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31 October, 2008

Lynn Roberts-

Today we were awakened with hot coffee and washing water brought to our rooms by our wonderful staff. We packed our bags and went down to breakfast. Wongchu told us what to expect of the day, we put our backpacks on and left Hile – straight uphill! We climbed more steps than I thought were in the world under a hot sun, passing through small villages and a beautiful jungle. This went on for four hour. There was an occasional flattish part of the trail and then more rock steps. Sometimes we looked up and thought we saw the end of them, but we were fooled. We stopped to rest frequently and could enjoy fabulous views of the terraced fields with rice and vegetables growing, sun shining on the distant mountains and the forest of tall trees and ferns.

We were exhausted as we reached the lunch place, Bantati. The five of us who had arrived ate our lunches after waiting a bit and finally continued the trek without our three slower companions. We dragged our tired bodies further up the trail – up, up, up – with the close care of our kind Sherpa guides. We were concerned about the three missing members of “Lynn’s Poon Hill Gang” and soon found out that they were too tired to continue on foot and had to hire horses. We climbed more and more stone steps hoping our friends were all right, when suddenly around the corner they came waving and smiling, having a great time, like princesses! The rest of us soldiered on through the amazing rhododendron forest. We crossed gorgeous waterfalls on wooden bridges
and enjoyed the views during more and more frequent rest stops. The path was not quite so steep now, but it was still challenging and we were very tired. We thought it would never end. Finally it did and we were very happy to be in Gorepani nine and a half hours after we started. At the Hotel Hill Top we were shown to our rooms with bathroom included. We knew we had reached paradise.
Soon tea was brought to our rooms and after hot showers we went to the dining room. We had the most delicious soup in the world with Nepali bread. Wongchu talked to us about our trek tomorrow and we dragged ourselves up more stairs to bed.

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