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Nepal – Poon Hill Trek 2 (Ghorepani, Poon Hill; Nepal Travel Review Series)

Day 2: Thikedunga to Ghorepani

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Up, up, up…

Right after breakfast, we embarked on our “3000 steps” morning on cobbled rocks and loose stones, occasionally giving way to donkeys coming downhill with chickens and suppliers for the locals. I think I climbed 300 steps (which is already 15 floors if you think in city terms) and I asked my guide if we are near…he laughed and said we have at least another 1.5hours to go. It was then I realized how bad my judgment on distances and height was :P. It was heartening to have many trekkers with us, encouraging one another.

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Beautiful scenery along the way to distract me from the continuous seemingly unending uphill climb

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Villagers sorting out the vegetables

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Cheering up the village kids with snacks we brought

It was humbling to see older porters carrying 40kg on their backs or local old men carrying heavy logs passing us! Our guide also told us that his grandfather, who is an ex-gurkha, who is in his 70s but still able to walk with 30kg load today. All these sights and stories only remind me of the mental barriers I have created for myself. If so many other older people can do it, I can definitely too, with God’s help!

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After 4-5 hours of climb, we enjoyed lunch with this view 

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More chicken dal bhat!

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Fresh vegetable wrap

After lunch, there are 1-2 more hours through a forest trail before we reach our Ghorepani teahouse for tonight.

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Back on the trek, recharged after lunch

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Clear, green waterfalls

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Steps that don’t really look like steps sometimes

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Definitely had moments I wish I was on a horse..

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Finally, when I thought we arrived at Ghorepani, we still have to climb (see top right)

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Ghorepani – rustic village with a lot of character

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Puppies having fun!

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Finally high enough to see snow and ice (though it means more slippery)

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Ghorepani Sunny Hotel teahouse corridor

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Piping hot steak dinner at teahouse to recover from the climb!

The parallels of mountain climbing to the Christian walk also crossed my mind as I tried to distract myself from my screaming hamstrings.

  • Firstly, even though there are many people on the same journey, the actual climb is an individual one – between God and me.
  • Secondly, there is one main direction to the final goal, but there are many routes to take to get there. One wrong step could lead to a slip, one right step brings one closer to the goal. Everyone chooses their own path and rocks.
  • Thirdly, encouragement helps. We all have our ups n downs, slow moments, or falling down moments. But having a fellow trekker who understands your struggles alongside you with encouragement of words or just company, is so helpful.
  • Fourthly, having an expert guide who has been there helps. He/she can tell you their stories, good or bad treks to take and helps speed up the total journey.
  • Fnally, resting and pacing is important. What matters is finishing.

And finish the day we did, our endomondo app told us we climbed ~3 vertical marathons which is around 250 floors and walked for another 2 hours on top of that. We collapsed into our beds at Sunny Hotel Teahouse!

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View from Sunny Hotel teahouse

Day 3: Ghorepani to Poonhill to Tadapani

We started the ascent to Poonhill at 515am. This was the more physically trying climb of the trek because I was climbing in the dark, sliding on occasional ice and I learn that the mountain air is even thinner in the early mornings, making me have to stop for breath even more often. But the ascent was totally worth it.

On the way up, the view was already BREATHTAKING (both figuratively and literally). There were sunrise hues when we were three quarters up the mountain, with this golden orange line merging from utter darkness.

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Hues on the way up to Poon Hill. Turning back to enjoy the view

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Sun not yet rising, sending pink hues through the skies

When we arrived atop Poonhill, it was so beautiful I could almost tear. On top of the sunset hills, to the left of the Dhaulagiri ranges, there was a blend of pink and blue in the sky as the sun has not totally risen.

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All of us enjoying the Himalayas..

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Loving the soft hues, mountain layers and snow capped tips at the far end

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God’s amazing creation

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Dhaulagiri ranges

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Beautiful, even when captured on my phone!

Spanning from left to right, I saw the Dhalaugiri ranges, followed by Machapuchare (Fishtail) Mountain and the rest of Annapurna ranges with Annapurna South towering. Watching the sun slowly risely and its rays hitting the right slopes of Annapurna summit covered in fresh snow, was what I always dreamed of seeing in real life as I watched National Geographic and I am so thankful to be able to see it in real life!! So thankful that the clouds hid from us that morning so we were able to see both the ranges in its full glory.

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Panoramic shot on my mobile phone

More shots of the beautiful Poon Hill view; we couldn’t stop snapping!

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After Poon Hill climb, we went back to our Sunny Hotel for breakfast and to pack, to prepare for the day ahead. I had thought it would be a relatively easy downhill descent, but who would have guessed, the hardest day of the trek had only just begun. After breakfast, we need to ascend to another peak (~3200+m like Poon Hill), then descend and finally ascend again to our teahouse for that night at  Tadapani.

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Saying bye to The Sunny Hotel, which ironically was the coldest night of the climb

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I will miss this view from the Sunny Hotel

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Fellow trekkers; off we go again after breakfast!

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More Uphill..

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Beautiful plains along the way

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Trying to balance and trek on snow and ice… not an easy task..

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I thought going downhill on ice was difficult… Uphill is even worse :>

I let the pictures speak of the trek’s beauty, but this was the CRAZIEST 9 hour 15min climbing day. That means after completing 3 vertical marathons & 2 hours gentle ascent yesterday, today we walked up and down for 9 hours and 15mins, which means even if we walked at 5km/h slowly, we would have more than completed a marathon. Needless to say, my muscles were screaming and it felt really good mentally to know we completed this feat, before spending the night at Panorama Hotel Teahouse, with more amazing views!

For the entire Nepal Travel Review series by EatPrayFlying, please refer to the list below:

13 Comments

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  6. Van Ngoc Dang says

    Hi, could you let us know the email of your guide? And do the guide books all the hotels for you or do you do it yourself?

    Many thanks in advance.

    PS. Gorgeous pictures by the way!!!

    • Beatrice says

      Hi Van, I have emailed u his contact. The guide books the hotels for the trek and you can choose the ones in the city 🙂 thanks and u have a fun trip in advance!!

  7. marian says

    Hi Beatrice

    Can I have your guide’s contact? I would like to go trek poon hill in june but I only have 5 days all in all, is that possible? Thanks.

  8. julian says

    Hi! Could i please have the contact details of your guide too? I will be travelling in september.. best wishes – Julian

  9. Hydz says

    Hello. I find your blog so inspiring. I would like to experience the same thing. Can you send me the travel agency who arrange your poonhill trek. Treking is a Good way to experience adventure and the majestic creation of God

  10. Julia says

    Hi Beatrice. Thank you for such a detailed blog – it’s so useful and inspiring! I’m planning to do the Tadapani trek in April and would be very grateful if you could email me your guide’s contact details please. Also how did you find a porter?
    Thanks a lot!

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