It’s always sad when a trek comes to an end. Our bodies have become used to the trail and are feeling fit – except for sore knees. We are in tune with the rhythm of our nomadic life. Now a different reality awaits.
Our porters sit down to eat at their table while we’re still finishing up our breakfast. This is a rare occurrence. Usually they wait until we are done then enjoy a peaceful meal to themselves without our clamorous demands for more tea, hot milk, another coffee, hot water, a spoon, a knife, is there jam?
Jim – instigator that he is – decides we should serve them the way they usually serve us. So the two of us go over to their table and start asking them what else they need. At first they have no idea what’s going on and try to jump up to attend to our needs. But we convince them to stay seated and they get into the mood by asking us for teas. We go into the kitchen where there is some surprise but the staff quickly understands what we are doing and they too enter into the fun. We serve our porters and remove their plates. They are a bit dumbfounded and amused but accepting none the less.
Doug and Joanne walk a bit slower than the rest of us so this morning they set off early so we will all end the trek together.
On our way down a seemingly endless flight of 2000 some odd stone steps – Nepali steep – we come to a tea house on a terrace. I’m not sure how it starts but soon Tendi and Jim are dancing a Nepali dance and the owner turns up the music volume. The rest of us sit and kibitz, egging them on.
Not long after we descend to the road, and our trek is done.
We have a van meet us and take us back to Pokhara. Once there Tendi takes us all for a Nepali lunch. We had planned to take Tendi, Lakpa and crew but that was not to be. We eat in a small delightful hole in the wall local place and enjoy delicious dhal bhat with our fingers. Food tastes so good when scooped up in ones fingers!
We then sing a song Jim has written for the crew to the tune of This Land…. we do a pretty terrible job of Jim’s wonderful song but the thought is pure and the guys seem to like it. Then distribution of tips for jobs well done and all expectations exceeded. We all developed excellent rapport with our porters and this of course adds to the joy of a trek.
We saw so many overladen porters struggle along the trails bent double under two large duffle bags – one porter per two trekkers. An obscene and unacceptable abuse. Our porters each carried one back pack. We hired one porter per person. Our guys walked with us, they sang as they walked, we shared laughter and learned about each other. They served us with grace and generosity and we treated them with respect.
We spent the afternoon checking out the shops, then went to a new and excellent restaurant for dinner. We ate pizza. I know – odd. The manager is Italian – it was really good pizza and the Italian wine was divine.
Yesterday was a day off. We wandered and shopped. I somehow found myself with yet another down jacket…Nepali North Face. $35.00. Irresistible. I’m a hopeless case.
Today is the day for sisters to honour brothers. The last day of a five day national festival. I honoured Tendi by wishing him long life and health draping a monk blessed a Khata around his neck and giving him a set of chimes. He’s given me a lovely jade and silver bracelet. Oh my.
At noon we will leave by van for Lumbini, Buddha’s birthplace.
Will try to send more pictures but internet remains inadequate for numbers of people on line.
Cheers from Didi on a lovely warm sunny morning in Pokhara.