Last week we took our first fun trip here in Nepal. Nepal's biggest holiday is called Dhasain, which happened to be last week. It is similar to Christmas in that many things shut down, families all travel and lots of big meals happen. Kathmandu becomes quiet so we decided to take a trekking trip in the Annapurna Conservation Area. Pokhara is the main city nearby and is an amazing, beautiful city about 190 kilometers from Kathmandu. When it is clear you can see Macchupuchre (Mount Fishtail) prominently from the city. We were able to visit underground caves, see waterfalls and take a boat ride on the lake. Pokhara is a wonderful city! The girls loved Pokhara and said it was so quiet they wanted to move there (clearly the street dog barking has got to them!).
After some fun days in Pokhara we started on our trek! We started in Naya Pol along the Modi River. We were all feeling good and happy to be on our way. The first day of the trek was quite easy. We followed the Modi Kola (nice and flat!) and slept one night at a hotel in Syuali Bazaar. I was totally amazed by the fact that all these little hotels had hot water, a good, warm bed and great food. It was right by the river and we could hear the loud rushing waters all through the night. We woke up the next morning and headed UP! This was one of our hardest days. The girls did great and Josiah walked by himself most of the way! See the picture below of him being carried by the porter! The amazing thing about these mountain towns is that there are stone staircases crisscrossing the hillsides. As you ascend you can see the terraced hills and stone steps for as long as the eye can see. We arrived in Guandruk and enjoyed a day at the top of the mountain. When it is clear you feel as if you can reach out and touch Annapurna South and some of the other large mountains. They are absolutely breathtaking! We followed the same route down and enjoyed seeing this part of Nepal.
It was so good to get away from the city for a bit. Currently, the country is reeling from a shortage of all petrol products and it has made it difficult to get around, eat and have regular daily life. You can read about it here. We are doing well, but it is hard to see so many of the day to day wage earners shut down their shops or not be able to work because of the lack of fuel. Everyone hopes this will be resolved soon so that a country that has been struggling so much this year already can get back on its feet.