Happy happy Holi!!! Today in the mountain villages of Nepal, Holi is being celebrated in all of its splendor. Children are covered in colored powders, are throwing water balloons at each other (and passers by) and are squirting make shift water bottles full of colored water at everyone and everything- including us. Shorty has helped us get into the festivities by putting red powder on our cheeks as we begin our trek through Annapurna.
The beginning of our trek was leisurely, a couple of hours and then a stop for dal bhat and water at Green Valley Lodge and Restaurant. In the afternoon sun we began our next leg of our trek to Ghandruk- which was up, up and up again. The view was spectacular- the valley covered in ancient hillside terraces, the sounds of donkey's with bells occasionally jingling along the trails. A welcome change from the bustling cities we have been engulfed in for several weeks. In the sun, the stairs and inclines were challenging- and by the time we finally arrived in Ghandruk, all of our Holi paints were dripping down our sweaty faces.
Word to the wise- although it is warm during the day (in the 20's) it cools off at night. With no central heating (or space heaters), our rooms at Breeze Guest House are the same temperature as outside (7-9 degrees). B had spotted some very cool leg warmers when we were in Pokhara the first time around- so before setting out we all picked up a pair.... Thank goodness! All bundled up in leg warmers, toques, scarves, mitts and jackets we enjoyed pot after pot of warm masala (or fresh ginger) tea while we played cards and ate dinner in the quiet of the Himilayas.
Rooms at the guesthouses appear to be about NPR250-400 a night, depending if you have a bathroom or not. We have budgeted about NPR1000/day for food, which depending on our tea consumption might not be enough! There are no bank machines (obviously) through this region, however most places will also accept Indian Rupees as well. Bottled water has so far been available everywhere, for about NPR120 or less. We have stocked up on snacks before leaving, which has turned to be a great idea as we snacked mid morning and mid afternoon today.
As we weren't expecting it to be quite as cold as it was- we adapted. We had 2 rooms at the Guest House, Ging in one and B and I in the other. When we decided to pack in at 9 pm, we all had acquired two blankets each to keep warm... B and I also opted for the body heat option and chose to nest up and a single bed with four giant blankets, our toques and scarves for the night.
It was one of the best sleeps we have had on this journey- likely because it is so quiet being hidden away in the mountains (not to mention a little physical activity to wipe you out!).
Today we are trekking from Ghandruk to Landruk, with a stop at the Jhanu hot springs. Just another day in adventure travel.
Another day another story,
Sent from my iPad