Monday, March 27th
Our wake up call was set for 6 am, but my body hasn’t quite flipped and I found myself laying wide awake at 3am. I couldn’t hold in my laughter at the pigeons trying to break in our room and I was thankful that Erin was awake too and started laughing as well.
We rearranged and packed up our gear and went downstairs for another buffet breakfast before hitting the road. We were greeted in the lobby by Jiban and Kumar, and outside we met our driver, Ram, and other guide Sujan. We loaded up the rugged off road Land Cruiser and we were off.
I loved our driver, Ram. He was aggressive and only meant business on the road. He didn’t speak English, and I didn’t communicate with him but that was okay. He ruled the road as far as I am concerned. I cannot even count the number of trucks, motorcycles and other vehicles we passed on the jagged, semi-paved semi-dirt road. These roads here make the road the Hana look like cake walk and Erin and I loved every minute of it. Scary at times? Sure. But everyone seems to know what they are doing so it was like an 8 hour amusement park ride through the countryside of Nepal. My kind of travel.
We ventured through village after village and I was captivated observing the people. Everyone was wandering about, doing something or going somewhere. I am not too sure exactly what people were doing or where they were going(other than the school kids in their uniforms) but there was no sense of hustle or frantic scurrying. No palpable anxieties or stress. This pace is different and, if I am honest, uncomfortable for me. I wanted to know all the stories of the people we passed, what life was like for them, how long they have lived here and if it is always this incredibly dusty year round. One thing was obvious though…life here is lived outside and in community. People are always together and looking out for each other.
We continued the drive to the village of Bhulbhule where we said goodbye to Ram and hopped in a jeep to head to our starting point for the trek. This jeep ride was the most thrilling thing I have done in a while. Erin and I were in hysterics the whole time and decided we needed to go ‘muddin’ when we return. To make matters even more comical, Erin has bad hearing, and I have compromised hearing currently in my right ear. Half the time we can’t understand what the other is saying or we completely misunderstand what we are trying to say. Combine that with little sleep, and let me tell you dear friends, we can put on quite the comedy show.
We were dropped off at our first Tea House where we settled in to gear up for the morning. We started the trek a little further down the road than we originally planned, but I am thankful. The dust has been thick here and the early part of the trail is along the rugged road, which makes for a dusty and heavy trafficked start.
Dinner was a delight and we settled in our beds filled with anticipation.
(More pictures to come later when I have better service and can upload)