I stare at a steep uphill dirt path on the edge of the mountain, pushing myself up on the balls of my feet. “Erm so Raju is the next 5 days up like this…” “yes yes flat like this.” We laugh, “so this is flat?” “Yes, flat.” “No this is steep.” This shortly became a known as a Nepali flat. Essentially any part of the trek that didn’t have steps, our guide Raju, considered flat, just as anything without snow on it was a hill, to the rest of us definitely a mountain!
Salt crystals dry on my face, as the cold wind blows over my face. The next few days would be spend up and down stairs and many a ‘Nepali flat’ ascending through ranging landscapes. Dry forest, crumbled stone with towering evergreens, ragged exposed rock walls, marked by the stream of a waterfall during monsoon. Following gushing steams, cold blues, frothing white water crashing over the greys and light browns of the rocks. The water washing calm oasis through the valley.
A few hours later opening up to vast valleys, feeling tiny as you stare into the deeps vs, formed of luscious green. Feeling the force of how beautiful nature upon you- why have we destroyed so much of this elsewhere! As you turn the bend, you see the distant spotted houses of a village, delicately positioned like monopoly houses on the edge of a mountain. As near closer you pass the fields that these people live off, staggered along the steep face of the mountain; rice fields, vegetable patches.
Trekking through these lands you grow a deep appreciation for the way of life for the people who live here. There are no roads so anything you consume in the mountain is grown here, or it has to be brought up. The first day of trek very much feeling like mary and Jospeh, walking with my stick in hand looking for a place to stay with my herd of donkeys. Having spent 3 hours walking up a zig zaged stoned staircase, as a bunch of donkeys carried heavy loads of gas, stones for building and food supplies from one village to the next in front of me. Just as the next day we walked the entire day with an old lady with a cardboard box which contained a chicken strapped to her head. She would walk for 2 days to deliver the chicken for sale to a guesthouse to cook with, earning just £15 for the chicken at the end of journey. Despite the number of tourist walking through here, life is still very simple, they have their families, they depend on each other and take only what the need something more of us can learn from I think.