Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, Nepal

The Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is probably the most popular trek in the Annapurna region in Nepal. It’s the perfect introductory trek for first time trekkers, people with limited time in Nepal, those not used to high altitudes and it was definitely the perfect trek for me.

ghorepani poon hill trek, backpack

I can only imagine what a more intense trek like Annapurna or Everest Base Camp must be like; how touching the views and how intense the terrain must be, I can only dream to imagine, but for now I feel pretty satisfied and chuffed that I completed the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek.

ghorepani poon hill trek

Before I started the trek a friend from Taiwan, who just finished the same trek, was almost secretive about her experience. Not secretive in an I-don’t-want-to-tell-you way, but more in a words-can’t-describe-what-I-just-experienced way.

I get that now.

As I sit here in Pokhara looking out on Phewa Lake, I struggle to find the right words to describe my time on the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek. All the cliché adverbs and adjectives twirl around in my mouth, but in my heart unidentifiable words are born as I think about my time on the trek.ghorepani poon hill trek

It’s one of those things you have to experience for yourself. Cliché, I know. But it is.

I’ve seen more than I could have ever imagined on the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek.

Magnificent views of the Himalayas surprised me around the most unexpected corners. The holy mountain (Fishtail/Macchapuchchhre) constantly changed face and shape in a holier than holy way. Snow-capped mountains surrounded me and I wanted to study, stare and appreciate every peak, distinct line and ridge.

nepal, anje, anje rautenbach, ghorepani poon hill trek, going somewhere slowlyghorepani poon hill trek, nepal

Walking through the forest felt like being on a page of Alice in Wonderland. Trickling streams and raging waterfalls filled the silent forest space, orchids attached themselves to mossy trees and the national blotches of pink and red Rhododendron flowers looked like paint splatters on a green canvas.

rhododendron, nepal, trekking, ghorepani poon hill trek

ghorepani poon hill trek, nature, forest

Porters – young and old – had the ability to stop me in my steps time and again. I stared with an open mouth of amazement at their strength, their life and their friendliness. They carried anything and everything – backpacks of trekkers and trolley bags of people who couldn’t be bothered to make it easier for them. They carried big water tanks, people (dead and alive), livestock and day-to-day supplies. They carried heavy, they carried hard and even under the struggling pearls of sweat they still had the strength to carry a smile and a Namaste.ghorepani poon hill trek, ghorepani, poon hill, trek, trekking, pokhara, nepal, porter

donkey, ghorepani, poon hill, nepal, trekAt the end of the day – after all the ups and down – the laid-back village life was a  calming and humbling haven. Families were met, children were played with and eyes were opened. The cozy fireplaces became a meeting point for the bookworms, the aching legs and the “where are you from?” questions; it became the place to wrap your hands around a cup of hot chocolate, play a game of cards, share stories and secretly feed the dog.

It quickly became home.

ghorepani poon hill trek, trekkingAs I sit here in Pokhara looking out on Phewa Lake, I struggle to make sense of my time on the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek. I hear the names of villages in conversations around me and I feel the warmth of the fireplaces. I browse through my photos and remember every moment. I still smell the sweet fragrance of the Daphne flowers and I still taste the fresh air.

daphne flowers, nepal, daphne, ghorepani poon hill, ghorepani

I’ve been without my backpack on my back, my stick and walking shoes for three days now – three days of not sweating vigorously, three days of not panting, three days without that tiny hint of altitude sickness. Three easy, relaxing days.

But sometimes easy is difficult.

When I look at the holy Fishtail Peak peeking through the mist and clouds I know I was part of something for a few days and all I can think about is missing my flight and going back to a place and time where everything is simple, where everything is less, where everything is more.

I look at the holy Fishtail Peak and I know I was part of something for a few days. I look at the holy mountain and I know: the something is part of me.fishtail, annapurna, ghorepani poon hill trek

(And I can now tick off “Visit the Himalayas” and “Go 24 hours without Technology” from my 30 Things Before 30 Bucket List).

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