Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Long Road Home

The trek up to Nahima one was one of the more strenuous hikes I've attempted. It was a lot of very steep inclines and my back was sprained at the time. Whenever we would ask Nepalis how many hours it would take to reach our destination for the night, we would have to double the number in our heads, because our speed was so much slower. We got used to being passed by ancient Nepali men with walking sticks.

It turns out that for the past two years now there has been a bus that runs to Diktel, so we resolved to take the bus back rather than subject our knees to three days of downhill (there is also a commercial airstrip, but it lies a day's hike away and we would have needed to book tickets two weeks in advance). The bus ride back to Kathmandu, although it was only 27 hours in total, was nearly as physically demanding as the hike, and much less pleasant.

The trails through the hills are so bumpy that for the six-hour first leg of the trip we had to hold tight to the seat in front of us for the entire time to avoid flying about the cabin. As tall as we were, we frequently slammed our heads hard on the roof of the bus and then absorbed the landing impact into our tailbones. The night bus we took ran on unscheduled times, stopped for many hours during the night for everybody to sleep, and had to stop a few times so that people could get out and clear/pack rubble in the unformed roads so that the bus could pass.

But our bus changes were in very interesting settlements: Jayaram and Gurmi. They both lay on the river, and the bus stopped on the side opposite. My impression of Jayaram was that it had the feel of an Old West frontier town.

A raft built of drum barrels

In all of Nepal the mark of Prem Bad is omnipresent. 

Our second stop was the town of Gurmi. The bus stopped in front of the river, and a ferry began making its way across. The ferry was attached to a cable that was strung across the valley, and a man turned a hand crank to move across the river. Workers unloaded several dozen 50-kg bags of cement and some light bulbs and then we embarked along with another bus. The town was way up on the hillside above.

View of the ferry from up above.

The ferry from the opposite shore as we await its arrival.

Here we are on the ferry. Since Cabu we have definitely developed some scruffiness.

Some courageous inner tube rafters. 

From the top of the hillside. This is one of the nicer views I've had while peeing.

1 comment:

  1. Great pics! Stubble's lookin' good, dude. Also, is that the cousin of the Stalwart that I see?