Ghandruk, our last stop, and then to Pokhara

It wasn’t until we came to Ghandruk, a village of Gurung (Ghurkha) people, that I managed another interview.  This is a large village, around 6000 people, with many challenges but very good community organisation.  With early support from the Annapurna Conservation Area Programme (ACAP) they have a strong community forestry programme and other positive initiatives. Unfortunately the local ACAP building, like others in the region, was demolished by the Maoists a few years ago and the ACAP workers fled to Pokhara. A lot of good work has been undone through such actions.

Soon after we arrived a massive thunderstorm descended over the village. After the rain cleared we went for a walk, asking after local people who I might be able to interview. We were directed to Kisam Gurung. We met and talked with Kisam Gurung that afternoon and interviewed him the next morning. He is a local leader and lodge owner. He informed us of positive initiatives within Ghandruk, including on-going community engagement with the community forestry programme initiated by ACAP. With the building of the road through the Kali Gandaki there is already increased presence of trekkers in this village, and that is likely to increase as alternative trekking routes are used. How the locals manage such pressures will be vital to their future.

A massive thunderstorm in the afternoon. People were saying that the monsoon rains have come a month early

A massive thunderstorm in the afternoon. People were saying that the monsoon rains have come a month early

Our last day. An excellent meeting and talk with Kisam Gurung, local community leader and lodge owner, here with his wife Ratna Gurung

Our last day. An excellent meeting and talk with Kisam Gurung, local community leader and lodge owner, here with his wife Ratna Gurung

Ghandruk is a large village of around 6000 people, wealthy from Gurkhas, smart people and working smartly with their environment but with local issues and challenges

Ghandruk is a large village of around 6000 people, wealthy from Gurkhas, smart people and working smartly with their environment but with local issues and challenges

After talking with Kisam Gurung his eldest daughter, Alisha Gurung, took us on a quick tour of the village.  Alisha is only 10 years old but clearly very bright, very socially aware and very strong minded. A future leader. A young tree that has potential to grow tall and strong.  It was a pleasure to meet this family.

Harvesting wheat

Harvesting wheat

Alisha Gurung, 10 years old, eldest child of Kisam and Ratna. A strong young tree, a potential future leader for this community. Hope for the future lies with children like Alisha

Alisha Gurung, 10 years old, eldest child of Kisam and Ratna. A strong young tree, a potential future leader for this community. Hope for the future lies with children like Alisha

We then walked out to the road end at Birethanti and on to Pokhara.

It's all over girls, you were absolutely awesome over the last 19 days. I’m so proud of you both. Time to walk out to Birethanti

It's all over girls, you were absolutely awesome over the last 19 days. I’m so proud of you both. Time to walk out to Birethanti

Walking down from Ghandruk. Keen to finish the trek now, but in the end very sad that is was all over

Walking down from Ghandruk. Keen to finish the trek now, but in the end very sad that is was all over

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One Response to Ghandruk, our last stop, and then to Pokhara

  1. chris says:

    thank you for your report and pictures. i heard about the incredibly stupid road building on the BBC the other day and my heart literally sunk… i did this walk in the early 90’s, and remember it as one of the most glorious things i did in my life, so much beauty in the people and the landscape and – well, you describe it much better! All this mindless destruction…. never to be repaired again.
    but the same attitude prevails here as well – Not on such a large scale… but every little fight for the environment in my own little corner of England I have lost so far.

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