Poon Hill to Pokhara in a day

Day 9 of Annapurna sanctuary – Ghorepani to Poon Hill and back to Pokhara

Lying in bed in the early hours, we realised from the number of tip-tapping poles going past our room and headlamps shining in through the window that we weren’t going to have Poon Hill to ourselves that morning.

At 5.30am I started dragging my unwilling limbs up the hill, concerned – as with the walk to ABC – that Rob might miss the best photo opportunities due to keeping me company at the rear. Once again though, we timed it just right and were all stood together as the sun hit the top of the western range in the most spectacular fashion.

It was a truly beautiful sunrise and the crowds of people congregated at every view point didn’t matter a jot.

After we made it back down to Ghorepani for breakfast we set off first to Ulleri, then stopped in Banthanti for a drink. There was a group of Duke of Edinburgh teenagers with enormous backpacks on – far bigger than our 45 litre bags – congregating on the side of the trail. They were clearly on day 1 of their trek and still looking very clean.

We carried on down the endless flights of stairs we’d read about to Tikedhunga. After several days of feeling pretty awful I finally started to pick up in the afternoon, just as we were finishing the long route back to Naya Pul.

After getting our permits and TIMS cards checked we opted for a taxi back to Pokhara – a rude awakening after nine days in the hills. We soon remembered how the cars aren’t quite big enough, the roads aren’t quite finished and that drivers don’t deem it necessary to stick to their side of the road – honking and flashing is considered appropriate etiquette.

No sooner were we down we wanted to go straight back up!

During a celebratory meal at the New Everest Steak House that night we started planning the next leg of our adventure. This time to Gokyo and Everest base camp…

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