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Nayapul to Hille: And So It Begins. (7km)
Trekking in the Himalayas seemed like a fantastic idea. I mean, everyone seems to do it. We walk a lot when we travel, and although we’re not in amazing shape we’re not in THAT bad of shape. Once the kids get over their whining, they seem to be able to keep walking for quite a long time (especially if we’ve promised them ice cream!). Plus, I’d talked to a few other families who’ve done the 5’ish day Poon Hill trek in the Annapurna circuit. Surely we’d survive it too. It’s not like we we’re setting out to climb Everest or something crazy like that! And, to make things even more interesting, we might as well bring my mom along too! Three generations trekking in the Himalayas together. It sounds so exciting! And then reality kicked in. Day one, from Nayapul to Hille with kids (and Grandma), eased us into things.
We woke early, excited for our trek. Our legs were fresh (mostly, other than the fact that we’d just done 20km with the kids, over 3 days, in the mountains around Besisahar, but that’s another story!) and our spirits were high. The van arrived, with our guide, to pick us up at our hotel. Our large pile of luggage to leave behind was hoisted into the back of the van and dropped at the trekking office. We pared down our things to the bare necessities, but I wish I would’ve had a few of these essentials along for the trek!
One small 9kg backpack and our two daypacks was all we were bringing with us. It took a lot to get all 5 of us into the maximum 10kg pack. I kept giving things back to Mom that she gave me to pack, but eventually we did it! (By this point I’m a self-proclaimed packing superstar!!)
We stopped at the Three Sisters office to pick up our assistants and the doka.
SIDE note: if you’re wondering whether it’s worth hiring a guide, read all about why Taryn thinks you should (and I agree!).
Then, we drove 1.5hrs up a bumpy, windy road to Nayapul. One of the benefits of booking our guide and assistants through a company, was it also came with transportation to and from the starting point, Nayapul. By this point we’ve survived some pretty sketchy bus-rides. However, I wouldn’t want to begin and end a trek worrying about plummeting off the edge of a cliff in a bus. After safety arriving in Nayapul, we bought plastic rain covers (60rupee each), went to the bathroom, and started down the road through town.
As we walked, I wondered how big Nayapul would be if it wasn’t for the Annapurna trek.
It was funny to start our big epic trek wandering through the main street of this bustling little tourist town. The sides of the road were lined with shops selling anything and everything to those tourists having last minute panic attacks that they haven’t loaded their porters up with enough stuff and need to pick up one last thing!
As complicated as it was to fit all 5 of us into 10kg, I appreciated that our assistant only had to carry 10kg on her back. (She was outfitted with my comfy, properly-fitted backpack). Each time a young, or old, man walked by with a massive 45-50kg load on their head I gloated inside a little that I wasn’t one of “those people” causing them to carry such a burden. On the flip side, when someone walked by carrying their own pack I was silently shamed because I had someone carrying mine! We made it out of town, and I resisted the urge to purchase anything.
It wasn’t long before 2 young American boys came up beside us. The girls (actually all of us) got excited…another family!!
There are others, surely we aren’t crazy to do this with our kids!
We all walked together, chatting away, until we had both our TIMS and Annapurna region permits checked. Then the uphill began! Calais ran ahead with the two boys while I talked with their parents, and Randy and Mom dragged behind with Kacela. We stopped for a rest, shared our Oreos, and waited for the stragglers to catch up. By then it was clear the boys were significantly faster than our girls, and we weren’t going to keep up. We made plans to meet up with them the following evening in Ghorepani, and said good-bye.
The day was hot, but the trekking wasn’t too hard on the body. The trail followed a gravel road most of the way, and it gently sloped upward easing us into the mountains.
Even this low the views were pretty amazing. We couldn’t see the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas yet, but the hillsides were covered with rice terraces and quaint little villages.
We stopped for lunch at the same teahouse as our new friends, but it was too full. So, off we went, further down the road. Instead, we found a lovely little teahouse with a big garden where the kids could run and play. We enjoyed massive plates of egg and veggie chow mein (basically spaghetti noodles with veggies and a fried egg) and my weakness, sweet milk tea.
After lunch, it was time to use our second assistant.
We had 1.5hrs of trekking moving at a normal pace, but longer if we took our time. We decided to put Kacela in the doka so the day wouldn’t drag on too long.
With Kacela in the carrier, we made significantly better time after lunch. We were at the tea house where we’d stay the night before we knew it. It was nice to arrive before we were too tired. All of us happily changed out of our sweaty trekking clothes, had a cold shower, and sat on the deck enjoying the view.
I’m not always a fan of a cold shower, but after the hot trek it was very welcome, mostly. The girls didn’t quite feel the same, but they suffered through it anyways. It was only day one, I wasn’t prepared to spurge for the 100 rupee ($1.20CAD) hot shower yet!
I thought I’d have time in the evening to do some writing and photo editing from the day. But, there were other people around to talk to! After dinner (fried rice and egg with milk tea), we sat and chatted with the other guests as the sun set over the valley. Mom and the girls crashed pretty early, but Randy and I stayed up for a while chatting with a pair of siblings from Switzerland. By 9pm we’d outlasted everyone by at least an hour, so we decided to head to bed. The next day was going to be an early morning and a physically demanding day.
Read the rest of our Day-by-Day Trekking Adventures:
- Hille to Ghorepani: Day 2 is here!
- Ghorepani to Tadapani: Day 3
- Tadapani to Ghandruk: Day 4
- Ghandruk to Pokhara: Day 5
We booked our guide and assistants (porters) through 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
Breakfast: We grabbed pastries from a vendor on the road and ate on the way! 250 rupees ($3 CAD)
Lunch: 3 orders of veggie & egg chow mein, 3 milk tea, 1 ginger/honey/lemon tea, a Coca Cola and 3 mineral water. 1670 rupees ($20.50 CAD)
Dinner: 3 orders of fried veggie fried rice, 1 order veggie chow mein, 4 milk tea, 1 Coca Cola, 4L boiled water. 2800 rupees ($34.25 CAD)
Dipak Guesthouse: double room 500 rupees, triple room 600 rupees. Total 1100 rupees ($13.50 CAD)
Rain ponchos (2) 120 rupees ($1.50 CAD)
Bathroom en route 30 rupees ($0.37 CAD)
Day One Total (3 adults and 2 kids): $160.12 CAD
Are you interested in trekking in the Himalayas with kids? Pin me for later!