Admittedly, the 3 day trek back to civilization was not as exciting as the trek up. We faced some brutally steep climbs, flies swarming around piles of cow & horse  poop every few feet, very hazy days, and a lot of plastic garbage around the more populated villages.

But alas we did run into some familiar friends, Julia and Hanna, in Chomrong and had a little chocolate party to compensate for all of those calories we burned.  At least that was what I told myself to feel better about eating chocolate bars (plural).  AND I was able to take a hot shower.  And use a Western toilet.  And sleep in only one pair of socks.  Okay, so maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.  It’s amazing how quickly your priorities can change!

In Chomrong we met a retired American man from Michigan named Jon Stewart who was trekking the foothills on his own.   While he was not the infamous Jon Stewart of Daily Show fame, he was a local celebrity in a small Indian town that he had visited several weeks before coming to Nepal.  Because he was a white foreigner, the local politicians asked him to be the guest speaker at a conference on environmental sustainability (Jon is a computer programmer) and he became the headline news in the local Urdu newspaper.  This would probably be funnier to you, dear readers, had you actually met Jon.  In any case, I’ve decided that I too want to become famous in a random Indian town someday.

We were all headed in the same direction so the five of us set out the next day for Ghandruk – the second largest Gurung settlement in Nepal.  The town looked like something straight out of medieval Europe – rustic houses, barns, animal pens, and wheat & barley fields.

On the final day of the journey we bumped into Elena and Remco again for lunch, and made our way to Naya Pul.  It felt totally counter-intuitive to ride in a taxi after 9 days of intense hiking, but it was a welcome luxury nonetheless.  I was looking forward for a day of complete relaxation in Pokhara…

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