Bhojpur and beyond…a small odyssey (Part IV)

The ‘routine’ is well established by now, and despite being awake at 5.30, the world is already turning! I’m still struck by the stark contrast between the beauty of this place, and the reality of existence  for everyone here. There is no road of any description into the village at present, with the ‘main highway’ being little more than a slightly wider than average footpath. Markets are some distance away and although there are one or two small shops selling ‘basics’ like soap, toothpaste and the almost ubiquitous noodles, (a good standby when you want to eat cheaply…if not particularly nutritionallly), its the land that determines diet. Rice is beginning to be harvested and dried and the millet will be ripening within a couple of months. I know I’ve said somewhere else that much of what is eaten in Banepa is determined by the seasonality of crops…but its even more apparent here, where, dal bhat tarkari remains the staple diet.

Himalayas. John Callaway 2010

Himalayas. John Callaway 2010

Todays agenda is a walk to the school where Bhupal teaches. Unfortunately for me the school is closed for dasain, but there is a volleyball tournament going on, in a very similar vein to the football tournament I mentioned earlier. The walk throws up another first for me…my first view of the Himalayas since arriving in Nepal. Hitherto surrounded by mist and fog,quite a special moment. I’ll take better photographs than this, but above is my first sighting…awesome!

Volleyball. John Callaway 2010

Volleyball. John Callaway 2010

And before its even started, (or so it seems), its time for the return journey to Bhojpur airport. The following morning sees us setting off at around 6 am. I still haven’t got used to the fact that Nepalis can get up and travel miles on a virtually empty stomach. A small bowl of chura (beaten rice) with warm milk, washed down by tea and we are off. The return journey is, as you’d expect pretty much identical, although we do return by way of the recent landslide, which shaves a good hour off our traveling time. I’m not entirely comfortable though crossing the site which looks (and feels) pretty loose to me, and there is still a good deal of running water…

Sherpa woman. John Callaway 2010

Sherpa woman. John Callaway 2010

The plan is to reach the Sunwar household where we ate on the way, but not before two stops to take raksi on the way. The idea of a ‘small glass’ doesn’t carry much currency around here, particularly with such hospitable people, although its a good way of distracting from the four hours of ‘up’ that are ahead of us. (Alcohol certainly is a major feature around here, as there are still a couple more opportunities ahead of us…) The Sunwar food is, as expected very tasty, as of course is the raksi!! But today also brings a reminder of something a lot more basic…there is no toilet, so it’s off to the woods with a bucket of water. Here are some sobering, and related facts about Nepal.

Not a 'Daily Mail' in sight...

Not a 'Daily Mail' in sight... John Callaway 2010

Thats about it really….more raksi….an overnight stay at another sherpa lodge, which has an interesting line in internal decor…and here I am back in Banepa. I do however plan to return…

Bhojpur Airport.Departure lounge... John Callaway 2010

Bhojpur Airport.Departure lounge... John Callaway 2010

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3 responses to “Bhojpur and beyond…a small odyssey (Part IV)

  • Lesley Callaway

    Am liking the colour in the pictures! Hope I get as good a view of the Himalayas (I know thats not the right spelling!) xxxx (It is now I’ve changed it!! xxxxx

  • johnnyc1959

    I think you got better views!! xxx

  • jos kew

    Hi John you will be amazed to know that i am actually typing this myself, Mitch having set me up my own laptop. What an amazing time you are having. Loving your blog the pictures are fantastic, and to think Lesley has been with you these last to weeks is fantastic. Have just spoken to Rob who tells me she is due to land at 10pm tonight can’t wait to speak to her. lots of love jos xx

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