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Trekking Nepal – Tadapani to Ghandruk – Days 4 & 5

Trekking from Tadapani to Ghandruk

Trekking from Tadapani to Ghandruk, Nepal.

 

I can barely walk.  So that’s good. 

 

My legs no longer articulate.  I walk like the abominable snowman moving side to side with the grace of a linebacker.  It’s super attractive.

 

Kaji assures me we have an easy day.  I believe him like I believe in unicorns.

 

The trail takes us through one of the world’s largest rhododendron forests, where white-faced monkeys swing from trees and stare at us curiously.  The sky is clear.  More waterfalls cascade over mossy boulders.  More stairs – thousands of them.

 

Elderly women pass me, carrying bundles as large as themselves.

 

Down, down, down we go from an elevation of 2630 meters (8628 feet) to an elevation of 1945 meters (6381 feet).  I lean on my bamboo walking stick excessively with each step.

 

We arrive in Ghandruk, known as the “Switzerland of Nepal”, a terraced mountain village primarily populated by one of Nepal’s many ethnic groups, the Gurung people.  Stairs weave through the village like a game of Chutes and Ladders connecting the many teahouses and small markets.  A wide stone path is the main thoroughfare, where heavily burdened donkeys walk in line ahead of whipping locals.

 

What a view!

What a view!

 

Kaji finds us a luxury hotel.  The slightly damp sheets in my room, the pool of water on the floor, the lack of hot water or soap might make one think otherwise.  But luxury here is defined by two things: a western style toilet rather than a squat toilet and a roll of toilet paper which I covet like a trophy.

 

My room is on the third floor and each journey downstairs takes me a solid five minutes.  The walk back up the same.

 

Firmly this time I tell Kaji I am staying here two nights.  I can not, will not leave this place tomorrow.  I am near tears.  Again.

 

In the afternoon a storm rolls through the mountains and into the valley.  Suddenly, the world is gray.  Torrential rain pours, thunder roars, the wind scares me with its intensity.  Water pours through my windows and adds to the lake on the linoleum floor that I can’t be bothered with.  Too much trouble.

 

I seek refuge in the dining room of the guesthouse.  Justin Bieber is playing on the radio.  As if I wasn’t in enough pain.

 

I ask Kaji if there is a discount on the helicopter now that we are closer to the city.  “No”.  Oh, Lord.

 

That night, upon returning to my room, a clearly sonar-less bat flies so close to my head that I veer like a boxer from a left-hook, and throw my back into a seizure.  I tentatively lie down on my damp bed, thankful that tomorrow I don’t have to move.

 

Amazingly, in the morning, my spine is cooperative and supple.  My knees, while still stiff, carry me through a restful day.  The mountains, covered with fresh snow are absolutely magnificent.  What a glorious place to take a rest.

 

Photos of the Trek from Tadapani to Ghandruk:

One Comment

  1. I am chuckling inside as I’m reading this…not at you, but with you retrospectively. I never realized you were in this much pain. At least you had the views. I might be lol’ing but I’m in a cafe and too conscious of my surroundings.

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