(Click on any picture to enlarge)
The second phase of our Nepal trip involved trekking from Pokhara up almost two thousand feet to the village of Dhampus where we stayed at the very comfortable Basanta Lodge. We flew from Kathmandu to Pokhara and since there was a three day strike going on in this country due to an altercation
between homeless and police we walked from the airport to our OAT office, luggage dragging behind. Since we were all going to trek anyway, this was just the beginning of this adventure.
We arrived at the office, received our instructions and guide and took a bus to our starting point for the uphill trek.
Uphill it was. We climbed stone stairs for three hours before reaching our lodge but it was a humbling experience to watch these women tote all luggage in this manner
and they were always well ahead of our group. It was a bit of a hazy day but the terraced hillsides were beautiful in their symmetry. We did stop at several points along the way to enjoy the view
and check our heart rates. We finally reached our lodge and all of us did breath a sigh of relief.
This was our trekking point for the next three days. The staff were all wonderful serving us breakfast in the garden at this long table
which overlooks the Annapurna Range and the 'Fishtail' peak or Macchapuchare. The gardens were lovely at the lodge.
Marigolds were still blooming and potted plants
were scattered about.
Annapurna South on the left and Fishtail or Macchapuchare on the right
The mornings were cool and some days cloudy. We were rewarded on this morning with the sunrise shining on the mountains.
Tea was also served here in the afternoon along with conversation with our fellow trekkers. The evening comes quickly to the mountains and the lodge welcomed us for cocktails
and more discussion led by our OAT group leader, Amit below on the right.
The days were filled with morning treks with lunch along the way. We did have to make way for goats on occasion.
We would return to our lodge in the afternoon to enjoy the views and speak with the local people. The stonework is beautiful in the mountains.
There are walls and paths and steps everywhere.
These steps were built right into the wall and serve to restrict access keeping the animals in the fields. The paths are worn smooth in many places from use. This set of stairs and the courtyard below
are a perfect complement
to the views beyond.
Small towns are colorful
and vegetable gardens are visible everywhere.
We had fresh greens to eat at just about every meal with spinach, mustard and cauliflower growing in abundance. Millet is a popular crop
and the stalks are fed to the livestock while the seed is cleaned and culled for daily meals. One of the best features of any trip has to be meeting the local people and the children. It is a privilege to be able to experience a small part of daily life. This picture is of our porters sitting on the lawn at the Basanta lodge.
This woman's caress of her child has a sweet gentleness which is evident.
These children were scampering around the mountain. This man is showing us the Nepali version of a raincoat.
Lightweight and effective. He had invited us into his impeccably clean home. The dishes and plates were shining in the dim light.
The ceilings are quite low and there is an upstairs which contains baskets of rice and millet
while corn is stored in the rafters. A row of enviable copper pots
lined the shelfs on the first floor.
This child is enjoying watching our group pass by his balcony. We left the Basanta Lodge early in the morning to hike back to the base and continue on to visit Pokhara for a couple of days. Our group posed in front of the mountains for the last time. This place is one not to be missed.