Day 047- Big mountain, Oh, so small
2008/10/26 § Leave a comment
After two days of exploring Kathmandu I became aware that I had not been outside of a major city in…I don´t know for how long, but far too long anyway. I got tiered of the pollution in the air most, and in Kathmandu my allergy kicked in. Well, in a country that claims to have 4% of all the worlds varieties of flower species there should be something for someone with pollen allergy to choose from.
On a city tour I had met Jason from England who was interested in doing a little countryside excursion I had been thinking about doing alone initially. We headed to a town called Nargakot, enjoyed the sunset there and walked from there the next day. That meant getting up at just after 4 in the morning and feeling cold again for the first time in months. But we were rewarded with a sunset over the Himalayas. Mount Everest was hardly more than a speck on the horizon, but the view was spectacular.
From there we headed towards a place called Dulhikel where we were supposed to stop for a night. But since we felt fit and it was early in the day still we walked on. In the end we finished two days worth of hiking in one day, were sent the wrong way once, got a lift to the right place when we noticed the mistake and barely made it in time for the last bus to Kathmandu, all exhausted and merely running on spirit and pure will-power rather than our swollen feet, just to find out that the bus-drivers were on strike! Great. So we stayed in the only available Hotel in Panauti, as the town is called.
The next day buses were still not heading anywhere due to strike. Due to the 30-some kilometers walking the previous day we were not all too fit but had to walk some kilometers more anyway, because no taxi was available in Panauti either. To cut the story short, we made it back to Kathmandu with help of some bicycle rickshaws and some strike breaking taxis. I would have had the sleep of a lifetime, had I not had to get up at 5 in the morning the next day to catch a bus. Who said traveling was easy? I think I am going to need a holiday soon!
No regrets whatsoever however. The view during the walk was incredibly nice, walking high up on the rim of valleys. We met and talked to quite a few locals on the way and had tremendous fun. We hardly saw another westerner during our walk. Just one guy on a bike and a group of presumably German hikers. Other than that just local kids who followed us around in through their villages, people staring at us and smiling friendly as response to our greetings, people laughing about us or at us (we must have been quite a sight; two baldly shaved and tall white guys) and some of the most fantastic insights into the real rural live of the Nepali people. Often it felt as if we were walking right trough someones living rooms by mistake, and in a way I think that was literally true at times, as people´s life happens outside to a large extend.
Why so few people do this walk is a mystery to me. But maybe people trust pre-organized tours, which they have to pay for, more than almost for free, do-it-yourself trips?
How much you can trust the organized tours is a story for another blog… 😉