|The river is in the shadow of the mountains|
All packed again, the small room looks bigger and tidy. I eat my chapati with honey aegerly sipping my hot mint tea but I'm still cold when we start walking toward the bridge, just outside Syabrubesi. It's early in the morning and the small shops selling food, clothes and trekking gears are just opening. The river is in the shadow of the high mountains we are going to climb, green and white, still wrapped in desire like a gift.
On my schedule I read: "We hit the Langtang-Gosainkunda trail, and our destination of the day is the Lama Hotel dwelling beyond the Langtang Khola. It would take about 6 hours as we hike our way through Doman (1685m), and then across the Landslide Lodge (1810m), past the Bamboo and then across the suspension bridge over Langtang Khola, which opens up to Rimche (2400m) and then finally to Lama Hotel (2470m)." The path immediately rises and after few steps I have to stop and to take off my jaket. Up we go chattering like old friends, amongh thick forests of oak, rhododendron and bamboos. "What's that?", "They are beehives. Huge ones." I know because of the film "The last honey hunter"... but it's amazing to see it in real! imagine climbing there by bamboo ladders and ropes to collect the honey...! OMG. No words.
In a tea house by the way we meet an Italian couple with their guide and a porter, at night we will meet again in Lama Hotel, almost the only trekkers in these off season days.
I'm happy because I'm walking well, on a good pace and steadily. We stop for lunch in Bamboo - dhal bhat of course! - and Jaya finds me a wooden stick to replace my trekking poles, that I forgot. A woman is weaving at a traditional loom. I ask permission to take a picture and she's happy to show me how it works.
"Look there!" he says pointing at the forest, "There! a monkey!". Rather big, a furry white head and a long tail, the monkey is sitting on the brunch of a tree. "There! another one!" Jaya starts making a sound and the monkey replies. We can't avoid to laugh: how funny! and we hurry up toward Lama Hotel.
This is a large guests house, very confortable and well furnished. I eat some of the best momos ever. The owners are Buddhist as the name suggests, like the most of the Langtang valley inhabitants, and in the dinning room there is a kind of altar hosting a big picture of the Dalai Lama.
Another picture, smaller, featuring a young man, is placed just below, incense and candels are devoutly burning while the mistress loudly repeats her prayers. The young man is her elder son, died during the 2015 earthtraque, when a huge landslide wiped out the Langtang village, burying about 200 persons under meters of mud and rocks.
The story is told by a little girl from Nuwarkot. She's here working to help her family, a very poor one. The Italian couple is visibly shocked listening to this series of dramas, including too early marriages, numbers of children and stillborn babies, but the little girl says: "It's ok, I'm always happy, always smiling". That's Nepal.
The night is cold. I think: "Yeah, that's Nepal, but Nepal is moving forward.". Still, it isn't easy to fall asleep...
TO BE CONTINUED
|Can you spot the monkey?|