Tadapani was our next stop where we came across a large group of Korean philanthropists that were trekking from town to town offering the locals free medical care. It was really a lovely gesture to see. From there we pressed on to the gorgeous, almost story book town if Ghandruk. The tea house we stayed in was set in a lovely garden and a lush organic vegetable garden. We spent the day visiting 'Old Ghandruk' a part of town still occupied that must be hundreds of years old. The people still live a very rustic and simple lifestyle here and it was really special to get a glimpse into their everyday lives. From there we visited a kind woman who let us play dress up with traditional Ghandruk garb. This was so much fun and we all goofed around and took countless pictures. That evening, Liz and I took a walk with Kale and found ourselves in the middle of a high school graduation party. We danced with Ghandruk kids who had completed level 10 and would either begin working or attend university. It really amazed me how these kids could move. Maybe not as riscay a movement as you may see in a US high school dance, but not as reserved and traditional as you may think for a remote mountain town in Nepal either. We danced in a circle holding hands, the kids welcomed us in with open arms, and we each got our chance to dance in the middle of the circle. Such a fun experience!
The next day was supposed to be a rest day but we decided to press on to a town called Tolka where we stayed in another garden tea house. I took some time to myself to do some writing, and then had a long conversation with Lal where I got to know him so much better. Then, like so many nights before, we played the international game of UNO into the night.
Liz ended up going to bed early that night so it shouldn't be a huge surprise that she woke up around 1am and decided to do some yoga out in the yard. She must have seriously pissed off the moon gods with her sun salutations because not an hour later started the most intense thunderstorm I've experienced in a while. The ground literally shook with some of the booms, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't somewhat worried that the torrents of rain would cause a landslide that would wipe our quiet little tea house right off the mountain side.
It continued to rain on and off the whole next day, but that didn't stop us. We simply pulled out our rain gear and carried on to the next town of Pothana, where we would spend our final night on the trail. The rest of that rainy day was again spent by the wood stove, trying our best to warm our chilled bones, and playing countless games of UNO. By the end of that night I could safely say that I could go without playing another game of UNO for a really long time.
By the next morning the skies were clear, which made for a very pleasant final day of trekking. We only walked for about 3-4 hours before meeting the end of our trail, triumphant in our 8-day accomplishment!
A van picked us up at the trail to ferry us back to Pokhara where we would check into our beautiful resort of Mums Garden, and celebrate over a final dinner of Dal Baht (which we all ate with our hands-see my next post for details).