From Rishikes an adventurous journey to Nepal. All went well up to and accross the border and than we go a but with some probelems with the breaks. The driver was careful and several times we stoped to repair. Finally late night we stopped completely and couldn't go furter due to the curfue. We had to sleep on the cold bus, for some it was getting a bit too adventurous... Next morrning we left early but got stuck again and no repair seemed to be possible any time soon. Fortunately we had Malati with us, she is a great mechanic and arranged seats on a bus passing by! Finally we were on our way, and after the customary fight about how much to pay we reached safely taking 18 hours instead of the 8 hours scheduled. I think we all recovered.
|Yoga on the trail||Adventurous bridges|
After a few days in Pokara, where we arranged all the things for our trek, we were on our way. Where the bus stopped for lunch break we had a Yoga break, few of the local kids also joined in.
Slowly climbing up, through subtropical, area with oranges and lemons to the cooler areas with pine trees. Big birds of prey overhead, very hard to catch with the camera.
|Making dried apples|
Here we walk on the glaciated valey. Lots of stones, rivulets and dust storms. The air here is pure and crisp. In Marpa there are many apple and apricot orchards and many are cut and dried. Very delicious in the breakfast poridge or as snack.
|Great Yogini in deep meditation||Old adobe houses, some 4 stories high!|
The area becomes slowly dryer and more barren, also the culture and architecture is predominantly Tibettan. The last part of the trek, from Jomson to Muktinath is the toughest, I think, the air is getting thinner and climbing becomes much more of an effort. Night time it freezes but day time it's very plesant.
|Jarkot almost the highest point of our trek|
In Muktinath there is a temple with an eternal flame. It has eluded me on the last four visits and I had started to wonder if there was indeed such flame. Finally this time we found it in a corner of the temple complex. There is natural gas escaping from the cracks in the rocks which burns with a pale blue flame. The temple is build around it. They say if a sinner comes near it flares up.
After Muktinath we walked back down to Jomson which has a small airport. We took a fight back to Pokara and I was fortunate to sit in the right place and saw in the 20 minute flight the whole route we had walked in 7 days. Some times you wonder... all that energy to walk up for days just to fly down again. No, the beauty and the fun of walking right there in the Himalayas is well worth it.
|Boatride on the Ganges||Keeping the buffaloes clean|
From Nepal back to India. First Varanassi where we visited the training centre and went boating on the Ganges. From there we went to Ananda Nagar where we visited Uma Nivas the Didis run project where Maya was going to study and I could see what was left of the Dome build last year... And the happy surprice was that it was in very good condition, and a bit more plastering had been done. I had been concerned what would happen during the Monsoon and no proper cover.
|Last years dome still not quite finished but in good condition||Pink Lotus|
We also got chance to visit the Fosil hill, where millions of years ago the dinosours used to go when they felt their time had come to die. The whole hill is full of petrified bones, very interesting.
|A beduine teenager:-)||Petrified bone on the fosil hill in Ananda Nagar|
That's it for the tour:-) In the mean time I had chance to visit one dome project in Puri where one of the other Calearth apprentices was building but more on that and the Dome health centre to be constructed in Thailand in next issue.