Trip Start Mar 27, 2008
Trip End Apr 23, 2008

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Where I stayed
Kala Pathar Lodge & Restaurant,Phakding

Flag of Nepal  ,
Thursday, April 17, 2008

Once again I will say goodbye to Ashook. I am waiting for him to depart with his group so that I can take some photos of him. As I take a photo of the lodge sign Ashook comes through the door. He is getting ready to leave, after everyone has had breakfast of course.  While I wait for my breakfast I take a quick photo of the group I was talking to last night as they enjoy their meal.

I am amazed at the amount of gear the two porters are going to carry. The trekker's bags are loaded into a very large cargo type bag (it is almost as tall as Ashook when it is packed). Any extra bag is tied with rope to the main bag and it will be carried on their backs with a rope looped around the bag and onto the porters forehead. ( No wonder they have such strong neck muscles.)  I watch to see how the two porters will manage to carry all the gear required by the group they are with. (Hopefully some of it will be left in Namche Bazar to cut down on the items that are not required.)( It is amazing what everyone takes into the mountains that are not used. ) Some of the things that should be taken (like a survival blanket or bag )in everybodies day bag are things that frequently are not carried by the trekker.  Accidents do happen and if  you need to spend a night on the mountain how many would be prepared for it. ( This should be about risk assesment for yourself and your guide  and or porter.)( This was the very reason that I did not complete the trek in the snow last February 2007).

Finally Ashook is ready to go he squats down in order to pick up his load and his friend helps to steady the bag. It reaches above his head and when he starts to walk up the path all that can be seen are his legs. ( It is unbelievable how they manage to carry these bags.)

We are just going for a walk today and will sleep at the same lodge tonight.  bhimsen does not know the route so we will follow the porter ( the cooks assistant as well from Namche).
We walk down through the village and branch off to the right near a rhododendron tree. We cross over the river using the most makeshift bridge we had come to so far. Some of the planks are missing so we have to be careful not to miss our step. As we cross over we can see another view of the village and the grops are a bright green. A lot of the buildings look fairly new and a lot of them are used by trekkers. It must be an improvement on the accomodation that was first found by the tourists ( mountaineers) visiting the area in the last thirty or so years.

Once we had crossed the bridge we steadily climb upwards through the forest. It is quiet but we do meet several school children on the path going to school. As we continue the walk we pass through the site of the Shree Janasewa Lower Secondary School which was established in 2021 so as it is 2065 this year it has been here for more than forty years. ( I wonder what it looked like then?).

As we walked I noticed that some of the trees looked like they had been damaged by choppers but I was told that this was a means of getting cheap (free) glue. They use it to glue some of the plyboards together.

We come across a path that leads to a monastry but I decided to return to the lodge. Although I feel a lot better I do not feel as confident about walking up hill too much and apply caution to my plans of taking that path. Although we did not walk that far it was interesting seeing the village from the other side of the river.

When we returned to the lodge we had a snack and we sat and watched everyone arrive again. We watched some of the young children carrying a load up to the next hotel and noticed how they undid the load to drop some of the goods off. We noticed several dogs hanging about the village and saw some of the local younsters give chase with pretend guns to shoot the dogs.  ( good idea) They are a pain in the hillside when they bark all night and prevent you from sleeping. (ear plugs are handy in this case).

We met up again with the couple who had returned to Namche due to illness they too were on their way down with the rest of their group now.

The lodge has a dvd player and we sit and watch some Indian musical performances. All seem to have the same storyline, boy likes girl , girl likes boy etc. It looks like a new feature at the lodge so it was a novelty for the guides and staff to watch.

Gradually everyone retires to bed. My room is up the stairs , turn right and is the last room on the right at the end of the corridoor this time not opposite the loo. It is quieter here but  it is above the kitchen.
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