Day 5 – The Final Descent

Ghandruk – Nayapul – Pokhara 13.2km,

1000m descent

This was it. The last day. We were going from Ghandruk to Pokhara with kids, and it was mostly downhill (or in a van)! We may have left the rugged mountain peaks behind, but the scenery was still beautiful. Maybe even more so because I could take the time to enjoy it!

Day 5

As per usual, we were up before sunrise. My internal body clock has likely reset itself to wake up at exactly 5:45am Nepal time. If I slept a bit better in the tea houses I might not mind being up so early, but by this point I’d just love to sleep until 7am!! At least I got to enjoy one last Himalayan sunrise.

We ate breakfast at 7am, trying to coax the girls into eating rather than playing, and then were off. Our entourage of 18 began the day together. The four younger girls skipped and ran down the path for the first hour. The adults took turns running behind them. Luckily, today, no one hurt themselves!

A funny sign to start our day!

When we got to the village of Kimche, we stopped for a drink at a cafe belonging to Bagwati’s friend, and our entourage split up. The “girl’s family” carried on without us. We ran into them again a few villages later and said our final farewell. Luckily for us, they live in Ho Chi Minh, so we made plans to see them again when we’re there at the end of December. The girls were all asking if we were going to visit for 10 days or 10 years…their concept of time is a bit off!!

They definitely had fun together.

The first vehicles we’d seen in 4 days!

The rest of the day passed quite uneventfully. We caught our last view of the snow-capped peaks, and watched as the river at the valley-bottom got closer and closer. The stone steps and trailway was significantly busier than any other day on the trek. School kids rushed passed us in uniforms, and locals moved in both directions carrying a variety of items on their heads.

We watched kids transfer their freshly-caught minnows from one pot to another, and saw an elderly gentleman weaving bamboo into a doka.

The dirt road zig-zagged back and forth down the mountain, crossing the trail a dozen or so times before the trail disappeared and we were left to walk on the road.

Jeep after jeep passed, bringing tired trekkers back to Pokhara, and fresh faces up to their starting point. At one point the “girl’s family” drove past in a jeep, and Calais ran down the middle of the road waving until long after they were out of site.

Large buses inched past eachother, and we even witnessed two stuck together as neither was willing to give way for the other to pass. It didn’t help that the one was stuck in a mud-puddle. I’m sure that caused a traffic jam for hours!

(This was not the bus that got stuck, just one like it!)

As we got closer to Nayapul my whole body began to ache. Even the beautiful rice terraced view wasn’t enough of a distraction!

I’m sure it’s because I knew the end was in site!

When our permits were checked out in Birethathi I breathed a sigh of relief, we were almost there. Now, we were in familiar territory, retracing the steps we’d taken with fresh feet 5 days earlier.

Most of the way was gravel road, but just as we were coming into Nayapul, there was one last flight of stone stairs. I grunted and groaned my way up them, and then collapsed onto a chair in the little restaurant at our pick-up point.

We made it!

We all devoured our rice, dahl bat and potato curry, then happily clambered into the van for the hour and a half drive back to Pokhara.

After showering, changing, and dropping our 9kg of laundry off to be washed, we made our way to a cute little restaurant to meet the “boy’s family” for dinner. We sat for 3 hours, eating, visiting and watching the kids play. It was a fantastic ending to an epic 5-day trek. I never would’ve thought we’d find other families along the way, but it added to the experience in a way I never thought possible.

Read the rest of our Day-by-Day trekking adventures:

The Details

This was the last day with our guide and assistants (porters) from Three Sisters Trekking. This is a fantastic 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: 4 servings of boiled eggs, Tibetan toast, 2 servings of butter toast, crepe with honey, 2 black coffee, 1 milk tea, 2 hot chocolate. 2030 rupees ($27.00 CAD)

Lunch: We had dahl bat and potato curry in Nayapul where our van picked us up. 1280 rupees ($15.65 CAD)

Snack: Coke, Sprite, Fanta and 2 Snickers Bars in Kimche. 1050 rupees ($12.85 CAD)

Dinner: By dinner we were back in Pokhara and finished our trek. We managed to meet “the family with the boys” for dinner and enjoy one last evening with them!

Accommodation

We stayed at the Three Sister’s Guesthouse on the north end of Lakeside Dr in Pokhara. It seemed reasonable since we did our trek with them, and I was happy supporting their women-empowerment initiative. I made the mistake of not asking how much the rooms were!! They weren’t outrageous, but significantly more than what I expected to pay! The rooms were nice and the showers were hot, but for the price I’d at least hope for air conditioning.

Cost: Double room $30 US ($38 CAD),  Triple room $40 US ($50.50 CAD), both included breakfast.

Day Five Total (3 adults, 2 kids): $142.50 CAD 

(not including dinner or our accommodation in town after the trek)

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