The initial plan was to take it slow and go from Pothana to Landruk. However, the morning before we< set off, on hearing that it would take us only about 2.5-3 hours to reach Landruk, we offered to continue moving on to Ghandruk (Ghandrung on some maps) in the afternoon.
That morning, we found out that the porters Rek & Yek had cut sticks for us to use as walking poles. It would prove to be a godsend later on, serving as a third limb when our two lower limbs would no longer respond adequately.
The morning trek from the See You Lodge began with quite a bit of downhill, followed by up and down, up and down stretches with the usual gorgeous view. Stopped once to admire the view and take photos, and later on crossed a stream then wandered along ridges for a bit.
Along the way, we saw two bulls fighting over the affections of a female of their species… well… somewhat, or at least the right to mate.
Shortly after, we reached Landruk, situated on the side of a mountain, waited for lunch and looked over across the valley at Ghandruk. Ghandruk is located approximately 400m above Landruk. A 400m climb in Nepal is nothing. The only problem being that it was on the other side of the valley, which meant that we’d have to go down to the river, cross the bridge and then climb all the way back up again to Ghandruk. It looked intimidating, so we tried to carbo-load during lunch. The picture on the left shows Ghandruk seen from Landruk. It’s those houses in the centre of the picture just beneath the clouds, the houses on the bottom left of the picture indicating the route we’d have to take.
After lunch, we set off at blistering pace. The trek down was a rapid 20min of running down stairs.
After crossing the brige, we stopped at the guest house for a breather. A timely one, too, as a passing cloud took a fancy to us and granted a 15 min shower while we were under cover. At least we weren’t out in the open, so I didn’t have to pull out the trusty army poncho.
The upward trek was a constant steep uphill (with steps), accompanied by an adorable black puppy. One of our team had a bit of difficulty and had to constantly stop for 10s or so. With our ‘leave-no-man-behind’ policy, we patiently moved upwards, though the constant stopping was taking a toll on our quadriceps, resulting in cramps as we neared our destination.
No, really, this slope was a long and vicious slope, especiallly for people on their second day of trekking. You have been warned.
With the our medial recti screaming bloody murder, we reached one final flight of steps, stopped for one final rest stop and looked towards our final destination for the day – Trekkers’ Inn at Ghandruk.
It’s a popular inn, so we couldn’t get a cheaper room and settled for 2 rooms with attached bathrooms and took a hot shower (luxury!). That night, we talked later into the night while on the second floor the Nepalese held a birthday celebration for one of their own with much music and dancing.