We had heard if it rained really hard all night, we would be able to see two peaks in the morning. Sure enough, after dinner we all head to bed and as if on queue...the rain started, and then a little harder, then it really started to rain with thunder and lightning. , A full natural light show.
Day number three begins at 4:30am; rains has cleared and as promised two beautiful peaks are right in front of us. Cameras come out, an epic way to start the day....but maybe not for our guides and porters, who we woke up. They were as wonderful hosts and brewed coffee and tea, followed by the best breakfast yet. Muesli and banana apple pancakes with fresh honey.
As we pack to head out, much to Heather Mac's surprise, we find a tarantula sleeping peacefully under her pillow! So I guess Judy wasn't exaggerating when she thought she saw one earlier...
Today's trek will be shorter than yesterdays, about four hours to Ghoranpani. It's starts up more stairs to a lush rain forest, complete with Rhododendron that are over 100s of years old amazing waterfalls, through crystal clear pools. We passed a few buffalos out wandering the trails alone. But best of all we finally saw our first, of what became many, leeches. (See pictures attached.) They are tiny, and seem harmless, no problems for this part of the trek...more to come. We arrive in Ghorenpani, a complete city in the middle of nowhere, no road access. There is a German Bakery, bars, hotels; hospital, internet cafes and police check post. And the best hotel we have stayed at yet, even western toilets. No squatting here, though we still have to supply our own toilet paper and hot hot showers...ahhhh.
For over achievers, we head out for one smaller trek around the area. All the porters and guides join us...they are running, singing, and playing all the way up the hill. Wonderful support team we have. On the way back down the hill the leeches come OUT! Lucky for us they seem to gravitate to Alisa and she takes the full hit for the team. When we arrive back at the hotel and pull off the shoes for full leech check, sure enough Alisa is bit twice. Lucky for her Cheryl and Heather Mac are over prepared and pull out the salt to get the leech off and then the Septipin to stop the continuous bleeding. IT WORKED!!!
We are in paradise with a front row seat of the entire Annapurna range at our feet....we have only seen them peak through the clouds and are looking forward to tomorrow morning when we head up to Poon Hill at 4:30 to watch the sunrise over the range. It has just started raining....yippy; the odds are in our favor!
Carmen says: So far we have ascended 8000 feet in two days, as we sit at 9400 feet. Tomorrow we will hit 10,500 feet and then retrace our steps back. (Carmen is what the team has affectionately named the Garmin 500.)