My Journey: Poon Hill Trek

My Journey: Poon Hill Trek

Trekking, hiking, and uphill walking are generally hobbies for the fit, the ambitious, or the downright insane. I’m someone who usually falls heavily in the anti-cardio and anti-incline category. Because of this, you can imagine my (and those who know me well) surprise when my burning desire to undertake the famous Poon Hill trek, was to become a reality. However, before the burning spread to my calves, I had to organise my trip.

The Planning

I can’t remember exactly how I heard about this trek, but the mentions of mountain top sunrises and epic scenery had me sold. I’m definitely not about to attempt Everest Base Camp anytime soon, but since I was visiting a country famous for its trekking, I felt like I couldn’t leave without doing at least one trek.

Through my work at Stoke Travel, I have the pleasure of working with the bamba team. I saw they offered this adventure and I quickly got in touch. Within half a day, our overnight trek was organised and our guide Arjun was on a bus from Kathmandu to meet us.

The impending Dashain festival meant we would have to change up our dates slightly, only doing the overnight trek, and cutting it a bit short at the end. But ultimately, this was actually ideal. It was perfect for our fitness levels, time constraints, and attention deficits.

Getting Started

Prior to any venturing, we stayed in the stunning lakeside town of Pokhara, where most Annapurna Circuit hikers set out from. Here you can easily, and reasonably inexpensively, stock up on any necessary trekking gear if you’ve come in unprepared. Our bamba guide Arjun helped us get our permits from the office which we were really grateful for.

Note: They now take your photos at the permit office, so you may not need to source a photo beforehand. Also note: Your photo may not come out as attractive as you think you are. It’s ok, it’s not just you.

The Early Morning

On the big day, we sleepily clambered into our jeep in the early hours of the morning, driving past the licorice allsort houses that dot the Nepali landscape without any apparent rhyme or reason to their foundation allotment. I can’t speak for my co-walkers, but the impending treading was filling me with trepidation so I remained fairly quiet throughout the drive.

Roadside coffee, sweet roti, and a few bumpy and twisty hours of driving through greenery and scenery later, we reached Hille, where our slightly shortened trek would begin. Quite an ironic name for the bottom of a very large hill.

Group of trekkers climbing stairs

We bypassed the beginning of the trek, but what we didn’t bypass were the stairs. Waiting ahead of us were 3500 steps which people often divide into two days. We weren’t so lucky. We charged through over six hours of inclines and minimal whines to make it to the 9429 feet high Ghorepani.

Ghorepani and Poon Hill

Upon arrival, our hostel in Ghorepani had everything we needed; WiFi, hot water, big blankets, and a delicious, very well earned dinner.

Beginning again in the early hours of the next morning; a byproduct of wanting to beat the sunrise. The day we arrived in Ghorepani, the clouds were low. Arjun wasn’t confident we’d get the early next morning oohs and ahhs we desired but that didn’t stop him praying for clear skies. Thank all the Nepali gods, we were greeted with a dark yet cloudless morning. Even in the blanket of dawn, we could already make out the beautiful, awe inspiring mountains that surrounded us.

Girls posing at Poon Hill in Nepal

All rugged up, we started moving skyward, we tackled about 45 more minutes of steps, towards the pinnacle of Poon Hill. Pretty soon we were no longer cold as we hurriedly passed our fellow trekkers, not wanting to miss the sun peaking over the Annapurna range.

Sweaty, breathless and tired, yet incredibly proud, we made it. We arrived at the Poon Hill. There we hugged, we jostled for the best photo positions and we stopped to inhale the beauty of this viewpoint we’d worked so hard to get to. From the colours the big orange sun made on its way to start the day, to the snow capped famous and sacred mountain of Machapuchare, or Fishtail Mountain, where no one has ever climbed.

Group Photo Poon Hill

Final Moments

Nepal is beautiful and this trek was certainly no exception. With the marigold that dotted our paths, later to become celebration garlands for all the festivals, the greenery and bodies of water tempting you with their freshness, and the cultural offerings flanking the road. We left with memories of the donkey express, the porters, and the little villages along the way that help you out with water, bathrooms and (overpriced) food.

You know what else was beautiful? Yep, you guessed it, the decline home. As much as it was a relief for our bodies to be walking downhill, it also made the waterfalls and rainforests appear all that more lush, the prayer flags brighter, and the trip faster as our pace quickened to meet our waiting car to take us back to Dashain in Pokhara.

End of the trek sign

As much as I stand by being the anti-cardio and anti-incline type, I am so glad I took part in this trek. If you ever find yourself in the position to do so, I can guarantee that if you do it yourself, you won’t be disappointed.


My Journey by Hollie Roberts.
Read more:
Hollieholiday.wordpress.com
@holstarrrr


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