Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Trekking Day #8
The early morning light and sunrise over the valley, with the birds singing wonderfully made a great start to the day. Nora was suffering a bit from some burnt lips and chin from the day before (I’ll spare the pictures). We went down to the deck outside and had breakfast… with a horse… seriously, he came over and hung out with us!
Sinuwa in early morning - the birds were amazing!
8:00 am – We left Sinuwa later than usual (not in a hurry to be back?). In less then half an hour we were in lower Sinua, looking down into a deep valley where we would cross a bridge and start up the long trek from lower to upper Chomrong.
9:15 am – Lower Chomrong starts out with a slight uphill through terraced fields, then it has some serious stair climbing!
9:50 am – Upper Chomrong has many shops and bakeries. We stopped at one, bought another loaf of whole wheat bread for 300NR, bought something to eat as a treat and had a 25 minute lunch break on the balcony. The view overlooking the valley with the wind blowing and the mountains in the distance was fantastic! You can see in the picture just how steep and deep these valleys were. After leaving here, just before Jhinu Danda, we passed to Nepali men, one carrying a huge water heater tank on his back, up the hill, and the other man was the “spotter,” keeping him from toppling down the hill if he stumbled.
11:15 am – Jhinu Danda is famous for its hot springs, though we didn’t visit them on our way though. It’s one of the most brightly painted places we saw.
12:35 pm – New Bridge is just a tiny place, and from there we followed the river, and I’m not sure we ever saw this “new bridge.” It was very lush along the river as we crossed it back and forth, up smaller hills, back down another, cross over, repeat… At one point we were sitting at the end of a bridge we had just crossed and we heard quite a commotion – suddenly a bunch of kids came running out of the forest at full speed across the bridge toward us, laughing and having a great time. They were racing, it appeared. On girl took a tumble and skinned herself up in the process. They were ok though, and headed on up the path.
1:50 pm – Landruk was out final night on the trek. It’s much lower down and is a lot different, because it has a ROAD to it! Many people “cheat” a hire a Jeep to/from there. The road allows them to bring in many more things without having to literally carry it on their backs or a mule. We could see the settlements across the valley as well, and the trekking route coming down from the right merging with the road coming up from the left. It was also easy to see how the valleys were not as steep there.
We had one strange encounter that evening. Four or five women who were beginning a trek together had checked in to the guesthouse, and one of them was asking around whether any might have some thyroid medicine with them. Apparently she had forgotten or lost hers. The idea that she would be willing to take someone’s medicine, panhandled off of them, and hope for the best seemed really strange to me. There was a bit of a language barrier, but I tried to encourage her that it wasn’t worth the risk ans she should do whatever it took to do it right. It ended up that the guesthouse manager’s dad was coming from Pokhara the next day and would try to find some to bring to her. Really?! Well, they seemed generally ill-prepared, and the guesthouse was run pretty loosely in our opinion, so it all kind of fit together. I wonder how it worked out for them…