There is very slow wifi here (Namche) so a quick message from the intrepid, not lost, but off schedule trekker.
As usual, the plan has been loose and ever changing. One of the joys of travelling here is the spontaneous nature of things.
We had a lovely visit to Tendi’s village Khamding. Wai Ling’s gifts to the medical clinic were well received. Karin’s my and Wai Ling’s contribution to the school’s teachers loan fund went down well too. Ethan and Emma – Rupert and Wai Ling’s kids – were also able to give every child at the school either a tooth brush or pencil. They enjoyed the giving as much as the kids enjoyed the interaction from young people. The ceremony that ensued was a couple of short speeches and some local dancing by some of the older kids. Of course there was a veritable drowning in Khatas. As there were the five of us from Canada plus Tendi and Lhamu there were ample necks to go round so we each were slightly less over whelmed than the time Karin and I were there. Also merigolds aren’t in season so the garlands were fewer and made from red rhododendron blooms.
We introduced an invention of a local Courtenay man – George’s Uni Trekker. The theory is that it is supposed to replace carrying loads on one’s back. It will have a useful application for women and older or very young people in villages but needs a bit of work before it is scookum enough to meet the demands.
Tendi and I squeezed in a special visit with his parents, but our time was pretty busy with our “official” engagements. Tendi and Dawa (who was guiding Wai Ling and family) took us up to an ancient cave above the village. It was inhabited by a Lama about three generations ago. Not much remains of the Lama’s past habitation but it was a beautiful hike. Magnolia trees are in bloom as well as the rhododendrons. The young wheat is bright green. The pastures are filled with purple, yellow and blue wild flowers – the day sunny and warm. The distant mountains clear and glistening white! A perfect start to a trek.
It was a lovely return to Khamding. And amazingly we got there in just one day. There were some adventures on the way. Black market fuel caused a couple of fuel line blockages in remote places. There was a minor accident up the road from us which held up traffic for a while – but it was otherwise an uneventful trip in a pretty battered jeep!
I’m in Namche at the moment. May stay here again tomorrow. If I do, I’ll try to catch you up a little on my adventures to date. There have been a couple of very challenging days. The earthquake has left some parts of the trail in abysmal condition so the going has been difficult some of the time. There is a lot of reconstruction going on. There are people still living in tents. This little nation was brought to its knees 11 months ago, but it is rising up – smiling, strong and determined.
Will try to post this and see what happens.