Our second-to-last day of trekking was spent in Ghandruk village, the highest altitude we reached. Ghandruk is a very cute little village, and it’s bigger than I expected. The village and surrounding areas include around 6,000 people, which seems huge for an area where you only come across a handful of people.
I am game for trying anything, but wine after a day of slogging up and down hills just never sounded very refreshing. Trying Raksi is the absolute first thing I plan on doing the next time I go to Nepal.
Ghandruk has an enormous elementary school near where we were staying, and we could hear them for most of the afternoon. They were marching and shouting into a microphone and seemed to be having the best time ever. It reminded me of my grade school’s annual Field Day, where we did three-legged races and egg-on-a-spoon races and long jumps and just generally had a lot of fun. Just as Karen and I were about to go exploring the town, the skies opened up. It. Was. Pouring. “Those poor kids,” I thought. “Their field day is ruined.”
These kids continued to play for hours and hours in what I would have classified as hurricane-grade winds and rain. Even after it had been going on for a couple of hours, we could still hear them screaming and laughing from the field as we sulked inside our lodge room at the rain which made us feel like we were no longer on holidays and instead back at home in Dublin.
We woke up in Ghandruk around 5:30am to a parade through our lodge and monks who lived in the village playing music over loud speakers. Maybe they don’t have a town rooster, or maybe this is just the benefit of having a monastery in your mountain village. Either way, it caused great hilarity among the Finnish trekkers and their kids who were also in the lodge. Karen and I were just relieved that for the next two days, we wouldn’t have to be awake before 6am.