Ghandruk Nepal, exotic place to view exotic Himalayas of Nepal
Posted on Apr 7, 2013 by AnuShi under Hiking
Tags: Ghandruk, hiking, trekking, fun, friends
After planning and re-planning for months, we finally set out for the trip to Ghandruk on Friday, for a weeked. After the office time, at 6 o'clock, we jumped on the micro bus which was going to take us to Pokhara to rest at night. We were a group of 11 people, all very excited by the prospect of getting to see the Himalaya range within the proximity. All excited, we made raucous on the bus and talked of all the nonsense to keep up our spirit. Eating everything we had brought, we were having fun going through the highway, wind blowing on our faces. But to our dismay, we were stuck at a traffic, caused due to maintenance of roads. After a while, we slowly started to drift to conscious sleep, as we were really tired after a long day at work. After few hours, or so it seemed, we stopped at a highway restaurant for our dinner, which was not so good, yet we were hungry and so we ate what we could. We needed energy for our hike next day after all.
After our not so appetizing dinner, we all slowly drifted to sleep and when we reached Pokhara, we couldn't find our hotel at all. We were all a little anxious by that time as it was already past midnight and we all wanted to get a soft bed and some sweet dreams. Finally the hotel security staff found us and showed us the way. Immediately after getting the keys to our room, we all silently went in, cleaned ourselves and bid good night to each other.
Early morning the next day, after getting a good 6 hours sleep, we freshened up and checked out of the hotel, and set to find an eatery to fit our budget. The breakfast was much better than the dinner last night, so after finishing the meal, we set out on the reserved vehicle to Birethanti (also known as Naya Pul). We were joined in by other 2 friends while having breakfast, who were headed to Ghandruk too. And so we couldn't fit in the vehicle. It was meant for 10 and we were 13 now. So 3 of us went out on another vehicle. The ride was 1 and half hour or so and it was fun watching the river, hills and mountains from the window. The road was smooth but it was getting hot as the hour passed and we started to worry how we were supposed to walk. After reaching Birethanti, we shopped for essentials (water, ready-to-eat noodles - wai wai in our case, Pringles, juices, Oreos and some got a few cans of beer to refresh themselves) and waited for the 3 to join us. By the time they arrived (they were delayed by the vehicle as it didn't move until it was full and so they had to take a taxi even to reach that late), it was noon.
The sun was up above our head and we could feel it sucking all the moisture from our head. The road was flat, as it was path for the vehicles, and the trail for the trek had not started yet. My head started to throb with every step I took. It must have been due to lack of sleep, the scorching sun and the fact that I am not a person who could do much trek. Having never walked so much in Kathmandu and always travelling by my scooter, I could feel that I had been losing the ability to walk at all. But the road wasn't much steeper as expected so I could walk for 1 and half hour or so even though the head was pounding on my skull. After that, we reached a place from where the actual trek trail started. The way we were to go through as stairways all the way. At first we were delighted knowing that the way was much better as it was all stone paved and it had some restaurants and houses on the sides for refreshments if required.
Once starting on the stairs though, all the excitement started to wear off. I could see that I just couldn't hike at all. The stairs were making it harder and I couldn't move my legs. I could see that a few of us were having the problem. But most of us could really climb the stairs as they walked on roads. They tried encouraging me and everything, and I did walk, but I took extra more rests. Even then, I couldn't miss the view of beautiful villages and people in the village were really good to us while talking and were fun to chat with. Our pace differed person to person after that. I was the slowest one, but my friends were good enough to keep me company all the time and others would rest and wait up for the ones coming late. The roads were really easy to walk on though and the way wasn't hard to find either. After reaching the point where the vehicles could travel upto, we saw that there weren't much houses and it was more like walking through the hills then inhabited area. On our way we found a waterfall. There were stones, through which water was flowing and the stoned were in varied shapes. The stones or rocks perhaps were really beautiful and underneath the road, the water would get collected in a shallow region between the rocks. We all stopped there and freshed up. The cold water was really soothing against the heated foot and when I splashed some onto my face, I was refreshed. We took some photos and then after a while we took off. After that we walked slower. We saw rhododendron on our way and once tried to pick some up, to our failure. I was so grumpy by then as I was very tired and they were making me stand which made my legs hurt more. My right leg was quite dysfunctional by then. But then we took off again and then we started to see the Ghandruk village. That got back my spirit to some extent and I slowly walked through all the steps till we reached the Hotel we were supposed to stay at (Hotel Buddha).
By the time we reached, it was almost 6:45 p.m. It was getting darker and all foggy so we couldn't see anything in the vicinity. The three of us, girls, went to our room and got off our shoes and went to bed staright. My legs were dead by then. We stayed there for around 30 minutes when Kush came in to ask if we would like some tea. I asked for hot water instead. Then we went out and saw that the guys were on the roof drinking some local wine and beer. They were talking about all the non-sense and it was really fun. We got ourselves chairs and drank warm water while guys helped themselves to alcohol. We also got to have scrumptious sekuwa which was cleaned off the plates as soon as we got them. The host (or owner) of the hotel was really hospitable and he talked with us while we laughed about ourselves. Then we had our dinner (first good meal since we started to walk) which was mouth-watering. We ate as much as we could. A group of local village women (ama samuha as they called themselves) were going to come and perform for us. The village women did some cultural singing and dancing and everyone who were watching (given that some of us went to sleep) enjoyed it a lot. My friends danced along with them and and sang and flirted with the girls from village. After that, every one went to sleep.
I woke up early next day, at 5 a.m. Not knowing what to do, I kept inside the bed to stay warm. At 6, everyone was up and were on the roof to see the exotic view of mountains. The first thing I saw was that the sun rays had reached Mt. Annapurna's peak and it was shining. At first I couldn't understand what it was, but then I understood that the sun just hit the mountain and now it was going to glow under sun. I was filled with different happiness when I saw it. I loved the view and I forgot all the pain from the last walk. Then I watched for a while as the sun shone down the peak a little at a time. Then I freshed up and went upstairs roof, there i saw a range of himalayas. Annapaura South and Hiuchuli and the backdrop of Machhapuchhre. The sun wasn't visible yet and Machhapuchhre was not clear due to its own shadow. From a aperture between the hills and Machhapuchhre, I could see the sun slowly creeping up on us and the view of sunrise was spectacular. I was really fascinated by it and I didn't want to leave the place. 2 of us were to go to Ghorepani as they were planning to go to Muktinath on foot. And we were tempted too but we didn't have time for that. And we had other plans for the day.
We quickly went down to dining room to have our breakfast (local puri-different than what we are used to, potato and grams, boiled eggs with tea). After getting our fill, we dressed up, packed and then set out again, as we were supposed to reach our vehicle by 9 a.m. at the place where the vehicles could reach. Having a bad balance in foot, I had to take smaller and careful steps on the stairs while getting down. We chatted all the way while coming down and it wasn't tough at all given that we were well rested and the movement wasn't against gravity. But still I was the last one as I had to be more careful. The walk took us 1 and half hour and it was 9:30 a.m. We got on the van and were on move, the road were more dusty and dangerous than the stairs we had taken day before but it obviously was faster. It took us 2 or more hours to reach Pokhara and we were so hungry we were all thinking of good Thakali lunch. But we couldn't find one and settled with whatever we could get. The food was good and once full, we waited for our micro-bus to come and pick us up. But the man we had asked to get us the bus kept saying the bus is on way and whiled the time. So we got another bus and got in and headed our back to Kathmandu hoping against luck, that we could be back and not have to return our daily lives.
on the way
sun rise from ghandruk
beautiful view of village and annapurna
the Himalaya range
sun light on the peak of annapurna
ama samuha performing
water collected at the end of fall
A house in middle of farm