A long day walking the way down. It was sunny and even too hot, but the tops of the mountains were hidden by thick white clouds. Up there it was snowing, the rain couldn't be too far from us.
Down we went, crossing villages and terraced fields, rope bridges and more steep stairs. We stopped in Jhimuwa to have a bath in the famous hot springs: three pools of naturally hot water just by the river, where water is definitely cold.
To get there we had to pay a ticket and to descend in the forest by a lot of stone stairs. Our porters remained in the village, Ram Bir went ahead... and Lalit came with me, in spite the ticket man didn't look persuaded he could.
Those two hadn't got a swimsuit: Ram Bir just got in the pool fully dressed, Lalit in his underpants. As far as me, I had put my bikini on that morning... but I had forgotten my slip in the bag. No need to say we had fun anyway.
The problem was the weather: it was changing fast, getting windy, clouldy and... the rain was coming. I was the first one to leave - wearing my trekking trousers with no underwear because of course my swimsuit was wet. I had just the time to find a shelter under a big rock and it started raining. I waited a little but it was getting worse, so I put on my raincoat and attacked the climb.
When I arrived to the village, first and alone, our porters greeted me warmly, like you do with friends. We shared some chocolate and I had a mint tea, while waiting for the others who had decided to stay until the rain stops.
Fortunately the weather improved after lunch. We still had a long way to go! More villages, more fields and more bridges, a last dramatic series of stairs. More Nepali songs by Lalit, who remained in the backguard with me until our destination, the big village of Landruk.
It was big indead, almost a little town. But it was totally shut down! At dusk we climbed to the top of the hill, among closed lodges and deserted houses. Ram Bir had come to meet us and to indicate the way. Finally we reached a big beautiful hotel... not provided with electricity, because it was closed. They agreed to have us, even prepared a good dinner on the spot - for 30 people, don't forget! - but cound't offer us any hot shower, and we had to eat in the candle light.
As far as me, I had a cold shower, dropped my stuff in a room and went straight downstairs. Our porters were all gathered in the dark around a big stove, as it was humid and rather cold. I sat there, looking for the well known faces in the poor light of a candle put on the floor, listening to the lovely sound of the Nepali language, that I couldn't understand but I had got used to. I was feeling sad, and a little sick. My throat was sore, I was very cold.
Meanwhile in the small kitchen two bossy Nepali women were directing a few Italian volunteers. My fearless mates prepared momo, lentils and rice for Dal Bhat and other typical Nepali dishes, with a lot of laughing and shrill reproaches.
.....MORE TO COME....