Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ghandruk-ghorepani trek day1.. nayapul to hille

There's a certain heaviness of spirit I'm feeling with starting senior rotations. I keep telling myself to be optimistic and that there's much to look forward to but let's be honest here, the only period I'm looking forward to is summer holidays. I miss feeling carefree. 5 long months to go...

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, I did a poon hill trek with the 3 sisters trekking agency. Itinerary if I remember it correctly:

Day 1. Shared taxi from Pokhara to Nayapul, walk from there to Hille. Just a few hours of walking, nice and easy day.

Day 2. Hille to Ghorepani (and then on to Poon Hill). Nature's own torture device, a never ending stairmaster, a very long day. By the time I stumbled into Ghorepani it felt like my hamstrings were screaming in agony with each step, and I was seriously starting to question 'why am i doing this again?'

Got my answer to that question that evening itself when we went up Poon Hill for sunset. Beautiful views and I was quite glad we did it that evening instead of groping around in the dark the following morning as initially planned.

Day 3. Ghorepani to Tadapani. Downhill bliss. I loved the views from Tadapani, stayed in a nice lodge, met friendly trekkers as we sat around the heater in the evening. Quite nice.

Day 4. Tadapani to Ghandruk then onwards to a village right before Nayapul (can't remember the name.. birethanti maybe?). Local bus back to Pokhara. Covered the distance quite quickly on this day as it was downhill, I was feeling impatient and a bit bored and it was hot...

My honest opinion is that a guide is not necessary, especially for Poon hill. It was initially meant to be a 5 day trek but I was very happy to be rid of my guide after 4 days. She was annoying the hell out of me and I was slowly getting quite pissed off. Previously i wrote a long post detailing why exactly she drove me up the wall like that, but can't be bothered to share all that now. Plus it would make me look exceptionally bitchy and might lose me all 3 of my readers. Long story short, I was getting tired of being milked like a cash cow and impromptu changes of itinerary for the most stupid, patronizing reasons.

I'm not suggesting trekking alone, because there are lonely parts on the trail (the whole point of trekking being to escape from the madness of the city!), but don't bother with a guide. Get a porter if your pack is heavy but take it from me, it is much, much better to form your own group, get a map and hit the well-demarcated trails on your own.

And if you still do want to get a guide, but you're wary of male guides after hearing stories of female trekkers being harassed - be aware that there are more options for female guides than just 3sisters, which is overpriced and will pressure you to use their (expensive) services. Forget about asking anyone at the guesthouse about public transport, the answer will always be... 'use our car'. Anyway, look around town - some agencies in Pokhara were advertising female guides and as time goes on I'm sure there would be more of them. There is also this site I came across once I was home that has good links for female guides

On to the pictures!

spot Annapurna in the distance!

rather excited to see a bridge.

the trail/road

love the random buffalo!

tea break No.1 

at the lodge

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