Ghermu (1130) - Tal (1700)
MI: finished last night with banana pancakes and apple fitters (spelling as per menu). Really roughing it! Learnt from our guide how to play a Nepalese card game called 'tens', then Chris and I skilfully smashed John and Harm. Will be a different game tomorrow!
The power continues to turn on and off randomly. John created a charger that can plug into light sockets which has been genius. Both Chris and John are very apt at getting their technology working (smartphones and iPad), I've had minimal success and Harm did the right thing and didn't even attempt it!
Everyone's bodies are going well, Harm has a slightly sore throat, and I've got blisters on my little toes from my boots I've been wearing for years ( go figure!).
It's hard to complain when you see the porters carrying probably 8-10kg more than us using head straps! They all have good shoes and gear which is good. Himal is 25, married with a 2 year old daughter, and is nearing the end of his economics degree. Himal has offered to teach Harm the fundamentals of macro economics and justify the V8s in Hamilton! Certainly can't judge a book by its cover. At the places we stay and when we stop for lunch they guys get there own tea and Dal Bhat from the lodge/restaurant.
It's really quiet on the track, we would have seen under 20 tourists to date. Todays walk was best so far with a few swing bridges, some impressive gorges, six or more waterfalls and following the river all of the way.
JB: Came across a spot where looking across the river to the sheer cliffs on the other side there were enormous beehives hanging down. Hard to tell from a distance how big they were but probably more than a metre in length.
Lunch in Chamche (1385m) (dal baht for two of us and potato with vege and spices for the other two). Just beside where we had lunch there was an old lady and a young couple grating a bright orange root vege into a flat basket for presumably for drying. Looked just like ginger but Gobinda said it was turmeric.
After lunch decided to splash out and get a couple of bounty bars to share, Harms accent was misunderstood and man arrived with a tea bag.
Quote of the day from Mingle takes the overall theme (squat vs. sit toilets) "solid stool stand tall, ready flow go low". Fortunately to date no stomach problems, long may that continue!
After lunch we descended by a rocky track and then crossed river via a suspension bridge. The trail then followed that bank for the afternoon, climbing well above the river in places and then dropping back to river level before climbing again.
Looking back across the river the new road follows the other side, literally cut into the sheer cliff face hundreds of metres above the river. Looks very treacherous and based on Gobindas description ("I almost pee peed myself when I went along it") it is!!
As we started to leave the side of the gorge it started raining which gave us a good chance to practice our wet weather drill, Mark and I broke ranks and ran up a long slope to a shelter, running through stinging nettles on the way. Chris and Harm stopped and donned ponchos. Both strategies seemed to work Mark and I tired but relatively dry ( suffering no ill affects from nettles) Chris and Harm also tired and also relatively dry, so the jury is out on which strategy will be the standard.
Came over a crest and the river widened in front of us with the village of Tal located on the river flat below. Staying at Gobinda's "sisters" ("she stayed with his family when her house burnt down") tea house. Great shower and real toilet
But unfortunately no WIFI or phone coverage.
One omission from the day between Pokhara and Besisihar was that the bus stopped for a while in a village while a crowd of villagers righted a truck that had rolled over.