Trek Day 3 - Ghorepani to Tadapani, Nepal

Sunrise at Poon HillPre-dawn, tourists pour out of guest houses bleary eyed, armed with torches. The world is lit by the full moon, with torch glows meandering through town and up into the sky. Behind a guest house is the well worn path up the hill. There are dozens ahead of us already and more filling the path behind as we make our way for the spectacle of the sun cresting Himalaya.

Poon Hill is at 3200 metres and has a viewing platform at the top of the hill. The platform is filled by the eager and earlier tourists vying for the perfect spot for their photos. The rest of us move around the hill top clearing admiring the view.

Poon Hill, NepalPoon Hill, NepalPoon Hill, Nepal

Poon Hill, NepalPoon Hill, NepalPoon Hill, Nepal

The sky gradually lightens revealing the silhouettes of mountains. The minutes pass and more detail emerges: white caps, crevasses, crags, foliage, trails and homes. The world is illuminated long before we see the sun. A roar erupts, spreading through the gathered mass as the golden orb of the sun comes into view at last. The fervor that infects the crowd is amazing, everyone thralled by the sight of this new day dawned. After a while the crowd begins to move some for more photos while others descend to their Guest houses for breakfast.

After breakfast we begin our trek to Tadapani. We start with an uphill trail through a forest of Rhododendron arboreum (The national flower of Nepal, and one of the main reasons people choose to hike through Nepal in April) in full bloom, venturing higher than Poon Hill. We stopped a while and took in the impressive vista before continuing along the ridge top through the clouds. Our small group fell a way behind the others and we treated to an exquisite serenity broken only by the occasional bird song. For an hour we journeyed among the clouds gradually descending into the valley. Along the path are various small shrines and memorials, some of which are quite beautiful. At one point we came across a love heart made of Rhododendron flowers.

 Ghorepani to Tadapani, Nepal Ghorepani to Tadapani, Nepal Ghorepani to Tadapani, Nepal

 Ghorepani to Tadapani, Nepal Ghorepani to Tadapani, Nepal Ghorepani to Tadapani, Nepal

During the descent there were a few small showers prompting us to don our wet weather gear. As we neared the low point the sky crackled and roared, the clouds so peaceful earlier now aflame with arcs of lighting. The thunder followed almost immediately upon each flash, the crack of a whip followed by deep reverberating growls that echoed through the valley. My team of fellow adventurers had previously been feeling rather flat and tired, but they became renewed as though drawing energy from the chaos in the heavens above. The rain fell thick and fast and before we knew it the trail was a stream flowing over our boots. Then came a small sting on the back of my hand, then another, and we were inundated by pea sized hail.

Rejuvenated, we made our way up the mountain in the rain and hail, water cascading down the stairs and over our boots. We cheered the spectacle, and dared the gods for more. A short way up a group of hikers had taken refuge in an alcove. We waved as we continued our way as the land turned white and the trail nothing more than a river.


Ghorepani to Tadapani, NepalGhorepani to Tadapani, NepalGhorepani to Tadapani, Nepal

When we reached Tadapani, our pants and boots were drenched, but we were enlivened. We changed our clothes and sat a while watching the storm which continued through the night. In the communal dining room we met a couple and two Ukrainian trekkers who were doing the full Anapurna Base Camp Trek. We shared Ukrainian Vodka and Spec, telling tales of our various adventures as the night grew old.

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Day 2

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Day 5

Day 6

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