A chronicle of Alison and Ron's trip around the world in 2009-2010.

"Not all those who wander are lost"
- Tolkien

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Little bit down, little bit up

We reached Sinuwa, after the grueling descent to the river and back up again, we were nearly parallel to Chomrong across a deep ravine, which made me wonder why they just put in a zipline between the two villages? Both Ron and I would be dreading the return trip for days to come. We are quite the pair. I hate up, he hates down and this segment has a little piece of hell for both of us. Luckily we were fresh from the rest day and our legs felt good and strong.

Beyond Chomrong we started to follow the deep forested gorge of the Modi Khola river. The forests were lush with pine, fern and bamboo thickets. As we walked past little villages, I saw a chicken projected out of thatched hut, arching through the air, feathers a-flying. Kicked by a girl talking on her cellphone. These are the contrasts of modernity and village life that strike you.

Now that we are in the special Annapurna conservation zone, wood fires and bottled water are no longer permitted and lodges are limited both in size and number to keep the area as pristine as possible.

We stopped in Bamboo for lunch and had the best Dal Bhat of the trip. Dal Baht is the ubiquitous meal in Nepal, sold for pennies to the porters but for a couple dollars to us. Consisting of lentils, rice, padadam, and some sort of assorted potato and vegetables, it is hearty and you always are offered free seconds. Its definitely the most economical meal. The only thing to watch out for is what we termed, “Dal Butt” or the ensuing gassiness after consuming too much Dal Bhat.

An hour further through rolling hills through the forest, we stopped in Dovan (2340m) around 1pm, we were extremely lucky to get a room at one of the three teahouses. So lucky, in fact, that an hour later they were putting people up in the dining room and two hours later they had to turn people away. It was sad to see some trekkers coming through exhausted after hiking all day, told they had to go another hour up or down the mountain and hope to get a room. We made it a point to get early starts from then on, so we always got a bed.

We savored our favorite dinnertime drink of warm lemon tea and khakuri rum. The tea was so good and lemony, it was like hot lemonade. Later, we found it wasn’t really hot tea or real lemon after-all but a sweet lemon concentrate. In any case, it was warming and delicious. We tore into a pack of Snickers bars to find them turned unnaturally white from sitting on a dusty shelf for what must have been ages. Rule #4 for travel - read the expiration dates. I can assure you after a 6 hour hike, even 3 years past guaranteed freshness, a Snickers is still pure heaven. Just close your eyes.


ziv December 31, 2009 at 7:14 PM  

Glad to see that you keep writing. It's really excited to read about that unbelievably beautiful region. I can't wait for your next posts. Take care and best regards from Israel. Yoav

emiko December 31, 2009 at 10:54 PM  
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