Monday, 23 April 2018

Friday, 20 April 2018

Spring at last

 We have had warm sunny days this week. It feels a long time since we last felt the sun on our backs. I went for a walk in the local woods and enjoyed seeing all the green buds on the trees. Spring has finally arrived. Had to use an old camera for these shots. I dropped my Lumix Panasonic camera in some mud last week and jammed the shutter. The cost of repair is almost as much as buying a new one, unfortunately, as I loved that camera. I will have to now buy the new version which is bigger and heavier but it does have wi-fi which should, in theory, make downloading quicker and easier.

Bluebells just beginning to flower.
Sharing with James at Weekend Reflections

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Another trek in Nepal

Last week I showed you some slides that I had taken in Nepal during a trip in 1975. I have transferred the slides onto an SD card so I can download  them onto the computer. Here are some more photos taken on another trek that I did. I was in Nepal visiting a friend who was teaching in Kathmandu and I'd been invited to accompany him on some treks. This one was a 23 day trek and started with a 35 minute flight from Kathmandu to Bhaurahiva. Four of us set off from Kathmandu, Tony,my friend, Ram, another teacher from the school,Carlu a porter and myself. I have used extracts from the journal I wrote at the time to explain some of the photos.

Ram met the father of one of his pupils who was also a friend. He was a wealthy man and offered us his car and driver to take us to the next town from where we were starting the trek. Tansen was a large town by Nepali standards and we spent the night in a hotel which even had a toilet. We left early the next morning as we had a lot of walking to do. Ram had found another porter and it was decided that two porters would be enough as Ram would carry his own rucsac.

It wasn't long before we passed through Ridi Bazaar. A fruit seller and his family.
A man sawing wood.
Field of mustard.
Here they are grinding the mustard to make oil.

We stopped at a tea shop and a group of children came to have a look at us. I was something of a curiosity and was followed wherever I went by the local children.
We decided to stay in this village for the night.
A man selling herbs

Inside the house where we were staying, they cooked a meal for us on the open fire. The meal consisted of dal (lentils) rice and spinach.
The women of the house.

Early morning view of the mist rising up from the valleys.
This man was carrying guavas in his doko which I was very keen to buy. A diet of rice and dal twice a day meant we were delighted to find any kind of alternative, especially fruit.
This was the Kalikandaki River which we would be following. We descended down into the valley to the river.
This was the suspension bridge we needed to cross. It was a good bridge but was in need of some repair as there were many holes in the planks that we walked across. There was a chill in the air but the walking soon warmed us. We followed the river up the valley all morning. Ram pointed out various trees and plants en route which had everyday uses. The fruit of one tree could be used as a glue whereas the leaves from another plant were used to get rid of the leeches on your legs. We stopped for lunch by the river so we could have a good wash as well as washing some of our clothes.
After lunch we had a long, hard slog uphill. It was now very hot which made it difficult. There were one or two streams which cooled me down as I doused myself in water. By the time we reached the spot where we were to stay for the night I was quite exhausted.
Making plates from leaves.
Man playing a fiddle

Men fishing in the river.

We stopped around 4pm at a good rest house. The man had been in the British Army so could speak a little English. Although it looked a good rest house we spent a miserable night scratching and listening to the rats running around all night. I had made the mistake of turning my torch on to see what was making the noise only to see a number of rats running along the walls and trying to get into our bags as they searched for food. In the morning I noticed that they had been chewing the laces on my boots!

The next day was a lovely walk with no high climbs to be made.

A man with a crushed toe had asked for some medication. As the people saw that Ram had medicines with him they soon all wanted something for their cuts etc.
Towards the middle of the afternoon the Dhaulagiri range came into view but by  mid afternoon we had lost sight of the white mountains as we back down in the valley.
The pass between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.

You can see the prayer flags on top of the houses.

Family we stayed with in Jomoson.
A more sophisticated cooking area. Notice the long tea churn on the left. This was for making butter tea using tea leaves, yak butter, water and salt. It was not a drink I would recommend!

On our way back down the trail we were accompanied by a group of Mustangi people. Their whole village was on the move down South for the winter. We took a few photos of them and made what little conversation we could and then said our farewells to them. Little did we know we would be bumping into them all the way to Pokhara.

In the village of Tatopani we came across a group of dancers performing for some villagers. It was the festival of Tihar and the villages were festooned with flowers and flags.

Ram leaving Tatapani village
Crossing a log bridge.

Our mustang friends once again.
Yak dung drying on the walls of a house near Pokhara.

A woman carrying wood into the town.