This blog is the account of the fourth and final 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.
7:55 a.m.: Post an early morning lazy breakfast we congregated at a platform near the courtyard of Fishtail view top lodge in Tadapani. The views of the Annaporna range and especially that of the Fishtail pinnacle of Machhapuchhre is awe inspiring, we were told. We were waiting for the clouds to disperse since the last evening but had no luck. Suddenly a commotion in the courtyard teared me away from the dining area. All of a sudden the mist cleared and the mighty Annapurna ranges showed up, making up for the disappointment since past few days (Pls see my other 3 blogs on Poon Hill trek, links in foot note).
Me and my co trekkers were delighted and made the most of the moment. The proximity of the mountain ranges made it all the more exciting. Our excitement was short lived as the clouds swallowed the entire range within the next 15 minutes. Never mind, those 15 minutes were worth it.
8:20 a.m.: It was a pleasant sunny morning, unlike the previous misty day. It started on a easy note on wet path ways through forests. Prasanna, our Nepalese trek guide happened to strike a conversation with an old man carrying a bag strapped to his forehead. The old man was walking much faster than us urban kids sans any fancy gear or gadget. He gave us a run for speed and put us to shame when we realized he is more than 70 years old. What is trekking route to us is every day commuting route for many locals. No wonder, I see only fit people on the mountains on India and Nepal.
9:10 a.m.: We saw the first sign of civilization after we started. However, we didn’t find any restaurant or café still. Not that we needed one. Within minutes the forest engulfed us again, its pathways decorated with brown fallen leaves. Endless waterfalls and water streams made their way under prayer flags every now and then. Mushrooms, fern and moss were found in abundance thanks to the moistness of the forest. Numerous water steams also helped me in testing the Wildcraft trekking shoes for its claim to be water proof (Link of my review on the Wildcraft shoes is in the footnote)
11:00 a.m.: We arrived at a large clearing, populated by water buffaloes. 40 minutes later we stopped at Hotel Lonely Planet Guest House and Restaurant in Ghandruk. (9804121732, 9746003767, 9846212341) At around 12: 40 p.m., we arrived at Shree Brej Meshro Prabesh Dwar, a commemorative door lined with prayer flags. I also spotted small stone memorials across the trek. These were built by the family members of deceased in their memory.
12:42 p.m.: We were delighted to see the first view of the bustling Ghandruk village below. It was the most populated village we had seen so far in the Poonhill trek. The trail which initially climbed through thick forest offering resplendent views culminates at the Gurung village of Ghandruk. Huge solar panels lined the well paved descending pathways. Dogs followed us throughout this trail. Little kids waved us from their balconies. Colorful flowers swayed from the windows of traditional homes and lodges. Sometimes, it is great to be back in civilization.
1:30 p.m.: Apparently, the destination was not as close as it seemed an hour ago (please see last paragraph). We stopped for a while to pack sandwiches which we would consume post trek. (No one was hungry yet) It was a steep descend, though on convenient rock steps. Most of the path was littered with poop of the ponies. I didn’t mind as I am used to walking over or near them on treks.
Suddenly, a large group of school going local kids inundated the steps, carrying wooden poles instead of the trekking poles. Once they disappeared, I stopped to soak in the views of the sprawling mountain ranges, green with dense foliage. Someone told me that the way to Annapurna Base camp passes through one of those mountains. I couldn’t help but dream to take that route someday.
After completing Everest Base Camp Trek successfully just after I was fired for traveling too much, it is my dream to attempt Annapurna Base camp as well.
2:30 p.m. It took us around 30 minutes of trek from Ghandruk to Kimche. From
Kimche we were driven back on bumpy roads to Pokhara, the scenic lake city of Nepal which took around 3 to 3.5 hrs. Before we hopped on to the SUVs, we congregated at a tea shop and celebrated 4 days of hard work on Poon Hill Trek. Strangers till a few days ago, the travel bloggers and trekkers from different parts of the world bonded over their experiences and shared camaraderie. We were bunch of happy go lucky travel bloggers who trekked on invitation of Pata, Nepal Chapter to attend Himalayan Travel Mart. My co trekkers (alphabetical order) were: Abhinav Singh (India), Andrej Babijew (Poland), Charlene Tan (Malaysia), Derek Freal (USA), Jennifer Dombrowski (USA), Mark Bibby (UK), Michelle Zammit (Malta), Swati Jain (India), Yulia Safutdinova (Russia)
Nepalese Trek Leaders and guides: Nitesh Immanuel Shreshtha, Prasan Bhattarai and Sudeep Simjhada Porters: 4 porters accompanied us through the trek. Unfortunately, I did not ask their names. They were always ahead of us in the trek.
Let’s talk facts:
Lunch break at: Hotel Mountain View in Ghandruk
Trekking Time from Tadapani to Kimche:
I started in Tadapani: 8:20 a.m.
I reached Kimche: 2:31 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 Tadapani to Kimchi via trek route: 12 kilometers.
Date: 28th May 2017 (Winter is a better time for this trek)
Height difference on Day 4 of Poonhill Trek:
Tadapani: 2600 meters
Kimche: 1640 meters
The view from my #SoulWindow is rewarding!
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