04-17 Ghorepani

on the ridge between rhododendron trees at about 3200m
  1. Tadapani – Ghorepani

At dawn there were fine views of Annapurna and Machapuchre as the mist and clouds cleared.

This was the first of the two longest trekking days, so we again made an early start at 7.45. A steep descent with many high steps down to a small river followed by an equally steep but much shorter ascent brought us to the settlement of Banthanti 2520m where we had a short rest and a welcome drink. Then there was a long climb through an impressive river gorge with high cliffs on each side. Flowering rhododendrons became more numerous as we gained height. It was mostly sunny but at times the mist swirled in and reminded me of films I have seen of the Himalayan nature. We reached Deurali 2987m, which consists only of tourist restaurants, for an enjoyable lunch surrounded by spectacular rhododendron displays.

Here the gradient lessens but the climb continues to over 3000m along a quite narrow ridge supporting very tall rhododendron trees. I was surprised that they could withstand the wind if there were a storm. This they must be able to as some are over 200 years old. Finally a descent to Ghorepani, a large village for its height of 2750m, brought us to our lodge. Just in time since a crashing hailstorm started soon afterwards and the ground was turned white. It was the coldest night we had had. Fortunately my tiny room had an ensuite shower room.

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