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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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! 🙂