Trip to Ghandruk, part 2

After skipping the actual hiking on the first day, we were ready for some walking the next day. The weather was beautiful right from the morning, so we decided to walk around the village for a bit before moving on to our next destination.

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First rays of light on the mountains, seen from Ghandruk

Our plan for the day was to reach a viewpoint called Australian camp (no idea behind its naming) for the night. For that we’d first have to walk downhill from Ghandruk, reach the river between the hills, and hike uphill to another village called Landruk. Then it’d be a fairly flat 2-3 hours walk, and an easy 45 minutes uphill to the viewpoint. Landruk looked quite close from Ghandruk, but we were in for a surprise.

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A quick photo walk before leaving the village

The downhill trek wasn’t so bad, although the stone stairs had quite a large gap between them. I had slight cramps by the time we reached down to the river. On the way we passed beautiful villages, chatted with locals and were surprised to see small kids going up the hill from their schools in just slippers! Some of them were as young as three. Life is indeed very hard in the mountains in Nepal. But at least they have beautiful nature ,healthy food and seemed to be fit and happy.

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Sun, flowers and blue skies along the trek route

I started to get tired after just half an hour of walking uphill towards Landruk. The light traffic consisted of local village men herding their buffaloes and occasional foreign trekkers 😀 We had several photo stops along the way as the scenery was nothing short of breathtaking. The air felt so fresh, far away from the chaos and pollution of big cities. Autumn is no doubt my favorite season in Nepal, it makes me nostalgic and so happy.

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Glimpses of shiny white mountain along the trail

We decided to reward ourselves with a big lunch upon reaching Landruk. In typical style, we had to wait for around 1 hour to receive our order. We talked with some French and Indian trekkers at the restaurant to kill time. I have to admire that the French tourists were willing to try a very typical Nepali dish called ‘didho‘ – thick buckwheat porridge, which I never liked when I lived in Nepal. The restaurant offered beautiful views of the snow whites overlooking the green valley.

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View from the dining hall

We were told that the jungle trek isn’t so interesting and that there was a public four-wheeler operating on the route, so we decided to go for it until the point of another uphill trek to the viewpoint.

We had to wait for another hour to get into the vehicle, so we started wondering if it was a good idea. But in hindsight, it was, as we would have again not made it to the viewpoint before dark if we didn’t take the vehicle. Amateur and spontaneous planning where hiking was clearly not our main agenda, it was rather the views!

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Beautiful rice paddy

We had a 45 minute hike to the viewpoint after we got off the public vehicle that ran between the villages that had dirt road. Although the walk was slightly uphill and at times lonely, it was quite easy. At one point we went towards a wrong direction, but luckily a helpful local man appeared not so long after we started realizing that maybe we were heading to the wrong direction. We had to climb uphill again but finally we made it!

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This beautiful, fast-flowing river

The next step was finding a room, it was quite straightforward this time. We found one with the best views, not that there were many to choose from in this campground. We were so tired but the views – they were to die for! There were beautiful festive flowers in the front yard, a fireplace and bamboo swings. I couldn’t believe the view when I pulled the curtains the next morning, I immediately woke my sister and asked her to look outside.

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One of those best mornings, Australian Camp

There were many domestic tourists doing a photo session with the beautiful panoramic mountains on the background. After some photos and meal, we were ready to head into Pokhara city, but it wouldn’t be before walking about an hour downhill to a village on the highway called Kaade. The viewpoint wasn’t connected to any roads, the only way to reach it was through a stone trail.

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Trail to Australian camp

As we started walking downhill away from the site, this time the landscape was green hills, we had left the snowy mountains behind. I saw tourists walking uphill making frequent stops, but going downhill was quite easy.

We passed a few villages along the way, and chatted with the local children who were hanging out by the swings. Soon after we reached the highway going to Pokhara, where buses were waiting for passengers.

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Lots of green!

After this trip, I finally understood why some people enjoy trekking so much, although it’s physically exhausting. It also showed me how beautiful Nepal is, especially when you go out of big cities. This trip has got me and my sister anticipating for another such trek in Nepal, and it can’t come soon enough! But due to the uncertain situation in the world right now, all we can do is look back at our photos and hope for the best. Hope you are all safe and well! 🙂


16 thoughts on “Trip to Ghandruk, part 2

  1. I’m happy to hear there were domestic tourists too – sometimes popular spots are just so invaded with foreign travelers that locals keep a distance, which is a shame. Anyway, nice reading a post from you, Pooja! How’s married life? And how’s the virus affected you guys in Poland?

    1. Hi Snow. The Corona lockdown has slowly started taking a mental toll on me. I’ve been home for the last 10 days or so, working from home. Poland has shut its borders and is in lockdown (schools, unis, shops – all closed) since I think about a week now. It’s the uncertainty and anxiety over this whole thing that’s the hardest! What about you guys over there?

      1. So you are not leaving the flat at all? Even in Italy they are allowed to go on a stroll alone (but maybe that’s why things are so bad there?). Here, things are still unclear. People have not understood social distancing and carry on as normal. Schools are closed but daycare isn’t. I’ve taken my kids out of daycare and am trying to watch them in our tiny flat while working from home, which is exhausting, but we do go out and play everyday. It’s still cold (though sunny now) so we are wearing mittens/gloves at the playground. I suspect that is going to change soon too and I’m wondering if it’s a bad idea to go to the playground. But then again, hubby is still working as usual (not from home), using publictransport, so it seems keeping the boys locked inside doesn’t mean we aren’t exposed/potentially spreading it. Lots of contradictions. Nasty timing too, right after a looooooog winter. Hang in there – I feel anxious too… here are some jokes that I found funny which lightened my mood, maybe you’ll laugh at them too: https://www.boredpanda.com/coronavirus-funny-jokes/ Take care! Xx

      2. It’s such a dire situation.. no it’s not a mandatory curfew like they have in Italy, but it’s shutting down of everything else except grocery stores and pharmacies, and the borders + air travel since about 10 days. We’ve been isolating at home just as precaution, but we do go to the store every 4 days or so for food. I hope your husband can soon either go on a leave and sit at home or any other alternative which will be better for all of you. Thanks for the boredpanda link, it really helps! Take care and stay safe!

  2. I often find myself regretting my decision to sign up for a hiking trip, especially when it’s so excruciatingly exhausting. But usually once I get up there, the view makes up for all the drops of sweat and the sore muscles. Nepal surely has one of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world, which is the reason why I want to go back one day and hike there. Hope you’re all healthy and safe, Pooja!

    1. Yes, I totally agree with you! The views make up for all the physical pain and discomfort. I hope you’re doing well over there in Jakarta too, Bama! I have to go back and read some of your blog posts that I missed over the months 🙂

  3. Gorgeous scenery, Pooja. Sorry you are feeling weary. We are also. I would love to go out somewhere after being stuck at home for so long. Pooja, that view from Australian Camp is really stunning.

  4. It took me a little while to get back to part 2 of this travelogue about your trek. How very special this leg of your tour was? That breathtaking scenery of the fishtail mountain. I can only imagine how much more special it was like in real life, as photos never quite do landscape justice. It must be very difficult for you to anticipate how long each hike might be. Thus I was glad to read that it worked out well and you found other options to reach your destination. I think a high fitness level is absolutely crucial for this kind of activity. The memories of this will surely last forever. There is not anything else like it. Australia camp! All those darn Aussies tourists/trekker might congregate in the one spot? Funny, though.

      1. I think it is because we are on an island so far away, we can’t just travel to another country for the weekend. So we crave overseas experiences… How lucky are we?

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