In the morning we are treated to another great panorama of the Annapurna Massif, this time as the sun rises over a bed of rhododendron trees. It’s a magical sight that reminds me more of the Swiss alps than the Himalayas. But that’s just a testament to the range of the Nepali environment.
After breakfast, though, we have to leave for our next destination. The trails these time involve gentle descents and rest stops at wide-open grass spaces. At one point, we pass by a shepherd tending to his goats and sheep in the middle of the trail.
Finally, at around noon, we reach Ghandruk, our last stop for the trek. It’s a Gurung village in the hills near Pokhara. The Gurung is an ethnic group in the mountains of Nepal. The village itself is a charming place, where stone houses are perched on the edge of rice terraces. The people are proud of their culture, as can be seen in a little museum that displays Gurung wares, including the ubiquitous basket people carry by their heads.
I explore the place a bit shortly after lunch, passing by rice fields enclosed by slabs of rocks and a group of children shooting baskets at the school basketball court.
That evening, Rawal gathers us by a bonfire at the open space behind our inn. We talk a bit about our lives, our plans, and anything we could think of. When it’s time for dinner, we eat dal bhat around our impromptu campfire.