7 hours walk today, which included an hour and a half for lunch. We had an elevation gain of 610 metres, taking us to 2,710 metres. Mt Taranaki is 2,518.
A picture tells the story
We saw our first New Zealand sponsored water station. 40 rupees (50 cents) for a litre of fresh water. These are given to a local women’s co-op to make money and serve us trekkers.
As we entered one village we could hear the music and chanting from a Buddhist temple that had a festival day. Basu asked if we could come in and they welcomed us. We went upstairs to their payer room and Basu said we could take photos as long as we left a donation at the altar. I kind of made a fool of myself trying to find some small notes to leave. It was dark, and I had my sunglasses on, and I am quite blind at the best of times. The first notes were far too big, and I fumbled around in my plastic bag of notes until I found something suitable. I was quite embarrassed and felt uncharitable with the monks all watching me. But the ladies outside gave us a cup of warm, sweet, milky tea which we enjoyed sitting in the sun.
The road is constantly under repair a Nepal has earthquakes and a rainy season the causes landslides and avalanches. Three years ago this valley lost many houses, parts of the road and lives. So there is a lot of construction and building going on.
Other trekkers walking the same as us include a young Aussie couple, young Frenchman who sits outside with a beer and smokes on arrival, Lydia who is a German woman who has just finished her medical degree. So we leap frog with them all day.
We were very pleased to be walking on the old track for most of the time rather than the new road. If you have ever seen that TV series of the world’s worst roads, you will have probably seen this one.
Today was about 25 ° but we were in and out of the bush most of the day which gave us some shade. We spent half of the day on the old track.
Lunch break at 10.30 for 1.5 hours. We cool our feet under the tap alongside the lady who is washing the greens for lunch.
The further we get along the trail the more friendly the people are. We are now seeing families working in the fields planting crops. They grow barley to use for flour in bread making and porridge, corn is also made into flour and eaten fresh. There were apple trees beginning to blossom and some areas of new planting to stop erosion. Looking up above, I am not sure how safe they will be from the next landslide.
The linesman had not finished their job as we had no electricity at our home for the night. We are in bed before dark anyway, being a couple of old grannies. But we are first up and leaving before the young ones wake up.
We came across a few donkeys wandering aimlessly around, and I wondered what happened to the hundreds that had been working the trails when I was here last time. Since the road was constructed, they have lost their jobs. I hope they got a good redundancy package and a nice field to retire in