A continuation of a journey we took to Nepal in 2009. A country we have spent a combined period of one year and would jump on a plane to be there again tomorrow!
You know your mind has completely unraveled when remembering what day it is takes some time, and a definite answer is never concluded. The pace of recent days, if the word pace can still be utilized, has been akin to lichen growing.
Our plans to head to Lantang National Park started off well, but the town of Ramche also exists in other parts of Nepal. So unknowingly, we headed off in the wrong direction.
It turned out to be a serendipitous ride to the end of the road. At the final stop on the bus – Chautara greeted us – perched sloppily on the rolling hills beneath a circle of white peaks, the town languished in the brief warmth of the Winter sun.
In this part of Nepal it’s bloody cold and it gets dark very early. There is nothing to do but consider ones navel and play with the local kids until the sun goes down. The perfect place to ease in to the New Year for us.
So it’s been for the past four or so days. A geriatric bus taking us East of Kathmandu – riding on the roof with all the joy of a dog with it’s head thrust out the car window. It really is a fun way to travel and experience the unobstructed landscape of the Himalaya.
On the way to Chautara the unplanned wrong direction turned our way. Hiking along the road at dusk we spotted some fires beside the river. One greeting led to another and we scammed and evening fireside, sleeping on the beach, and bathing in the 5 degrees river at sunrise. The feeling returns to your feet soon enough.
New Years day was spent meandering through high mud brick villages, soaking up the stares, curious looks and smiles. A cruisy start to 2010. I’m lucky to have the company of a like minded soul, same pace, same carefree approach, and a good dose of the ‘all will be well’ attitude.
Along the way we have discovered that EVERY town has someone ready and willing to stare or chat to you over dhal baat. That it is possible to eat too much lentil protein and not get the runs. Supreme gluttonous happiness right there. And, that ‘meh’ is possibly the closest Western translation for the non commital side ways head wobble.
Currently we are back in Kathmandu preparing to restart – in the right direction – to Lantang National Park. We are hunting some high altitude Tatopani’s for the next week!