Oral hygiene is important
Gonna be a great day.
Up early, the skylight works well. Cup of tea. Breakfast is late - 8am, potatoes and millet pancakes. More tea. Repack pack into dry sack (Kathmandu Australia brand). Looking a bit cloudy, get waterproof jacket out for the first time. Dhana tells us today is going to be easy- all down hill or flat with a bit of a climb as we approach Jagat (1330m).
We get a bit of village culture today- Dan Kumari and Amma show us how to do traditional nettle weaving and hemp weaving. They have a room set aside with looms and other equipment for village use. The temple fund collectors make their appearance- we make the voluntary contribution of 1000 NPR (AUD $12.50). We are then invited to cultural show. Several of the villagers assemble with traditional instruments, they range in age from about 4 to maybe 80 yrs (it is difficult to tell with the lined faces of the elder women). The show is very entertaining, the old women in particular seem to enjoy it very much. They appear from nowhere as the singing begins. Mary and I are invited to dance, we oblige. Dhana thinks I
am very talented- looking at the photos now I think I am looking like a hula dancer! All good. We give another voluntary contribution, this time to the village fund. Before we depart we are presented with mustard flowers and marigolds, the tikka with fermented yoghurt and rice and a liberal sprinkling of the dregs over our heads. we now look and smaell like something the cat has dragged in.
What stays with me about the performance was the reaction of the old ladies, they all seemed to so enjoy it- dancing and singing. I can still picture their faces.
So, ... off we go... down, down, flat, flat, rain. Out came the wet weather jacket- success. Pack cover- epic fail. Santos looks like a drowned rat yet refuses a poncho (we seem to have too many spare items still). Dhana relies on an umbrella. The rain becomes hail, we become wet. The steps become slippery and Mary takes a fall (again)- at least there are no nettles to fall into today (unlike yesterday's toilet stop- sorry Mary- had to get that in). We take the opportunity to have a tea stop managing 2 packets of coconut biscuits
Paying voluntary contribution
and 1 mars bar (quartered). The GI has gone out the window.
Set off in the rain again and the scenery is stunning. We leave behind the terraces of the village and hit forest, ferns and woodland. Spot lots of little birds including the Zitting Cisticola - my camera is woefully inadequate for bird shots, you need to just believe me. A great series of Nepal birds can be found here though- http://mandywest.zenfolio.com/p600969399/e1D3F2273#h1d3f2273
We break for lunch at Syange - The New Waterfall Guesthouse, they provide a good vege noodle soup and tea. Unfortunately there is a large mirror on the LHS as you go into the dining room (you have been warned). And we thought Santos was looking drowned rat like. It is here that we encounter our first vehicles since we left Besisahar, and.... our first mules. Mules and MUD (or is it manure?).
Dhana thinks it might be a couple more hours to Jagat. We actually gun it in an hour and a half thanks to scaling many off track hill (mountain) shortcuts. We are beginning to understand Dhana's shortcuts- they are usually steep and perilous, but if we don't fall off we
get to where we want to be more quickly (????). We are also having periods of time that we are walking on excavated roads.
We reach Jagat, there are many old stone dwellings here towards the middle to end of the village. We stay in The Hotel New Mountain River View and Restaurant- first teahouse on the RHS as you enter the village. We have room 104- overlooking the river from the back and sides of the room. We are the only guests, the teahouse opposite has 1 guest and we spot 2 others later in the afternoon (we go on to meet them formally over the next couple of days). We feel as though we are now on the Circuit - teahouses line the street in all colours of the rainbow ( a very bright rainbow). We have a tepid (cold- as opposed to freezing) wash and dinner at 7. I deviate from dhal bhat and have vege fried rice. The rain continues, we play Yahtzee in the dining room- we finally manage to convince Santos to join in. Hence, an even later night- 10pm.
I go to sleep with the sound of the river thundering around
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