After a hateful night sleep that entailed more nauseous sweating than sleep I’m up into a new day and feeling definitely worse for wear, a rolling stomach has me in no shape for walking. Pisang isn’t an inspiring town with no electricity and therefore no contact leaving us cold, uncomfortable and isolated. We need to move down the hill to less chilly places and internet but I can barely muster the energy to walk to the dining room. Chame is the goal for today and the only way I will have a good chance of getting there is without carrying my pack, the weight would tip me over the edge of a walk I’m nervous about making even without it. With a little negotiation with the guys at the guesthouse they offer to ride our bags down on the back of a motorbike for a reasonable fee; problem solved but I have now committed to making it to Chame with no option of faltering short.
So we abandon Pisang for the town of Chame which has far greater hopes of the services we need. Walking is a challenge but without the pack we make slow but steady progress to Daikur Pokhari about an hour down the road and roughly a third of the way. The road is a ghost town, we’ve seen one bold jeep on the road in place of the scores of other days, not a single walker has passed us and most of the buildings we pass seem closed for business. The effects of the quake are further reaching than we often think of, this tourism dependant area has had it’s livelihood slashed in the rumbling of the earth in the second busiest time of the year for these people that need the income. Small groups of people sit outdoors huddling around radios listening for news with concerned faces and pensive postures granting more credence to a crackling voice from a radio than anyone wants to give.
The walk down the hill has taken on a vastly different complexion to the walk up, gone is the anticipation, the buzz of hikers, people sharing photos and warm happy hosts. In place of all the atmosphere that encompasses these towns we find no hosts asking us in for lunch, no cheerful ‘namaste’ greeting and no sense of appreciation for this amazing part of the world. We came up the track in one of the worlds most uplifting and inspiring places but we come back to the same sights yet the balloon is deflated, saggy and wholly unrecognisable. The pace is slow on account of my illness but still we push inspired by need rather than desire; we need to get out of here, we’re not wanting to be here.
Just after Daikur Pokhari we pass through a massive overhang, hundreds of metres of rock lie above us and there’s no other way, we have to go through. With small cliffs opposite the river tumbling down stone and sand in a never ending dribble of debris we’re reminded of our vulnerability at the worst possible time. Indeed the next hours walking is under massive cliffs, about 300m of rock rises up from our road nearly vertically as I muster as much willpower as I can. Our host passes us on his bike and after a quick chat he carries on to drop off our bags at the designated guesthouse.
This walk is just a little too long for me, I’m flagging badly but need to carry on, every few hundred metres calls for a sit down to rest below cliffs of stone and debris in a world that can rumble at any moment. We can’t stop but I can’t go any faster our constant dilemma. Our host is now coming the other way, Charlie pays him and chats while I sit bent over on the road vomiting last nights dinner, this is not my prettiest moment. There’s not long to go with Chame surely close and although not making it isn’t a danger this is by far the toughest day walking so far. It turns out that our host had taken the time to book in our room, carry our bags upstairs and brought our key back to us in what is now a typical Nepali display of care and sincerity. In the face of his nation suffering such destruction there’s always a space for someone in need it seems. With so many variants of culture in Nepal the mountainous region here is the very typical buddhist culture influenced from Tibet that a western mind imagines, the wise principles of buddhism don’t seem to be lip service at all.
The death toll is now up over 4100 and rising, the disaster keeps getting worse and worse. We’re in a relatively unaffected part of the country in statistical terms but it’s far from unaffected, we see a photo of a temple that we were on top of just a week ago that is now in rubble thankful that we’re this far away, we could so easily be two of the 4100. In a comfortable place in a town that has a small hospital and a military chopper we’re recovering tomorrow on a much needed rest day for me. Collapsing onto a bed sick and in desperate need of a shower I won’t have I can’t help think of the sad situation we’re in. Our blog is called ‘BitJealous’ in attempt at cheeky fun at those at home but right now when it comes to us or indeed anybody in Nepal there’s no one jealous, nothing to be jealous about at all.
I cannot even imagine what you have been through or more to the point, what lies ahead. I now know these blogs are a week behind real time. Keep safe. Prayers are being said everywhere for the people of Nepal. A small donation to the fund for Nepal is what i do. :).
You will probably be out of Nepal by the time you get this.
Uncle Stan and Sandra
Thanks but really we’ve been amazingly lucky. For this entire year we’ve been just one or maybe two days ahead on the blog, after Africa we had a backlog of posts and of course we have an earthquake that gives it away!!! We expected no wifi on the hike so thought ha I got a few in advance would be good…Anyway, yes Nepal is smashed, his country relies on tourism so much and it’s just so quiet, it’s really sad on that front even without thinking of the deaths that just keep rising in number.
We’re in Kathmandu now for our one night before we fly out to a bit of relief. Being in the mountains was a bit shitty but we keep saying to ourselves how lucky we are, there was essentially no major damage where we were. It’s only now coming back into Kathmandu at we have seen it all, buildings are down absolutely everywhere, it’s horrid.
We did however have a very restorative time in pokhara. It’s a more modern city with no discernible damage. It’s cleaner, less chaotic and we more or less forgot about the quake.
I just checked the blog and no that was not a good day, it’s al upward from here 🙂 although Junie doesn’t seem to get the forward scheduling of blog posts…. Bless her. We’re starting to do a couple of posts a day so we’ll be back in line soon.
Thanks, love getting the messages. Xx
The blog mentioning the earthquake was on Monday, earthquake was 9 days prior. That is why i thought they were so far behind us. We are confused. Lol. You have not reached Kathmandu yet??
Have to tell you about phone call from June yesterday.
She rings up crying after reading blog of you going back down. You were unwell and she was very concerned and upset. She settled after i explained that if the blog about earthquake was Monday, odds were you were well over sickness. Then she says ” he did say he had been unwell before”. :). Had a chuckle then.
Hung up phone happy. Gotta love the woman. Safe travels
Omg. Just got the rest of your msg. The part that says u r in Kathmandu. Gee, we are behind the times here in Qld. Hahahahah. Your msg came in twice. Only read to where you said deaths keep rising. Just got the whole lot and now i know you will be flying out. Ahh technology. I love it. Lol. :).
too funny, and can you please calm junie down, I’ve emailed her pretty much every day but she’s not getting the timeline thing!!!!
Lol. She is getting there. Rang me again this morning. She will be ok the minute she knows you and Charlie are out of Nepal. Will you be able to facetime with her. Or skype?? I think she she needs to see you.
Looking forward to the adventure continuing. Take care
Uncle Stan says to send his love
yeah I guess, so, I’ll write her another email now.
Funny you ask, I’ve asked her to set up skype but tht’s still happening i think, she’s awesome with technology as you know, I think Any is coming over at some stage to get it sorted.
Only an hour or so to go now and we’re in the airport bound for China. Safe to say Nepal has been quite a wild ride and although it’s been amazing, it’s not quite the flavour of amazing we thought.
Thanks again for the messages, it’s always great to see your messages pop up 🙂 Now that we’re back i the real world properly we’re scheduling two posts a day so we’ll be back in time again soon.