Day 5: Ghandruk to Tadapani
The room brightens and I wake up early with the light. I walk out to the balcony and look towards the mountains but clouds mass around them, obscuring them from my view.
From the monastery below, soft music drifts up on the air. I close my eyes, take a few deep breaths then go back inside to get the children out of bed and ready for breakfast.mWe leave Ghandruk with it’s narrow stone lanes, stepping aside for donkeys as they trudge into town.
It’s another day of walking uphill but the path is nowhere near as steep as yesterday. We stop for lunch at a small place called Bhaishi Kharka and the kids are thrilled to find a playful kitten to pass the time with. Ben’s scavenged string and a small stick make the perfect cat toy and much fun is had by all.
There’s more walking to be done after lunch and we are into the jungle. The wide open views of the days before have closed in around us. Rhododendron trees tower above us, growing at angles towards and away from each other, forming archways above our heads. Monkeys clamber along tree trunks in the distance and the scent of Jasmine is in the air. It’s a stunning place to be walking, so different from the days before. It feels peaceful and ancient.
We reach Tadapani mid afternoon and settle into another lovely teahouse that Bel chose for us, Hotel Grand View. The kids play with one of the ubiquitous fluffy puppies we find in every village, and meet a young girl with whom they become fast friends. Alex does the sock and underwear washing while I sit in the dining hall drinking tea, writing in my journal and trying to be patient with the slow-as-snails WiFi.
Our plan is to walk onwards towards Ghorepani tomorrow but Bel suggests that there is an alternative. The Khopra Trek can be started from Tadapani, has stunning views from Mulde Peak along the way and brings you closer to Annapurna South and the Dhaulaghiri Range. Taking in Khopra Ridge would add 4-5 days to our itinerary, but it’s time we have to spare, and we could still descend to take in the hot springs in Tatopani afterwards (not to be confused with Tadapani, where we are atm). We decide, what the Hell, let’s go for it! We head off to bed excited about the days ahead.
Distance covered: 6km
Hotel: Hotel Grand View
Room Charge: $8 for triple room with shared bathroom.
Additional Info: $1 to charge device, $1 to use the WiFi, $1.50 for hot shower