Bhojpur and beyond…a small odyssey (Part II)

Some ancient misty morning indeed… (Jackie Leven if you’re interested…)

Some ancient misty morning. John Callaway 2010

Some ancient misty morning. John Callaway 2010

Another full day of walking ahead…misty and chill in the air…and setting off fortified only by a mug of sweet tea…I still haven’t quite mastered the Nepali timetable for eating!! The mountains are all around us, but it’s difficult to see much further than the end of your nose at times.

Its quite humbling to listen to Bhupal point out a place where he was once caught in the crossfire between the Nepali Army and the Maoists. Its hard to imagine in the peace and quiet of the early morning that the comprehensive peace agreement was only signed in 2006 and that this part of Nepal, however beautiful, was once scarred by war, and many lives were lost here.

More small settlements, (mostly Sherpa) are passed before we stop for tea. It’s a bit too early for the raksi being offered, but the hot sweet tea does the trick and we press on to what appears to be the highest point of our journey, beyond which everything else is (more or less) downhill… Stopping once again, at Chitragupta, this time for something to eat, and a small reminder, (if one were needed), of the distances that people have to walk in the more remote areas of Nepal:- the high school ahead of us covering an extremely large catchment area. (A little further on Bhupal points out a building on some far off hillslope…a college where he did much of his earlier studying to become a teacher…just two and a half days walk from his village…).

'Local' high school. John Callaway 2010

'Local' high school. John Callaway 2010

Some four hours of walking later we arrive at the house of a Sunwar family, one of the indigenous castes of Nepal and eat. I’m the first non Nepali to have visited and there’s an evident pleasure that I’m enjoying the food…and again its a reminder of the reality of living here. No electricity, no toilet, a single water tap outside… to mention but a few things. All things that the majority of us in the West take for granted…Home cooking. John Callaway 2010

Home cooking. John Callaway 2010

And so to the final stretch of the journey…another 3 hours walk to Bhupal’s village. Just to add a little more interest to the journey, a landslide in front of our eyes means we have to take a further detour. Half an hour earlier and we would have been on the path that was  disappearing before us. More ‘everyday’ life in Nepal…

…to be continued…

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