Day Three: “A little bit up, and some down”

Ghorepani – Poon Hill (2.9km, 230m up) then

Ghorepani – Tadapani (10.7km, 600m up, 1000m down)

Initially we thought Day 2 would be our hardest day, but Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with kids and a Grandma trumped day 2 by far!

Day 3

It was a rough start to the morning. The alarm went off at 4am. After a fitful night’s sleep I was not excited to be getting out of bed. Neither was anyone else. However, this was IT. The destination. One could argue the entire journey was our destination, but given this is called the Poon Hill trek, I’m going to call Poon Hill our ultimate destination. It was our furthest point, and the closest we were going to get to the rugged peaks of the Himalayas.

After getting ourselves ready, we woke up the girls and Grandma. The extra few minutes of sleep didn’t do them any good! The girls had no interest in waking up. Calais sat on her bed, fully dressed other than her socks, for a good 15min proclaiming that she didn’t want to go up the mountain and just wanted to go back to sleep. We finally coaxed them into clothes and shoes, mostly. Kacela refused her hiking shoes and would only wear her crocs.

15min later than anticipated we were on our way.

Because we were a bit late leaving, I set a pretty good pace at the beginning. Mahon carried Calais, and Randy carried Kacela. I thought we’d be able to make up a bit of time. But, we didn’t get very far. After the first set of stairs we were a mess! Calais was ready to go back, Kacela was crying that her feet were cramping (likely because they were cold in her crocs), and Mom was tired because Kacela kept her awake half the night. Clearly we needed to slow things down or we weren’t going to make it. We slowed down and took our time. Some people passed us, and we passed a few people, but we kept trudging our way up.

The sky was just starting to change to oranges and yellows as we reached the top. We grabbed a milk-tea to warm up, and sat down to watch the sunrise.

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with KidsGhorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

There’s a reason hundreds of people make the early morning trek up to Poon Hill during high season. The views are truly breathtaking. The clouds roll in as the day warms up, so the morning offers the best chance for an unobstructed view of the peaks. We had a perfectly clear morning, and the mountains towered above us in all their glory.

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

Our new friends with “the boys” found us, then we found the family with “the girls”.

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

It took at least an hour, and other kids, before the girls finally perked up. We managed a few family photos, then made our way back down the hill for breakfast.

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

The Poon Hill views were incredible, and made me want to add the Everest Base Camp trek to my always-growing bucket list!

It was much faster going down than going up!

After a poor night’s sleep, and an early morning, no one was in a hurry to start the trek to Tadapani. We decided to take a little break after breakfast and leave later in the morning. At 10:30am we were amongst the last people to leave the hotel. We were very happy we’d taken the break. Bagwati had told us we’d have 3 “ups” during the day. The first was Poon Hill, the second was just leaving Ghorepani, and the third would be at the end of the day right before we got to Tadapani.

The second “up” of the day was another steep set of stairs! I kept thinking we were done with the stairs, but they just kept coming. When we finally reached the top, we had another spectacular view. It wasn’t quite as broad as from Poon Hill, but pretty close. We sat for a few minutes to catch our breath, have a snack, and enjoy the mountains.

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

Then we started the “down”.

The majority of the day was spent walking in the shade. Add to that the fact that we were going either level or downhill, and everyone was happy. The girls took turns being carried by either Mahon or Randy, and we kept a pretty reasonable pace.

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

When it was time to stop for lunch we weren’t even tired (relative to previous days anyways). The views the entire day were incredible. We followed a ridge for most of the morning, and the white-peaked Himalayas were beside us the entire time. It’s such a stark contrast to the jungle at the base of the mountains.

Later in the day we descended back into the jungle, and followed a river most of the way.

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

By mid-afternoon we knew the last “up” was coming. We stopped for a short tea-break to get one last boost of energy before tackling yet another set of stone stairs. Between our tea break and the up, we passed through the village of Banthanti, and ran into the family with the girls.

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

The view right before the village of Binthanti.

We got one last little break.

The four younger ones played with the ants in the sand for a few minutes, then we started the last down and then “up” to Tadapani. Mahon carried Calais, Randy carried Kacela, and they sped ahead of everyone. They were moving as quickly as possible so they could get the girls off their shoulders. I held back with Mom for the first little bit, but each time we stopped for a short break it was hard to start back up again. About ¼ of the way up I kept going and attempted to enjoy a bit of solitude with the rhythm of my upward steps.

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

Crossing the bridge at the bottom of the valley before heading back up.

I knew I was close to the village when I came across a group of buffalo on the pathway. They didn’t seem bothered by me, so I snuck past them as quickly as possible and found Randy and the girls playing on the swing in the village.

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

As we rounded the corner to our tea house, a little voice rang out, “girls, girls”! It was our new friends with “the boys”!! They were staying at the tea house right next to ours. We dropped our bags, Mom had a rest, and the four kids played together in a room while the four parents sat outside and visited. We had to tear the kids apart for dinner, but promised to meet up when we returned to Pokhara as they were going the whole way the following day.

Dinner was crazy and hot. There was two other large groups staying at the tea house, and  we were all eating at the same time. The food was good, we tried some local millet wine (kind of like sake but a bit sweeter), and then all crumpled into bed for a much needed good night’s sleep.

Nayapul (Pokhara) to Hille: Day 1 is here!

Hille to Ghorepani: Day 2

Tadapani to Ghandruk: Day 4

Ghandruk to Pokhara: Day 5

The Details

As with the other days, our guide and assistants (porters) came from Three Sisters Adventure Trekking. I just love this organization! Their whole mandate is empowering women, and they have some of the only female guides and assistants working in the Himalayas. The female assistants carry a max of 10kg and the males a max of 13kg. Not only are they empowering women, but they’re ensuring their employees are working under fair conditions.

Guide: $30 US ($37 CAD) per day

Assistants: $20 US ($25 CAD) per day x 2

Food

Breakfast: 5 orders of scrambled eggs, 3 orders of Tibetan bread with peanut butter, 1 large pot of masala milk tea 1700 rupees ($22.25 CAD)

Lunch: 3 orders of veggie chow mein, 4 milk tea, 2L water 1850 rupees ($22.65 CAD)

Snack: Mars bar and 2 mango juice 650 rupees ($8 CAD)

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

Dinner: Chicken noodle soup, Veg currie and Veg fried rice, local millet wine, 3L water 3350 rupees ($41.00 CAD)

Accommodation

Guesthouse: Grand View Lodge triple 800 rupees +  double 600 ($17.15 CAD)

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani with Kids

Day Three Total (3 adults, 2 kids): $198.05 CAD 

Did you miss the rest? Find DAY ONE here and DAY TWO here.

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