimche

Guide to Tiger’s Nest Monastery aka Paro Taktsang

6 Exciting monsoon treks in Sahyadris, Maharashtra

Great shoes for treks- Wildcraft’s Amphibia Sphere Outdoor Adventure and Trekking Shoes

White Water Rafting in Punakha, Bhutan

Hot Air Balloon near Taj Mahal

Body surfing in Jim Corbett National Park

Ziplining in Jim Corbett National Park

Ladder Climbing in Jim Corbett National Park

 

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Ponies crossing wooden bridge. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal

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Prasanna, our Nepalese guide briefing Travel Bloggers at Fishtail View top Lodge. En route Ghorepani to Tadapani. Poonhill Trek. Naturally Nepal

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18 thoughts on “The Poonhill Trek Day 3 – Ghorepani to Tadapani: Annapurna trail in Naturally Nepal!

  1. Poonhill trek sounds very adventurous! I haven’t been trekking in Nepal but I can only imagine how breathtaking it must be. Like you, I also like to notice the small details on a hike like an interesting plant or animal or pattern. It isn’t always about the summit or final destination.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kudos to you for braving this trek! I am not into this kind of adventure but I see the thrill of this experience from your perspective. The views are truly worth taking the hike for, so thank you for sharing these gorgeous views with us – those who are not too keen to take the trek ourselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That sounded like a thrilling experience! Tiring but worth it, except for the leech part. Lol Not sure if I could do this since I’m not much of a hiker. The abandoned house, water stream and stairs reminded me of a fairytale. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nepal has lots of amazing treks that I have heard of and this being one of them. Your post transported me to this place. Loved the way you described your trekking experience. Would love to visit Nepal someday for a trek.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Poonhill trek looks adventurous and requires lots of stamina. Waterstreams between Ghorepani and Tadapni are nice and beautiful stopovers. Ponies crossing the handmade wooden bridge is also a beautiful and natural sight. i would love to do this kind of trek one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What an eventful trek this was. I was surely disappointed that the ranges were covered with clouds most of the time but I was happy to be trekking again. I still laugh at Prassan expressions for spotting a langoor’ Guys hold on. Walk silently’ haha

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: The Poonhill Trek Day 4 –Tadapani to Ghandruk and Kimche: Annapurna trail in Naturally Nepal. | A Soul Window - Travel Blog from India!

  8. Pingback: The Poonhill Trek Day 1- Nayapul to Tikhedhunga : Annapurna trail in Naturally Nepal | A Soul Window - Travel Blog from India!

  9. Pingback: The Poonhill Trek Day 2- Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani: Annapurna trail in Naturally Nepal | A Soul Window - Travel Blog from India!

  10. Pingback: Testing Wildcraft’s Amphibia Sphere Outdoor Adventure & Trekking Shoes during Poonhill Trek, Nepal. | A Soul Window - Travel Blog from India!

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