Mice, mountains and leech karma… (I)

Back at the beginning of October I went on a trek to the Annapurna region with four other VSO volunteers (Akke Antje, Debbie, Gwyneth & Lorraine), one guide (Amman) and one porter (Vishnu). I’d done part of the same trek in reverse a couple of months earlier when Rob, Ben & Joanne (my son & his cousins) had come out to Nepal. It proved to be a physically tough nine days, but we did this because we wanted to , and not because we had to. Now read on…

A jeep ride from Pokhara takes us to Nayapul, one of the starting points for the Annapurna Circuit trek. The place is full of trekkers, decanting from a variety of different vehicles….a far cry from when R, J & B were here, and we had the circuit pretty much to ourselves.

Birithanti...not just a one horse town. John Callaway 2011

Birithanti...not just a one horse town. John Callaway 2011

Nayapul to Dhamli (1715 m above sea level)

A cunning ploy! The first ¾ of an hour or so breaks us in gently, following the river  to Birithanti before heading up to Dhamli. This is the bit I’ve done in reverse previously, and its vaguely familiar, but this time without the mist…and most disappointingly no sign of the dahi seller we met last time.

Dahi seller. John Callaway 2011

Dahi seller. John Callaway 2011

So far so uneventful, although the night proves to be a little less restful than I’d hoped. No sooner have I turned off the lights, the patter of tiny feet begins. It takes a little while to realise that they are actually in my room and the next few hours introduces me to a couple of simple parlour games to while away the hours of darkness.

  • Guess how long before the mice appear on your bed. A simple enough game, with points scored for accuracy. The mice score extra points if they can scale the bed post without the assistance of the bed cover which you’ve left carelessly trailing on the floor.
  • Guess which corner of the room the mice are going to run to next. Extra points scored if you can predict correctly with the light off, but in truth a game which really needs a light on if the mice are not going to have an unfair advantage.
  • There is an unexpected bonus too, in that the experience does enable me to identify a few gaps in my Nepali language…although I suspect that there’s only a limited use for ‘why don’t you just f*** off now as I’m trying to sleep’.

A less than peaceful night does at least ensure that I’m up at the crack of dawn to see the first of what will be number of stunning sunrises….

The leech story will have to wait ’til next time…and who knows, the photos might be in colour!

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2 responses to “Mice, mountains and leech karma… (I)

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