AC: Kagbeni – Tukuche | Dec. 25, 2015

What a day! I hiked river beds, almost lost my guide, did some big apple shopping, hiked a lot, had a beautiful detour and big fight,  was very happy to have a friend with me, almost got lost with my guide, had to send my guide home.

We start from Kagbeni (2810m) early at 7am to avoid the wind – Mirke, my guide and me. Hiking through the empty river bed, we reach Ekle Bhatti quickly and continue to Jhomson. Jhomson is the first point reached by jeeps, busses and also by plane and hence is a bigger town. We don’t want to stay and don’t feel like making the short detour to the Checkpoint so my guide is going, promising to catch up on us. We will have to walk uphill again and he is much faster than me. I enjoy chatting with Mirke, the view, but after a while I start getting worried as my guide Prakash is still not catching up. I realize after a while I am much more worried about my sleeping bag, as walking with Prakash started being a bit difficult. I hate having to check my guidebook as I cannot trust him and there is not much to talk about with him.

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Hiking in the riverbed
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First sunrays

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Johmson
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“My” village! (I am often called Tini by my friends)

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Finally we reach the famous apple town of Marpha, we miss a newer first bridge and take the second one, having to walk up again into the city. It’s lunchtime and we find a nice restaurant where we can sit at the window, heated by the sun. After 15minutes, the guides bursts into the restaurant and starts shouting at us… apparently he had to wait a long time and then couldn’t catch up. He thought we continued without stopping in Marpha as we didn’t take the first bridge and had to ask around and run back to find us. I let him calm down and take his time, while I walked with Mirke around beautiful Marpha. Buying dried apples, apple juice, fresh apples, apple jam and dried apricots. So yummi!

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Marpha
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Monastery in Marpha

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Monastery

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Marpha
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Apple shopping

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After the lunch break, Prakash, Mirke and I continue the hike. At the intersection to Chamang, I stop, thinking I read something about a nice detour. Prakash at first tells us no, we have to continue and cannot go up. We insist and after I check again my guidebook, Prakash resigns and says “ok we can go” and that he “doesn’t like”. It’s quite an effort to climb again a few hundred meters of altitude – but the sight at the top is totaly worth it and I am very happy having insisted. And then I start being angry and ask my guide, if it shouldn’t be his job to tell me about such nice detours. Upon which he explosed, shouting at me angrily for 10minutes about me not being a nice client, not asking any questions, always looking into my guidebook and not letting him be the guide, that he will loose his job…. I let him finish his childish speech before telling him my viewpoint and only after having been disappointed several times I had start to check on the way. We don’t speak anylonger and I am so happy to have Mirke with me!

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Chimang
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Chimang

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Last sunrays

Coming closer to Tukuche, he misses the right trail and we somehow get lost, then we need to cross the river and he cannot find his way. Finally, it’s already getting dark, we are getting closer to Tukuche. Prakash explodes again after Mirke asks him some simple questions. That’s when I decide that I have had enough, I cannot let a guide which I am paying impact my holiday in such a bad way. I tell him that now we seperate, give him the money he needs to go back to Kathmandu and even have to pay him one more day because I only paid him for 14 days, and he will be reaching Kathmandu only in 3 more days, hence a total of 15. He is just too young with his 24 years and probably never has walked so long days and so many detours as he has with me 🙂

In the meantime, Mirke found us a beautiful Dutch guesthouse, the Dutch Bakery. It’s such a relief to have a friend with me, to have a real shower with hot water and sit at a real fire. We are having a feast, pumpkin soup, homemade spinach noodles, pancakes and an apple brandy! The owner, a Dutch guy who lives here already for 16 years with his Nepali wife, tells us about his life in Nepal and I couldn’t be happier to close the day with such a perfect evening despite everything that happened in between.

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A fire, a friend and great food!
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