Sunday, 20 November 2011
Ghorepani to Ghandruk
Trekking Ghorepani to Ghandruk
snowtopped mountain peaks - 8, tigers encountered - 1, goodbyes - 1, fresh yeti poo - 2?, hours trekking - 8
The original plan was to walk to Tadopani today but we decided we wanted to trek further and take a longer route to Ghandruk. Sanne is still with us but needs to take a different path when we pass Tadopani on her way to Annapurna Base Camp. The sky is clear today and its really sunny but as we set off at about 8am its still quite chilly with frost on the ground especially in the wooded areas. The mountain peaks are visible in heir full glory, not a cloud in sight and once we've climbed up through the woods to a hill top we get more amazing panoramic views of all the snowy mountains complete with blue sky and densely forested valleys below, a couple of eagles are riding the air currents for good measure. We stop for some essential photo taking. We trek on through some thick forest which is tough going with steep hills and tricky footing, its chilly in the shaded forest and then really warm whenever we reach a hill top or small clearing. Further along we cross several rivers, some big waterfalls and then ridged paths along rockfaces with dizzying drops just when step away. Reached a small lodge around 12 and stopped for our daily helping of dal bhat, I found out why they always pile so much on my plate when the second helpings come round, its because your supposed to put your hand over your plate when you've got enough which I didn't know until now (although maybe i'll still play ignorant).
We will be parting ways with Sanne shortly so we decided to buy her a gift, a bracelet and some woollen sock slipper things to keep her feet warm at Base Camp. I will miss Sanne, it feels like we've known her for 2 weeks not 2 days. When we reach Tadopani we say our goodbyes, Ram gives Sanne some advice and directions and she heads off whilst we carry on to Ghandruk.
There's no other trekkers on this trail, only us, the forest now becomes more like jungle, the vegetation thicker, more sound of life, lots of birds, monkeys swinging through the trees and then completely unexpected Ram hears something and stops staring into the undergrowth "ssshhhh, a tiger, i see it". There's a strange deep growly purring, sounds a bit like a motor ticking over, I got excited but Bec got really nervous and ran on ahead. to calm Becci down Ram tried to persuade her "maybe it wasnt a tiger, there's no tigers around here". It was though.
We reached Ghandruk and wrapped up warm to watch the sunset behind the mountain peaks at the guesthouse with a nice big pot of mint tea.