We started the short trek to Poon Hill at around 5 AM. As I (we) got out of the hotel room and looked at the sky, I was already happy seeing the twinkling stars. Steep ascend to Poon Hill (3,210 m) took a bit more than half an hour. While ascending, high peaks of the mountain ranges rise beneath the night sky. With the half moonlight, they were recognizable. Sun was yet to rise.
Day 5 : Tikhedhunga to GhorepaniHeight: 2,860 m/9,383 ftTime: 6-7 hoursGhorepani is a standout amongst the most excellent places in the Annapurna district. It is among the features of this trek. We will initially cross Modi stream through a high suspension connect. Pushing ahead, the way begins to go tough. In the wake of trekking on soak ventures for a hour we will achieve a place at the highest point of a slope - Ulleri Village (2,080 m/6,824 ft).From the focal point of Ulleri, we will see Annapurna South, Himchuli and Mt. Fishtail. Ulleri is a clamoring place with inns and shops for trekkers. We will at that point pass Banthanti (2,300 m/7,545 ft) and Nangethanti (2,450 m/8,038 ft). We will enter profound Rhododendron woodlands in the wake of going past Nagethanti.We will reach Ghorepani after a long stroll through the wonderful woods. Ghorepani gives shocking perspective of mountains like Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Mt. Fishtail and Dhaulagiri.
Day 3: Ghorepani (2860 m) to Poonhill (3200 m) to Ulleri (1960 m)As with most peaks on Nepal treks, there is huge rush for watching the sunrise over the peaks at Poonhill. It’s probably a lot lot higher than any other trek. Its about 45 min ascend from Ghorepani to Poonhill and there are hundreds of trekkers with torch lights in the morning at 5 am eager to catch the sunrise. There is an entrance fee of 100 NPR to enter Poonhill and there are easily 400-500 trekkers on the top every morning. The view of the Dhaulagiris and Annapurna (I & South) and The Machhapuchhare is no doubt awesome from up the hill at sunrise. If weather is clear which it generally is early in the morning, the entire range glows at dawn. Back to Ghorepani and some breakfast should get you ready on your way back down towards Ulleri. The descent is very gradual till Ulleri and an easy walk. If you want to go slow and have an extra day at hand, you can stay back at Ulleri or Tikhedunga on the way and then go to Nayapul on the next day. There are also Jeeps available at Tikhedunga but they are a bit costly. I walked all the way back to Nayapul on the same day. It was very much doable but taxing on the knees since the descent is quite a lot and the stone steps make it harder. The walk from Tikhedunga to Nayapul is on dusty Jeep track and not much fun but the eagerness to reach Pokhara once there keeps you going. On the way back to Nayapul, you need to get your card checked at the checkpost at Birethanti and then proceed.
Day 2: Ghandruk (1940 m) to Tadapani (2630 m) to Ghorepani (2860 m)If you are going all the way up to Ghorepani on this day from Ghandruk, It will be a bit tedious walk though not impossible at all. I started the say from Tadapani from where the walk towards Ghorepani was an easy one and I was able to reach Ghorepani by noon easily. Also from Tadapani, many other routes divert - one towards Khopra Danda via Muldai peak and other towards Chomrong and ABC trek. The Muldai peak sunrise is supposedly better than Poonhill but that will add another day to the trek. The weather was not too supportive and it was easier for me to make the call to skip this one to head straight towards Ghorepani. The trail to Ghorepani from Tadapani goes through Deurali pass (3100 m) and down towards Ghorepani. Ghorepani is split into two parts - Ghorepani lower and Upper Ghorepani Deurali. There are many options to stay at the upper Ghorepani and it’s also crowded. I preferred to stay at Lower Ghorepani where I was the only one along with a french couple at the guest house.
The walk continues with Thuppali in the lead. The Big gate of Ghorepani which the stranger mentioned appeared in the darkness shortly, putting a big smile on our face. Adi goes up to check the room availability in the first lodge that we see. I am not going to move an inch until I get confirmation from Adi. As I hear his voice from the top, I climb up only to find him lying on the floor with everyone standing near him laughing at us. We told them the entire story while having Dhal Bhat.The fact that we have to wake up at 5 in the morning to see the sunrise from Poon hill is so frightening but with the satisfaction that we reached the destination unlike last time, we can close our eyes for the day.