Christmas day was the start of a 3 day trek to Gele’s home village. Can you imagine doing a day’s bus trip followed by a 2 day mountain hike (the locals walk a lot quicker than me *BLUSH*) to visit your parents? However, this is very normal for all Nepali mountain folk.
Christmas dinner was certainly different. Well different for me, but not for Nepalese. No turkey, no funny hats, no Christmas pudding :o( Instead rice, daal, potato curry, more rice, pickle and an omelette. Not sure how I survived, but this was my stable diet for 11 days (11 days – gulp!!).
After lunch I met Mitre, who also survived the previous day’s bus journey to hell. In between laughter, she demonstrated bouncing up and down then rubbing her head.
She said “She’s never doing that trip again!!!”
I am glad to know that I’m not just a wussy Westerner, that the locals also found it terrible too!
I spoke no Nepali, Mitre spoke no English, but she took a shine to me and decided to continue the journey with us. Mitre, her grandsons, Gele, my porter Loki and me – not like my typical trekking companions :o)
This is the Nepalese definition of Nepal:
Nepal is flat, with a little bit up and a little bit down.
Bullsh*t!!!!!!!!!! My legs were hurting, my heart was racing, there was definitely a slope up – and yet, Gele tells me it is flat and to keep up. Grrrrrrrr!!!
Today was a lot down, a lot up, a lot down and a bit more up. My friendship with Mitre grew stronger with each slope as she kept telling Gele “Bistari,Bistari!!!, which means “Slowly, Slowly!!!”
At one of our pit stops I found the secret to Mitre’s mountain skills, raksi, a potent local home-brew made from rice. However, her super powers did not last very long as she became incredibly wobbly on her feet. It’s quite nerve-racking watching an elderly lady fall over when one false move could result in her falling a very, very long way down. Yikes!!!!!
When we finally reached the bottom of the mountain, we were faced with a raging river which was crossed by balancing on 3 logs. Holding Gele’s hand I bravely crossed the humble bridge using small side steps. There was no way Mitre could make it, so her grandson had to give her a piggie back. I soooo wanted to take a picture, but I decided to let Mitre keep her dignity.
Night had fallen by the time we reached our tea house for the night and I had checked into the Bollywood room. After huddling around the wood fire stove in the kitchen, trying to keep warm and another plate of daal bhaat, I crashed for the night with John Abraham.