Finding a Nepalese Homestay in the Himalayas
This morning we woke up early (again) for breakfast. I had a filling breakfast of fried potatoes with egg and vegetables. With a heavy stomach, I hit the road with my trekking buddies.
Today’s hike began with a very steep hill and we had to take a break once we reached the top. It was a gorgeous view looking over the mountainous landscape with the river flowing below. We took off our heavy back packs and put our feet up to take in the scenery. It is tempting to keep powering through, but the moments where you stop to take a breath of mountain fresh air are the moments that you will remember.
Continuing on, we came across so many cool suspension bridges. I love heights and so I get so excited every time we come across these bridges!
One beautiful village that we walked through today was called Tal. The village is situated in a valley with two stunning waterfalls. Through the village flows a vibrant mint coloured river. I stopped here and took off my stiff hiking boots to dip my toes in the mountain fresh water. It felt amazing on my sore feet!
In Tal you can fill up your water bottle with fresh drinkable water – no need for filtering. This was exciting for people who had sanitized their water with iodine tablets for days.
The trek after Tal was mostly uphill. We stopped in for lunch at a restaurant near Karte. I had macaroni for lunch – not a good suggestion when you still have hours of trekking to do. While we were eating our lunch it started raining but miraculously stopped by the time that we finished.
When we stepped outside, the smell of rain was invigorating as we walked through the trees. About an hour later we reached a checkpoint in Dharapani (you have to get your permit checked throughout the Annapurna Circuit). From here we had a choice between two paths – the main route (red) or the secondary route (blue).
We chose to challenge ourselves and for the first time on the trek, we chose blue.
This path was intense – basically 45 minutes straight uphill! Literally, stairs. It was a burn.
When we finally reach the top we came out to a view of a tiny village – Odar- tucked away in the mountainside. We sat down to admire this special spot. We talked about how amazing it would be to spend a week here and live a simple life living off of the land with a small community – away from the troubles of the world.
As we walked through the charming village, a man who spoke English started talking to us. Through our conversation, we found out that he actually had a homestay and he invited us to stay with him. We had been planning on going farther that day but couldn’t turn down such a rare and wonderful invitation.
*In case you end up passing through Odar (and are up for the glute-challenge that it takes to get here) – we were in Homestay #10.
The first thing that our host did was make us peppermint tea with the peppermint leaves he grew in his garden. For dinner we all sat in their hut on the ground around the fireplace as his wife made curry with the vegetables picked from their garden. Needless to say, it was exquisite.
To this day, my experience at this Nepalese homestay was one of the most memorable moments out of all of my travels. We were staying with a local family tucked in a small village, 2,170m up in the Himalayas. We got to experience the Nepalese culture, food, and customs. This was Nepal.
Total day’s distance: 16.2 km