Without a Guide: Trekking through the Himalayas, Pt. III

Ghandruk, Nepal

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Ghandruk was the most beautiful of all the villages we passed through on our trek.  It was also the greatest relief to reach, since it was after our longest day of hiking (twelve hours non-stop hiking, up and down stone steps).  

All the villages we passed through were tidy, beautiful, and isolated.  The people who live there rarely leave, since there's nowhere to go, unless they want to walk for seven or eight hours.  Still, nearly everyone we met seemed content with their lives - that is, everyone except for the man who owned our hotel.

He was very friendly, but insisted that my friend and I stay and talk to him as long as possible.

"We can't, we have to get started," we explained.  We had five hours of hiking ahead of us, and we were exhausted from the previous few days.

"Please, stay," he said.  "If you leave, my wife will make me start working.  I never rest, I'm always working.  She's a slave driver."

Sure enough, we looked up to see his wife watching our conversation, her eyes narrowed into slits.  She shouted something in Nepali, and he hung his head, then got back to work mucking out the pig pen.

We felt bad for him for the next twenty minutes or so, when we stopped at a little cafe and bought huge donuts.  It might sound cavalier, but donuts have a way of making you forget your problems...or at least, the problems of other people.

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