Jane Wilson-Howarth

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No-one is here

Wednesday, 14 November 2018
By the time we’d walked down into Ghar Gumba at 3920m on the fifth day it was beginning to feel a lot like lunchtime. The village was busy with folks who’d arrived to pray in the ancient gompa and socialise and celebrate the Desain holidays. There wasn’t a glass of tea on offer for love nor money so we slipped off our shoes and joined those making offerings to Buddha and meandered on.
It was with some relief to realise that the next village, Marang, boasted a shop but although we were welcomed inside the grandmother within declared, ‘No-one is here.’
Ram Kumar was undaunted and set about cooking up some noodles while a small boys stared at the strange visitors who had settled down and taken over the kitchen.
Then, suitably refreshed we trudged on down. At one point, Ram Kumar realised that I was struggling a bit as my worn out knees were quite sore and offered to carry my pack. This had almost nothing in it so I declined but then said, ‘You could carry me though!’
I’d joked with the wrong man; he told us that early on in his trekking career he had indeed brought a foreigner down from the high ridge at Ghorapani. She was a lanky 17-year-old Dutch girl who was so much taller than Ram Kumar that her legs dragged along the ground as he carried her suspended from a band across his head.
We over-nighted in Tsirang aka Chirang at 3560m then from there (on day 6 of 10) needed to descend a horrible stony gulley which really had me dreaming of being carried. The walking became easier though as we reached the Kali Gandaki (river) again. Even so it was a relief to reach Dhee (at 3390m) where it proved easy to hire a horse for me so we could explore a little locally before heading on to the magnificent walled capital of Mustang, Lo Mantang.
 
 'No-one is here.'
 
 Ram Kumar - noodle chef
 
 Om mani padme hum - the Buddhist mantra - and fallow fields of late October
 
 The arid scenery of Mustang is relieved by the trees that grow wherever people have settled and nurtured them; photo by Simon Howarth
 
 Clear skies of the high cold desert - here looking into Tibet; photo by Simon Howarth
 
 Lo Mantang choughs and crows

This is the third of three quickly drafted blogs about a trip in late October into Upper Mustang. The others are Beyond the Himalayan Watershed and Bleeding mountains
Posted: 14/11/2018 04:16:49 by cmsadmin | with 0 comments
Filed under: Chirang, Chough, Dhee, LoMantang, Mustang, Nepal, Tsirang, Upper Mustang