My last day trekking arrived all to quickly. When I woke up at 7am my legs felt stiff & heavy for the first time on this trek. We said our farewells to the other group leaving for Annapurna Base Camp & started our descent to Nayapul. As we left Terepani my friend announced that she had a dream that I fell. Delightful. I walked with especial caution at the fear of her premonition.
The walk to Ghandruk was as lovely as the previous day. Cool forest, mostly ground & not many sets of epic stone steps. Bliss.
After Ghandruk I became quite hangry – a cereal bar & a litre of water couldn’t pull me out of this mood so it was earphones in until our lunch break. When we arrived our guide saw a bus for Nayapul & was pushing us to take it to Pokhara for some reason, I presumed it was cost efficient for him. He doesn’t approach these topics with a charming persuasion so I found his aggressive attitude uninviting & I felt we should stick to our original plan & finish the trek on foot as we had previously decided. It was only 2 more hours away he had said & I certainly had the energy reserve for it. My travel companion was also determined to finish the trek on foot so we declined the bus option feeling like our guide had just wanted to rush us back to Pokhara.
We had lunch & the guide was clearly unhappy with our decision. From that point when we set off he walked further ahead of us & I felt a very overwhelming negative energy from him. The bus option had never been spoken about before & I couldn’t fathom why he was so annoyed at us. The combination of his negative energy, the sun roasting me & my slow travel companion weighed on my mood so I put my earphones in, blocked them out & continued alone for 3 hours. Any time I asked the guide how much longer it would be his answers were inconsistent & different to his previous days debrief. I feel like he had made miscalculations & had wanted to make up for lost time with the bus.
It was 5pm by the time we arrived in Birepani & almost 6pm by the time we reached Nayapul. This was a much longer day trekking than the guide had told us we would complete. We sat at a cafe waiting for our taxi & after 20 minutes he told us the taxi would be another hour. Exhausted & desperate for a shower & bed I questioned this disorganisation & told him I was unhappy with this arrangement. He then he suggested I contributed to booking another taxi – despite already paying for the taxi inclusive of my package. He continually contradicted himself regarding the timing of the buses to make them seem like the better option despite previously quoting them as being twice as long & unpleasant when he wanted us to pay for the taxi in the package. He begrudgingly paid the extra money for the taxi & we all felt a bit deflated with fatigue & disorganisation.
It was a disappointing end to our expedition. He didn’t pay for all our meals as planned & was visibly angry at having to pay extra when it was his fault for not arranging the timing of the taxi with his friend. I obviously felt bad & even guilty (damn you catholic guilt) but I feel I was right to press him on getting us home.
We were happy to get back to the friendly faces in Little Buddha, have a long hot shower & get a hot meal in our bellies before bed.
Despite the less than ideal end to our trek, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love a fitness challenge (with epic views) & this was perfect. The toughness was the perfect level for me. I was tired & I had to really push myself at times, but it was achievable. I adore being outdoors in the fresh air & nature. I really want to spend more time doing these activities.