A Travellerspoint blog

Keep it clean


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After the somewhat vulgar tone of my last blog entry on toilets, I thought I'd balance things out with a little insight into another important topic - washing. Keeping yourself and your gear clean while trekking is a running battle against mud, sweat, grime and dust (and in my case, soup spillages too). If, as they say, cleanliness is next to godliness, then trekking in the Himalayas is like shaking hands with the devil.

Things start promisingly in Kathmandu, where the supermarket shelves in Thamel are stocked with miniature bottles of L'Oreal this and Pantene that. So, no complaints about the range of toiletries on offer; the only question is when will you actually be able to use them?

One place name we always look out for on the map is Tatopani, which indicates a thermal spring (the name literally means "hot water"). Locals come to bathe in the thermal pools or shower under the hot taps. We came across one on our third day of trekking, but we were still in the humid foothills at that stage and a cold shower would have been more appealing.

On our camping trek in the Tsum Valley, we usually stayed near a village or a gompa, which meant a cold tap was the only means of washing. Elsewhere, rivers and streams were also available if we were feeling particularly brave or desperate. My first experience of washing in a river was at Soti Khola on our second night's camp. The sight of me stripped to my boxers going for a full-body immersion in the river must have been the most exciting thing to happen in the village for a long time, judging from the crowd of hecklers gathered on a footbridge above me.

The most scenic natural bathing spot we found was definitely at Chhokangparo. Just above the village a waterfall plunges off the mountainside into a deep pool, and then down a series of cascades. We figured this must be the place to wash judging by the number of locals doing the same thing. We climbed to the top of the cascades to find a private spot, so close to the waterfall that it was possible to have a bath and a shower at the same time. Nevertheless, we still attracted the attention of the local kids, who were fascinated by our legs. They'd never seen any as white as mine or as hairy as Jen's.

On our lodge-based trek, the washing facilities were not necessarily any better because the lodges round Manaslu and in the Nar-Phu Valley are fewer in number and more basic than on the well-established trails. In Lho, a sizeable village on the east side of Manaslu, we had to wash in a public tap outside the lodge watched by an interested gaggle of spectators. At Bimthang we fought over the only tap with a group of ponies.

The locals got to the shower before us

The locals got to the shower before us

At Phu, the piped water supply was blocked and all the taps in the village were out of action. We had a choice of three rivers to wash in, all the same shade of chocolate brown. Needless to say, we drew the line at this. The following day, we descended to a beautiful campsite at Junam, desperate for a wash. The only choice was a nearby stream which was absolutely freezing. Looking up, we could see the glacier which fed the stream - but on a sunny afternoon we soon warmed up again.

Chris looking happy at the prospect of clean pants

Chris looking happy at the prospect of clean pants

On these less-frequented trekking routes, one of the favourite topics on conversation amongst fellow trekkers is when the next hot shower is likely to be. It becomes something of an obsession. In our case, we knew there was a good chance of a hot shower at Dharapani or Koto on the Annapurna Circuit, three weeks into our trek. The shower at Dharapani disappointed, never getting above lukewarm. Koto would be the last chance for another week, and the anticipation was almost too much to bear. "Hot and cold shower" proclaimed the sign outside the Snowland Lodge, carefully worded to cover all possibilities. What came out of the shower head was a cold dribble. My heart sank, and I hurried to wash myself as quickly as I could. Suddenly, after a couple of minutes, the shower spurted into life and sprayed me with a gushing torrent of streaming hot water. Oh, the ecstasy! To celebrate, I poured a generous dollop of shampoo from my Tresemme bottle (carried all the way from Boots at Manchester Airport) and lathered up.

When it comes to washing clothes, the mantra is little and often. Pants and socks are in constant rotation, but can be pushed to a few days' use at a stretch. In Sikkim, we really stretched the acceptability of Coolmax and cotton! Tops and trousers are usually sniffed first thing each morning, but we invariably end up putting on what we wore the day before - and the day before that, and the day before that.... Handkerchiefs need to be regularly de-snotted under a tap.

For the first time in the Himalayas, I decided to take a leaf out of the locals' book and buy a bar of soap. What a superb investment this turned out to be. It can be carried with you at all times, and takes the place of shampoo, shower gel, hand gel and travel wash. In honour of the fetishistic practices of ultralight backpackers, I even shaved the corners off my bar with my penknife so it would fit inside the smallest soap dish I could find. However, I'm still carrying that Tresemme bottle, ever hopeful of the next hot shower.

Posted by Chris Parsons 08:20 Archived in Nepal Tagged trekking nepal washing Comments (0)

Food blog #2: Chris's cake countdown


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#10: Cherry Sponge, Elgin Hotel, Darjeeling
A straightforward Victoria sponge, thinly sliced, served with shortbread biscuits. Cake a little on the stale side, but bonus points are awarded for style. Served at your armchair by deferential waiters in Raj-era uniforms, plus the cake was replenished for free.

#9: Chocolate Brownie, Braga Bakery
A fine establishment on the Annapurna Circuit but capable of much better fare than this. The brownie was generously proportioned, but more of a chocolate sponge, and a dense, dry one at that. Jen speaks highly of their chocolate cake though.

#8: Chocolate Apple Crumble, Nilgiri View Restaurant, Jomsom
A local speciality in an area famous for its apple orchards. Nothing wrong with the apples here, nor the crumble topping, but rock-hard pastry base and chocolate layer were like an unwelcome guest at a party.

#7: Chocolate Brownie, Xanadu Hotel, Jomsom
We sniffed out this gem of a place on a pudding hunt. Two chocolate apple crumbles in one afternoon seemed excessive so we both opted for the brownie. Again, more of a sponge cake texture, but this time delightfully light and fluffy, served warm and topped with roasted nuts. Marked down for tiny portion size - I could have eaten two.

Mingma's "Happy Trek" cake

Mingma's "Happy Trek" cake

#6: Phurbar's Chocolate Cake, Lokpa, Nepal/Mingma's "Happy Trek" Cake, Sachen, Sikkim
It's traditional on the final night of a camping trek for the cook to produce his piece de resistance: a huge cake. We had two fine examples in Nepal and India, both so good that it's impossible to separate them. Phurbar and Mingma both score highly for the surprise value and skill in baking on a camping stove, as well as the delicious taste and texture.

#5: Opera Cake, Banjyan Cafe, Pokhara
I was sold on the window display, and this masterful cake did not disappoint. Like something served up at a Viennese gourmet cafe, this was a complex creation with alternating layers of vanilla sponge and creamy mocha filling, topped with dark chocolate marbled icing.

The cake connoisseur approves of the Gangapurna Hotel's concoction

The cake connoisseur approves of the Gangapurna Hotel's concoction

#4: Apple Crumble, Gangapurna Hotel, Yak Kharka
Once tasted (in my case, in March 2007), never forgotten. Still as good as ever - an amazingly deep filling of apple and cinnamon topped with delicate crumble. Served in meal-sized portions - this could finish off your trekking for the day. Jen reports that their chocolate cake is a winner too.

#3: New York Cheesecake, Roadhouse Cafe, Kathmandu
A taste of pure heaven when I first tasted it 3 years ago, the anticipation this time round was almost unbearable. Still very good - creamy, excellently flavoured filling and a Buttery Biscuit Base (copyright Greg Wallacewww.youtube.com/watch?v=IfeyUGZt8nk) - but it sadly failed to live up to the hype. Still one of the best things about Kathmandu though.

#2: Chocolate Brownie, Cafe Concerto, Pokhara
The combination of warm brownie and ice-cream is hard to beat and this came with caramel sauce too! The brownie had the perfect melt-in-your-mouth consistency and the ice-cream was top drawer. Jen reckons the Roadhouse Cafe version, served on a sizzling plate, is even better, and that's saying something.

#1: Apple Pie, Braga Bakery
The quintessential Annapurna Circuit dessert, perfected over decades of experimentation. Generous crusty pastry (the best I have ever tasted in Nepal) and a filling that bursts with apple and cinnamon flavours. Somebody should fly Mr Kipling to Nepal to show him the meaning of "deep-filled". Too good to share (sorry Jen).

Posted by Chris Parsons 21:11 Archived in Nepal Tagged food india nepal Comments (0)

Are you squatting comfortably?


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When on a trek, you start to appreciate some of the creature comforts that simply get taken for granted at home. One such pleasure is a warm toilet seat on which to park your posterior. Alas, like in many other parts of the developing world, Thomas Crapper's invention is only just infiltrating Nepal, where squat toilets are the order of the day. Doing your business in a Nepali squat toilet is part of the trekking experience, thanks to the variable quality of the sanitary facilities and the unpredictability of your digestive system when adapting to the local diet.

The very worst examples are the squalid, ramshackle latrines found behind the roadside food shacks where the long-distance buses pull over to allow passengers a five-minute comfort break. In practice, there's very little that's comfortable about using these places. They are typically thrown together from whatever bits of wood and corrugated tin happen to be lying around, and are frequently unlit. Darkness in a squat toilet can be a blessing as well as an inconvenience. You don't get to find out what unspeakably horrid fecal matter the previous occupant may have forgotten to flush away, and the cause of the suspiciously slippery floor remains similarly unknown.

The trekking lodges that are found on the more popular trails in Nepal are generally more sympathetic to the personal hygiene standards of Westerners. Here, you can expect to find a door with a lock (both are considered a bonus), a basket thoughtfully placed in one corner for depositing used toilet paper (though it's best not to peer too closely at the contents) and a plastic water container with a jug for flushing.

Some fine examples we have come across on our trek include the spotlessly clean toilet at our homestay in Ghap, the beautifully wood-panelled affair at the lodge in Meta and the tiled bathroom at the Snowland Hotel in Koto. The proprietors of the latter establishment had clearly never laid a tiled floor before, but deserve credit for trying. A lodge, however, is never a guarantee of a pleasurable bathroom experience, and there are numerous examples of overflowing waste paper baskets, leaky taps, sloping floors and tin roofs that lift off the walls when you stand up and hit your head on them. (Any other six-footers who've been to Nepal will know exactly what I'm talking about.)

The trekking lodges in Nar clearly know their market

The trekking lodges in Nar clearly know their market

On our camping trek we had the use of a toilet tent when no permanent cubicles were available. A shallow hole in the ground, dug with the adze of an ice axe, was the natural substitute for the white porcelain squat toilet cast-in to a cement floor. This worked fine when you needed to go in the evening or first thing in the morning, but strange diets can easily disrupt regular cycles and at some point you will inevitably be caught short in between campsites. The toilet en plein air is the only option, but it is not without risk. The one thing you're usually guaranteed with an open-air loo in Nepal is a good view, but more often than not, this means the porter a couple of minutes behind you on the path gets an equally good view of your pasty white bum. It's not always possible to find a convenient boulder or bush to dodge behind and there is a definite art to judging distances and sightlines. If that same porter passes you a few minutes later with a sheepish grin on his face, you know you've made an error of judgement.

We came across the same problem in the village of Phu, where there are no public conveniences at all, and to make matters worse, the surrounding hillsides all seemed to be overlooked by villagers' farms, homes or gompas. What to do? Well, aside from holding it all in until nightfall, which is what the locals did, we could sneak across to the campsite and make use of a French group's toilet tent. A lady staying in the same lodge as us confessed to a different solution. She kept a spare bottle in her room for emergencies, and when no-one was looking, went outside and discreetly disposed of the contents. So long as she wasn't emptying it into the vegetable patch...

The Nepalese village of Phu
Is sorely in need of a loo
So when nature calls
Wait till darkness falls
'Cos that's what the locals do

Another hazard is the multitude of sticky seeds and prickly vegetation underfoot. Not all the plants are familiar, so it's worth checking your nether regions for foreign matter before pulling your trousers up. A certain trekker I know managed to walk for several hours with bracken in her knickers.

Bowel movements on a trek can be unpredictable in consistency as well as regularity. Jen has a cast-iron stomach and seems to have few problems in this regard, but Gillian McKeith would have a field day with my stools. My delicate gut needs to be weaned carefully on to a foreign diet and this process can take a few weeks. Judging consistency by sight is difficult when what comes out slides away into the fetid abyss of the squat toilet. Turning around for a quick glance mid-action is risky too - I once misjudged the roof level and managed to lift it six inches off the supports with my head. The alternative method is to judge by the number of sheets of loo paper required to deal with the aftermath. I'm very proud of the fact that I managed to ration myself to 55 sheets of Andrex for 29 days, but after the first week it was looking as though 550 would be necessary. Eventually I'd had enough and started a course of antibiotics. This worked a treat and my insides quickly settled themselves down again. I waited with some trepidation for the next number two to come along, and I'm pleased to report that the event passed without any troubling incident, much to my relief.

That's why, in my humble opinion, there's no greater satisfaction when trekking than a two-sheet shit.

Chris is so relieved that his weeks of constipation are over, he doesn't notice his rock-hard turd has cracked the bowl

Chris is so relieved that his weeks of constipation are over, he doesn't notice his rock-hard turd has cracked the bowl

Posted by Chris Parsons 21:42 Archived in Nepal Tagged trekking nepal toilets Comments (0)

Our himalayan mountain passes


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During our month-long trek in Nepal we crossed three passes over 5,000m and were blessed with fabulous weather every time. Here's the proof - more photos!

Pass number 1 - the Larkya La

11 October 2011 - Celebrations on the Larkya La (5110m)

11 October 2011 - Celebrations on the Larkya La (5110m)

Ram and Jen enjoying the view to the west of the Larkya La

Ram and Jen enjoying the view to the west of the Larkya La

Pass number 2 - the Kang La

Jen on the northern approach to the Kang La

Jen on the northern approach to the Kang La

20 October 2011 - All smiles on the Kang La (5200m)

20 October 2011 - All smiles on the Kang La (5200m)

Pass number 3 - the Thorung La

23 October 2011 - On the Thorung La (5416m) for the second time

23 October 2011 - On the Thorung La (5416m) for the second time

Chris posing as a porter!

Chris posing as a porter!

Posted by Chris Parsons 06:00 Archived in Nepal Tagged trekking nepal passes Comments (0)

Magical mountain moments


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To give you a taste of the scenery we've been enjoying, here's a selection of mountain-themed photos from Nepal. Enjoy!

The Manang Valley and Annapurna Himal

The Manang Valley and Annapurna Himal

The Approach to Bimthang

The Approach to Bimthang

Manaslu Base Camp

Manaslu Base Camp

Manaslu at Dawn

Manaslu at Dawn

Kanggaru from Above Phugaon

Kanggaru from Above Phugaon

Jharkot and the Muktinath Himal

Jharkot and the Muktinath Himal

Ice Lake at the Thorung La

Ice Lake at the Thorung La

Himalchuli from Gumba Lungdang

Himalchuli from Gumba Lungdang

Ganesh Himal Base Camp at Dawn

Ganesh Himal Base Camp at Dawn

Dhaulagiri at Dawn

Dhaulagiri at Dawn

Posted by Chris Parsons 00:30 Archived in Nepal Tagged mountains trekking nepal Comments (0)

Food blog #1 - a subject close to my stomach

As I sit thinking what to write, I'm in a small stone hut high up in the tiny "village" of Kyang (3,800m). I say "village" because all the villagers have deserted and gone to Nar or Phu for the summer, so it's more of a ghost village really. There is one small tea shop, which is where we are camped for the night. I'm warming myself on the wood stove while the hut owner fries some potatoes to go with our daal bhat (lentils, curry and rice). This will be the first of many daal bhats this week, as this is the national dish, eaten twice daily, and we have now trekked beyond the land of menus, spaghetti and apple pie.

On request a large helping of chilli has just gone into our potatoes, together with the cabbage. When you're trekking, food is one of the most important preoccupations of the day. We have progressed from having our own cook, Phurbar, in the Tsum Valley, where fried everything was the order of the day, to eating as the locals do. In the Tsum Valley, I'd never eaten so many chips or had such a longing for a plate of daal bhat . The only compensation was the occasional treats which substituted the neverending fried food, like pizza in Rainjam and chocolate cake in Lokpa. These were items of food we later dreamed about as the trek became more remote!

But at high altitudes it's difficult to beat a good daal bhat. It is not like the greasy Indian curries you find at home, and is therefore easier to digest at altitude. It also comes with an "all you can eat" clause. If you've ever seen a porter who has carried 30kgs up a mountain tuck into his own personal mountain of daal bhat it becomes clear why most Nepalis choose to eat nothing else. On our 10-day Tsum Valley trek alone, our porters carried and consumed a massive 150kgs of rice!!!

Ram with a valuable pressure cooker full of rice

Ram with a valuable pressure cooker full of rice

A plate of nutritious daal bhat
Is in no danger of making you fat
But I hadn't reckoned
On eating a second
Nor twice in one day, come to that.

No food blog would be complete of course, without a section on local delicacies. These are loosely defined as whatever is produced when Ram emerges from a smoky shack with a handful/cupful/bowlful of something suspicious and a triumphant "Here, try this!" The trek started well with some delicious samosas outside Arughat Bazar. Other wonders have included pickled cabbage and spicy dried mutton. You could tell when anyone had a mouthful of the latter, as they were still chewing it 15 minutes later!

En route to Ganesh Himal Base Camp (3,900m) we stopped at a yak herder's hut with a fire in the middle of the mud floor. I sat down by the fire to warm up, surrounded by huge drums of off-smelling milk. This turned out to be curd, which was offered to me in a soup bowl to gulp down. I took a small spoonful which swilled around my mouth like loose jelly, and I was on the verge of spitting it out when I realised that it tasted a bit like yoghurt. Still, seconds were not on the cards!

Vats of yak curd at a yak herder's hut in the Ganesh Himal

Vats of yak curd at a yak herder's hut in the Ganesh Himal

Milk develops into all sorts of forms in Nepal, including something called chirpi. This is a step on from curd. The moisture from the curd is extracted, and the remaining mild, cheese-like substance is then piped onto a large mat in big swirls and dried in the hot sun. You can then break off bits and eat them as a snack. I tried some but couldn't discern what it tasted of - not much was the conclusion! Once again, I didn't return for seconds.

Perhaps the most dangerous of Nepalese delicacies is the chilli pepper. Our cook Phurbar had an enormous jar of preserved chillis reserved for the porters to eat with their daal bhat. This is not westerners' food, but a pick-me-up in the evenings, especially when you're camping in freezing temperatures at 4,000m. Anyway, I was offered one of these delicious looking chillis. Thinking they would be the strength of Tesco's Finest, I popped one straight into my mouth, much to the consternation of Ram and the others in the food tent. Gasps and cries of "Not all at once!" made me spit it out before it was too late. It turns out that you are supposed to nibble delicately at the chillis. Not even our hardened porters dared chew one of these babies whole! So I duly followed suit and spent the next 15 minutes blowing my nose and wiping away the tears...

On the pepper front, we also tried fresh peppercorns. When I say fresh, I mean straight off the tree. They were growing near Rachen Gompa in the Tsum Valley. They are harvested in October and November, but they can still be eaten earlier. They are small red berries - you peel the skin off and then go for it. A strange sensation then ensues. Your tongue produces large amounts of saliva, and this lasts for about 20 minutes. Straight off the tree, peppercorns taste peppery hot, but fruity at the same time. For me, I prefer the dried version every time!

Also on the list of 'never to try again' goes packet chicken from Tibet. In Chhokhungparo a packet was shoved under my nose with the innocent sounding "Would you like some chicken?" I was greeted with a packet of pasty, wobbling wattle accompanied by a claw poking out the other side. I politely declined. Tibetan Tea is also on this list. Among the ingredients are yak butter, salt and milk. It tastes a bit like soup but without the vegetables or chicken, and there's not a smidgen of tea in sight.

One of the best surprises and most entertaining activities was shelling beans in Lho. Chris and I thought we'd help out with dinner preparations. All the locals muck in, usually to peel potatoes or chop garlic, on the proviso that approximately 5-10% reaches the helper's stomach before the plate! Anyway, I picked up a pod and popped it open to find that the beans inside were pink! Chris then opened another to find blue beans. Not just any old blue mind, think blue smarties! It turns out that Nepalese beans are really exciting... and come in all colours. The lady running the kitchen was so amused at our delight at the multi-coloured beans that she added a special portion to our fried potatoes that evening. I'm sorry to report that when cooked they return to a dull brown colour. However, they did taste good. For the record, the colours they came in were black, green, white, purple, bright blue, bright pink, white with pink spots, purple with pink spots and cream. Who said food prep was dull!

On the subject of strangely coloured food, Chris also discovered that porridge turns blue when iodine-treated water is added to it. This was valuable porridge too, as it was needed to power Chris up the Thorung La pass. There was great relief when on stirring, all returned to normal...

An evening's entertainment

An evening's entertainment

Posted by jparsons 00:19 Archived in Nepal Tagged food trekking nepal Comments (0)

A mountain poem


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A spark in my imagination fires
To reveal what lies behind
The shifting swirling bank of cloud
Rolling in like the tide
Then high in the deep blue sky
A sharpened summit soars
Offering only the slightest glimpse
Of something tantalisingly more...
It's only as darkness descends
That the icy white peaks emerge
Stripped bare of all but a moonlit glow
Silently unheard

JP

Posted by Chris Parsons 23:14 Archived in Nepal Tagged mountains nepal Comments (0)

On the edge: trekking in the monsoon


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Blog entry: by Jen Parsons

Our trek in Nepal has already revealed a landscape of extremes. For the first time on a trip to Nepal we began trekking in the monsoon season. This started with a bus trip that succumbed to the wrong sort of mud as a result of monsoon rainfall (see previous blog - a tale of 2 buses)!

On day two, we discovered the true meaning of the monsoon as we ascended the Budi Gandaki valley. Water was pouring off the tops of the mountains in free-fall for 100s of metres - straight off the vertical cliff walls. In sunshine this created a magical sight with some of the biggest waterfalls I've ever seen, and complete with the odd rainbow too (the National Trust would have a field day if this were the UK!). But then when the rain came - not with any purpose mind, just big spodges dropping casually out of the sky - the river swelled, boiling angrily down the valley.

I stopped numerous times just to watch the "rapids" (though there were no calm spots). These must have been at least a grade 10, i.e. instant death...and the noise from all of this was utterly deafening. I've never seen anything like it before in my life. The path we were taking was carved out of the vertical cliffs some 20 metres above the river. In Nepal, there are no health and safety warnings, or handrails for that matter. One false move or a lapse in concentration would have been extremely problematic!

Later in the day we were faced with another facet of the monsoon - river crossing. On our approach to Macchakhola we were given a choice of route: 1) the precipitous high route (which the locals were refusing to take) or 2) the low-level riverside walk. Given that the locals are prepared to walk in many places I am not, we chose the lower path! With one river crossing already under our belts, and our feet nicely back in our boots toasting after an unexpected wash, the lower path suddenly dropped down to the main river and disappeared. So it was off with the boots again, only this time we were wading. The advantage of being British quickly became clear, as our porters were in the river nearly up to their waists, while Chris barely got his knees wet! I was in over my knees, but just opted for wet trousers as everything else was already soaked....This was just one of the small hazards encountered by the locals in everyday monsoon life, except in their case they were just making a trip to the shops rather than trekking (for fun!).

Nepali legs aren't long enough for river crossings!

Nepali legs aren't long enough for river crossings!

Our third and fourth days of trekking showed us another more serious side to the monsoon. We lunched at a little village called Dobhan, and as we were sitting down out of the blazing sunshine, our guide, Ram, informed us that there had been a big landslide further up the path on our intended route, and that the locals were "sitting it out". As we ate our lunch we watched for signs of activity coming over the bridge from the direction of the landslide. Our "plan" was to go up the path in the afternoon and 'have a look at it', to see if it was crossable. Our destination that evening was Jagat, some three hours the otherside. Eventually, some local porters came through the village, having safely made it across, though they reported the landslide to be very dangerous and apparently still moving! This did not improve the digestion of lunch. With some nervousness we advanced towards the landslide area. Before we even reached the main landslide, we could see where large boulders had ripped through the trees, and smaller landslides - in an outward ripple effect - had occurred. When we got to the landslide itself, it looked crossable, so without hesitation we walked smartly across, over and under boulders and scree. We crossed about 100 metres of rubble, which fortuntely was not on the move, and remarkably already had a path of sorts across it (only in Nepal!). We reached the otherside safely to several high-fives, and a slowing heartrate....

Jen and Ram crossing the landslide after Dobhan

Jen and Ram crossing the landslide after Dobhan

Later in Jagat, after dinner, the heavens opened, with some serious rainfall. So serious, we had to abandon the tent as the campsite was flooding, and sleep in the campsite owners' kitchen / dining area. As we sipped our tea, we could hear the rumble and roar of more landslides up and down the valley. The following morning we rounded the next twist of the valley to come face to face with a giant mudslide. We figured that this is what we had heard the previous evening. The mudslide had wiped out the small village of Salleri. Fortuntely there were no locals resident at the time, as they were away for the festival in Kathmandu. Enormous boulders (the size of houses) had been lifted up and deposited at the riverside. We gingerly picked and slid our way through the mud, avoiding the route of our porters who were up to their knees. This was a far more fragile situation than the previous landslide, and brought home the precariousness of life in the mountains. For the locals, rebuilding a path, a road or a village is one of the facts of life each year in this region.

The mudslide that wiped out Salleri

The mudslide that wiped out Salleri

That night as the rain battered our leaky tent, I was kept awake by sobering thoughts of where the next landslide would fall.

Posted by Chris Parsons 22:51 Archived in Nepal Tagged trekking monsoon Comments (2)

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