Annapurna circuit – day 1 – Ghandruk

Tuesday 9 April 2015

We were up and ready for breakfast at 8am today. I had some porridge made with water. I quickly ran down the road to buy some bananas, still quite expensive, 50p for 8 small bananas.

And then we headed off in the van at 9am. We left the city of Pokhara and began climbing the hills.

We stopped off half way for some lovely views of the mountains, before continuing on to the village of Nayapool at 1,080m, the beginning of our trek.

We began walking at 11.15am. Whilst walking through the village I realised I had forgotten to pack any soap or shampoo, so I quickly bought a few sachets of shampoo from one of the shops, they charged me 13p for 3! Nice and cheap!

We left the village and ended up on a dirt track road. Over a cool bridge, totally covered in prayer flags and along a pretty road with greenery all around.

It took 2 hours to reach the lunch spot, right beside the river, it was really pretty and it had been a relatively easy, flat walk. Fine so far! But I didn’t really feel like eating.

I got some more porridge and ate a few bananas too. And from now on, it was going to be a ’45 minute steep up’.

I put my headphones on, intending on treating this as a bit of a workout. Endless stone stairs, going up, up, up. Past small houses, up the mountain. 45 minutes came and went. And still going.

It was so hot, 28 degrees and we didn’t stop much. Just up and up. 2 hours later, we were still going up.

It was literally only up, no flat parts whatsoever.

We were now into farmland, terraces of vegetables and only the odd house here and there. Horses and cows roaming freely. Children ran along the steps shouting after us ‘chocolate, pizza’. Literally every child we passed was asking for the same.

I was trailing behind the majority of the group by now, I wanted to take so many photos and they just never stopped to look at anything. After about 2.5 hours of up, it began to rain a little.

Bit of a nuisance. I was too hot to wear my raincoat, so didn’t bother, it wasn’t that heavy rain. I could hear bells coming closer and suddenly a small herd of mules were running towards me. They are fast and strong. To stop them running into you, you have to stick your arm out into the path infront of them. Bit scary.

They are used to carry goods around the hills.

By now I was exhausted. Every step was so difficult. 3 hours 15 minutes and we were finally there.

The village of Ghandruk at 1,920m. It was 5pm. I literally could not walk a single extra step. And almost cried when I found out my room was on third floor – the roof.

And we were told there was no bathroom on our floor, so we had to go outside and down the stairs to the next floor to use a bathroom. I nearly fell asleep. And then tried to have a shower, the water was like ice. So I gave up. It was now 5 degrees outside. At 6pm we had dinner. I had a standard dal bhat tray. And felt like I needed pudding, so treated myself to some banana fritters!! They were delicious. But I was so exhausted, so at 8pm I headed to bed.

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