Sunday, May 19, 2013

ABC trek part 2

Day 3: Ghorepani to Poon Hill for sunrise, and then on to Tadapani

Today began at an excruciating 3:12 am, when we were awoken by the Russians. We were to meet for our hike up Poon Hill at 4, and our alarm was set for, naturally, 3:50. It's not like we had to look pretty. Evidently the group needed a lot more time to primp than us! We arrived at Poon HIll about 40 minutes before sunrise, as we were all movin' real fast this morning, and then anxiously awaited the mountains to alight and our butts to stop freezing. The sunrise was nice over Dhaulagiri (3rd tallest mountain in the world), but we saw equally awesome views later as we began our ascent to Tadapani.

After coming off Poon Hill in the morning we packed up, ate breakfast in the awesome dining hall at the Sunny Lodge (which held handsome panorama views while we sipped masala tea and milk coffee) and got sick and tired of waiting for the Russians, who were evidently waiting until Poon Hill cleared out and then meditated on top for an hour. We left the group and didn't see them again until Tadapani, when two ladies arrived on horseback, very butt-sore.

The trail began with a climb of over 1,000 feet to a pass covered in blooming rhododendrons- white, red, fuschia, pink- absolutely beautiful. The trail was up and down, up and down, quite reminiscent of Everest Base Camp trail. Unlike EBC, however, there are no villages anywhere- only rainforest. The valleys are very narrow and nearly all sheer cliffs, making villages impossible. We walked by a stream nearly the entire day, in tight valleys interspersed with rhododendron forests, oaks, ferns and waterfalls that ended in beckoning plunge pools. 

We arrived in Tadapani around lunch time and promptly shared a plate of fries (home cut and fried, no frozen french fries here!) and a refreshing Everest beer. When we awoke from a fantastic nap, the Russians had finally arrived- 4 hours after us! A little soggy from rain, they had made it. 

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