Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Family's Trekking Travellogue to Nepal ~ Day 7

Day 7: Our 6th day of trekking~ Ghandruk all the way back to Nayapul

Yes, we had passed through the most difficult part of our trek.
Today would see us coming back down all the way to Nayapul.
The distance is not short. But the terrain is relatively gentle, though downwards.

Waking up int the morning and having a last look around in Ghandruk.

Video of the morning scene.. birds chirping, roosters crowing...

Waking up to prayer flags and the Giants in the background...

.. and the children couldn't bear to leave Ghandruk..

From Ghandruk to Nayapul...

Looking back at the GPS data, I must admit that we really trekked fairly quickly.. only about 3 hours plus from Ghandruk down to Birethanti.
Hmmm.. we must have been a little more seasoned by Day 5 already.. Or perhaps the rest in Ghandruk revitalised us...
The trek today would bring us back to hug the Modi Kola River...

Click on the image below for a larger version

We all started our day's hike fully clothed with the layers as the morning was still chilly..
And this was exactly the scene which I would keep in my mind.. that stretch of steps down from our Guest Lodge,
before we take a turn to continue our trek...

... which very soon developed into a comfortable pace. By now, the children were steady-poon-pee-pee already.
I think even if we were to say let's turn left and go towards ABC now, they wouldn't have bat an eye lid.. although we were really physically not prepared for that yet.. LOL.

Heading towards the tiny village of Kimche...

Yes, Kimche would be our next rest point.

Haha.. every one was cheerful and relaxed and the atmosphere showed by the way we were more ready to stop and shoot.
No longer the stress cloud hanging above everyone's head like the first couple of days.
Now we knew, it was only a matter of hours before we see the metal bridge of Birethanti again.
And by this evening, we would be back in the warm blankets of Pokhara...

Actually looking at the GPS track belies the fact that the trail could still be rough.
And yah, some parts were still rough. Rough especially on the knees.
Trekking in Nepal is really like this: I'd rather climb than to descend because descending is tougher on my knees.

Even the occasional porter we encountered along the track appeared to be relaxed..

Bridges, bridges and more wooden bridges..

Wah lau eh.. the younger sisters were really fast.
All I did was to stop for a while to take some photos, and when I turned my head and looked at them, they were waaaaaay ahead already.
Man, I got to triple-up to catch up with them..

.. *Panting* *Panting* *Panting*.. finally I caught up with them
As we could see from this shot, although the general trend was a downward one, there would never be a shortage of upward climbs..

Oh! Motorcars...!

Wow.. we hadn't seen motor vehicles for a few days already.
Mahesh told us that somewhere along today's trek we would come to a newly laid motor road.
This was just completed only about half a year ago, and it allowed cars to be driven up to Kimche.
In my heart, I knew what this would mean: having motor transport up higher in the mountains translate into efficiency. But it would also mean the end of some of the villages that were along the walking trail, for people would bypass them and go right up to the village that was supplied by the motorway.
Together with the motorway, it would probably also mean a drastic disturbance in the balance of the natural system in the mountains...
My hope was... keep things the way they were..
If people want to come to the mountains, they jolly well walk up..

A welcome sign pointed to our second final destination, Birethanti and then to Nayapul.
Haha.. just to make sure we didn't get lost..

Ah.. Kimche!
Finally we hit Kimche...

A shot by SereneXMM.
I was very tickled to find this lodge manned by this Nepali lady bearing a sign in Chinese!

... careful, don't miss this small turn to Birethanti...

This was really funny. We would have continued walking straight had it not been for Mahesh pointing out to us this small little step down,
with the tiny sign pointing towards the direction to Birethanti..
Haha.. perhaps this was a short cut?

Walked and walked we did, and we came to a buffalo skull...
Oh, first time I saw a buffalo skull... walking closer to it... I saw...

... I saw this.. Haha...
The lodge owner must be playing a joke with the trekkers!
"My Karma".. referred to the buffalo's karma?
Or your karma if you were to ... what? Haha...

Continuing our walk, we kept finding ourselves at the ledges over-seeing the 'hills' on the opposite side of the valley.
Although the hills were no longer snow-capped peaks, they had a charm of their own..
And the elder sisters stopped and appreciated this view..

Mahesh in a contemplative mood..

Mahesh must have had some special feelings for these hills around this part for I found that he kept stopping and
looking afar at them. Although I still must say that the shots with him looking quietly at the mountains did have
a certain feel to them ~
The Nepali man and his mountains.

The Nepali man and his land.

The Aunty Mountain Goat...

The Aunty and her NTUC plastic bag.
Haha... I could not remember what SereneXMM was holding on to in that white NTUC plastic bag of hers..
Maybe it was some last few pieces of chocolate to be distributed to village children along the way ba..
But looking at this picture, I would say this was most probably the last few sights of the Machhapuchhre as we descended.
Very soon we would loose sight of this magnificent mountain, at least no longer visible with this foreground and at this proximity.

More and more people we met...

It was timely that we came walking down the trail as the local village teenagers were walking to school.
And very cute, they were so engrossed in some last minute mugging that they didn't even gave us any notice.

We had some remaining snack bars that we did not finish up in the mountains.
Well, this just went to show how well fed we were up there.
And so AhSing looked high and low to give them away..

.. and suddenly the lamb/sheep/ewe/kids were inundated by us! Hahaha...

.. and they really SIAM!

As the track started to level out at a much lower altitude, every one of us could sense that the trek was truly ending.
Man, in my heart I really begun to miss the mountains, even before the trek was done.
That was really addiction in play.

The houses that we passed appeared to bid a bye bye to us.

And as we approached Birethanti, we could see not only porters starting their journey up the mountain,
but also newly arrived trekkers ~ Japanese, Koreans, Europeans, Taiwanese... all looking fresh and bright.
We all must have been quite a sight - all dirtied, tired, and messy..
But we smiled at them, and Namaste-d them too.

And so, Birethanti sees us again...

Yes, it was nice to be back into the embrace of this tiny little village from where we crossed our first police checkpoint.
And of course, that metal bridge..

I think Mahesh must had been pretty relieved to see the back of the treks,
especially when guiding this family. Haha.. just joking..

And... YES! Our TIMS trekking certificates!
Congratulations! Job well done everyone!

The Last 30 mins walk to Nayapul...

Yes, indeed.
After lunch at Birethanti, we just needed to walk the last thirty minutes to get to Nayapul.
And that would be where our minibus would be waiting to bring this tired bunch of trekkers back to Pokhara.
By now, AhLiXMM's toes were swollen and the blisters on her heels were beginning to hurt her more.
But it was merely another 30 min's walk.
Nothing compared to what she had gone through.

We walked through a cluster of small houses.
Probably part of Nayapul already.. But still, we got to cross another suspension, the last one, before we come to our pick up point.

The children were ecstatic with the end so palpably close.
It was with mixed feeling that we came to the last bridge..

At the end of our trek, we were all very grateful to everybody, everything...
And of course, these that had been close by our sides over that five days...

Our trusty trekking stick bought for S$6 per stick...
[Can still see that particular stick with the Singapore flag?]
These sticks were really good. It took us a while to get the hang of what height to set them to.
And some may not screw so well.
But whatever it was, after these few days, each of us developed a kind of affinity for our respective sticks.

Of course...

Our trekking shoes...
[Every one's shoes, except mine because I was the one taking the shot]
Yes, all kinds of brands... good shoes, tough and waterproof.
Couldn't have completed the trek without them..

Back in Pokhara's hotel, we immersed ourselves totally back into the luxurious conditions of this abode.  The meagreness of the guesthouses over the past few days had made us appreciate this little bit of extra comfort here in the town of Pokhara.

Click Below to continue to the next Chapter:
A Family's Trekking Travellogue to Nepal ~ Day 8