Monday, May 4, 2009

Nepal By Foot - Day 03

Dragged myself out of the warm and cosy bed at 4.30am for the trek up to Poon Hill (3210m) to catch the sunrise. All traces of sleepiness escaped me the moment I stepped out of the lodge and was stung on the face by the cold air. Was huffing and puffing my way up the mountain and when I finally reached the top, it was all worthwhile! The first streak of golden ray appeared from a distant peak at approximately 6.30am along with the "Ooowwws" and "Awwws" of the tourists. Everywhere I looked, there were people huddled together in sleeping bags, some were patiently waiting by their SLR for the picture-perfect moment, others were posing for group photos with the breathtaking mountain views as the backdrop. I even spotted a few individuals doing yoga on the mountain top!

There was also a small makeshift tent selling over-priced hot milk tea (it's almost like a national drink in Nepal!) to the tourists. Nevertheless, business was brisk on this bitterly cold morning. Amidst the touristy hype, I spotted a grave on the way down and was immensely touched by the endearing marker for a young departed wife.

Back at the lodge, I wolfed down a bowl of porridge with apple, chapati (flat bread in Nepali language), a glass of milk tea and even had time to sneak a peek at the wood-fired kitchen stove before biding farewell to Ghorepani with it's 360 degree stunning mountain ranges.

As opposed to the steep ascend to Ghorepani, the day's trek was a steep descend towards Tatopani (1190m). Most part of the treks were transversed in the jungle which provided cooling shades from the harsh sun with the occasional pit stops at the villages.

By noon time, I was totally famished and craved to have fish for lunch. So naturally, I was pleasantly delighted when I spotted tuna sphagetti on the menu which was somewhat rare. What came eventually was sardine sphagetti instead. Nevertheless, I wolfed it down all the same. Shortly afterwards, the snack monster attacked me and I had to calm it down with my favourite Nepali snack - KurKure Masala Munch! It's like the spicy version of Twisties. :)

We had a companion who joined us for the rest of the downward trek to Tatopani. He would walk infront of us, pausing now and then to check and wait for us. Occasionally, he would be distracted by a bone along the way or an interesting scent. And while we proceeded with the trek, he would suddenly emerge from the trees and converge with our path once again. I was beginning to wonder whether he would be THE faithful dog who would accompany us for the rest of our five days trek until he disappeared for the last time before a long suspension bridge leading to Tatopani. I guess this is not the movies afterall.

At Tatopani, we had a nice dip in the hot spring pool followed by a sumptuous dinner of grilled fish with chips and salad before retiring for the day - falling into a dreamless slumber.

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