20th October - We set off at 8.00 AM full of cornbread, tea and hope. Up, up and up through a very deep gorge with a raging river in the bottom. It was very busy on the trail with lots of people coming down possibly an increase in the usual volume as the Thorung La Pass was still closed. We were joined by numerous loaded donkey trains going both up and down. We spent a lot of time waiting for these donkey trains to pass, side stepping Germans who were being German, and French who were being elegant and chatted to everyone else. One of the donkey trains coming down appeared to have youngsters running free. When asked the man in charge said they were not babies they were ‘makee learn’. We and donkeys had to walk through several biggish waterfalls that ran over the trail and down the gorge side. It was a hard start to what proved to be a long hard day. At the top we met a group of adults from Hereford and Worcester, also a group of girls from Hereford Cathedral School. From here it was a short hike down into the village where much needed food was eaten.
The guides and porters had their usual meal of daal bhaat. They eat this at least twice a day. It consists of steamed rice and a cooked lentil soup called daal.
During the afternoon we passed a woman who epitomised the modern Nepalese. Her work style was traditional whilst a fully paid up member of the technological age.
21st October - Today we observed more Nepalese at work. They are a resourceful people using what they have to sustain their daily lives.
There were men splitting and weaving bamboo into the baskets used as chicken coops, water bottle holders and to carry goods on their backs.
A resourceful worker
Man splitting and weaving bamboo
Later we passed two women carrying huge loads on their backs using these baskets.
We passed a saw pit where tree trunks are sawn into planks by hand using a method that has not changed in thousands of years.
There were people carrying various loads on their backs. One man was carrying planks, another collecting and loading stones from the river bed onto a wooden frame which he then carried back to the road building site.
People were taking advantage of the sunshine and drying beans, sweetcorn, fungi and apples.
Eventually we reached Chame.
Women carrying baskets on their heads
A traditional saw pit
Workers carrying loads on their backs
Loading stones from the river bed onto a wooden frame