Hello, my virtual friends! I’ve finally found the time to get back to blogging, especially as I now work from home because of the Corona outbreak. I hope all of you are safe and doing well!
This time my blog will be about an old trip, when I did hiking/small trekking in the Annapurna region of Nepal back in autumn 2018 during my visit there. Domestic tourism and especially trekking has been growing tremendously in Nepal over the years, and it seems that the Nepalese people are finally starting to appreciate the abundance of beautiful nature that we have in our own backyard.
My planned hiking trip with my sister was in the area that’s a part of the famous Annapurna circuit which covers scenic routes around Annapurna mountain and others in the Western part of Nepal. We wanted to do a 3 day circuit in the area covering some of the most beautiful villages.
Having never been a hiker myself, I wasn’t sure if I could handle it well. The planned itinerary was: fly to Pokhara from Kathmandu -> take a bus to Nayapool, base town of the trek -> hike uphill 4-5 hours to Ghandruk, at an altitude of 2000 meters. Our flight got in a bit late and by the time we arrived to Nayapool, it was already 1 in the noon. I wasn’t sure anymore if we would arrive in Ghandruk before dark, and as two women not from the area, we decided to opt for a bus going all the way up to Ghandruk. There went our hiking plans! Cheating on the very first day 😀
The bus ride was full of adrenaline, to say the least. It was running on a newly opened dirt road with no barriers on the edge and with a sharp plummet on its right. It was so narrow that the unbelievably skilled drivers had to stop, and somehow make room for the oncoming vehicle to pass through. I was on edge (no pun intended!) the whole time and was wondering if I had made the right decision. I noticed that for the locals it was business as usual as they didn’t have a slight sign of worry in their faces. Some local girls even told us that we would have never completed the trek uphill in just 4-5 hours! Haha. Ultimately my dread and fear of walking uphill, and possibly getting lost in the dark won over the fear of getting in a bus crash and we didn’t get off the bus. We reached the beautiful village of Ghandruk just in time for sunset.
We didn’t have any accommodation booked, so we had to find one as soon as we got there. We quickly realized that the local business owners very much preferred hosting foreign tourists at a much higher rate over Nepalese tourists. Talk about being discriminated in your own country! Luckily it didn’t take too many tries to find a hotel that was willing to provide us a room. It was a room with a balcony and the most serene view:
Even though we were exhausted, we couldn’t resist walking around the village and taking some sunset shots. The meal of daal-bhaat (steamed rice with lentil soup and fried veggies/meat and pickle) afterwards tasted better than it ever did in my life 😀
It was then time to fall into a sweet sleep after roughly going over our plans for the next day when we finally did hike! Stay tuned! 🙂