With the sun fully risen, people began departing from Poon Hill. The clouds were intensifying over the peaks; it didn’t look like sticking around any longer was going to yield rewards. I wandered around and took a few more photos. Sol took a few pictures of me in front of the mountains. I asked Sol if we could take a picture together, and we snapped a selfie. I look tired and scruffy, but very happy.
Tempted by the prospect of breakfast waiting for us back at the lodge, Anker, Saffron and I waved goodbye to the mountains, and began our descent.
Pictures from the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek and sunrise over the Annapurna Range.
I’m not going to try and name the peaks because I know I’ll just mangle them. Take the trek yourself; it’s much better in person anyways.
I awoke late. My restless night hadn’t afforded me much chance for good sleep, so when I’d finally drifted off to sleep, mortified, I hadn’t wanted to wake up.
A perfect sunbeam from the bedside window hit me square in the face, and my memory of last night came rushing back to me. It was far too vivid to have been a dream. I opened my eyes and glanced out the window.
It was an amazing bluebird morning, only small wisps of clouds to be seen. The sky was an almost ethereal blue color: so perfect it almost didn’t seem real. Behind the nearby mountains, a huge snow-capped peak showed its face. I sat up and stared in wonder. Although only a tiny portion was visible, the mountain looked like nothing I’d ever seen before.
That’s what I came here for, I thought.
I was awoken after what seemed like three minutes.
Our guide had barged into our room. We were staying in a trekking lodge in Ulleri, also known as a “teahouse.” We’d been enjoying a well-earned nap after a tough first day of trekking. “Dinnertime,” our guide said cheerfully.
I shook the sleep from my eyes and glanced across the tiny room. My Malaysian trekking partner had apparently been taking a nap too, because he looked just as confused as I felt.
“Slowly, slowly,” our guide says as we leave lunch behind, and step back on to the trail.
He doesn’t tell us this, but we still have 1,000 meters of vertical to gain today. On Day 1 of our trek. Of course, if he’d told us this—and if we understood what it entailed—we probably would have turned around and hailed the nearest taxi back to Pokhara.
Our guide was a pro though. He knew all he had to say was “slowly, slowly.” We didn’t need to know the struggles that lay ahead of us, We could overcome them, but if we spent too much time thinking about their magnitude, we would surely convince ourselves that it was impossible.