As you are all aware the world has been in various stages of quarantine or lockdown for several months. WARM cancelled its walk on 14th March and the rest of the season has gradually been written off.
This month I am going back to 2011 in Nepal where Chris, my husband and I did a brief trip after 10 weeks in India. We started in very polluted Kathmandu and headed to the Kathmandu Valley to a place called Dhulikel for some fresh air. We stayed in a lovely guest house called Snow View and our host was called Arjun. Our breakfast was served on a roof terrace with the Himalayas in the distance.
We did some walking on our own, including 100 steps up to the beautiful Kali temple. Our host organised a local guide, Iso, for a one day walk and we went in a taxi to Nagarkot. We started the walk at 6,500 feet and the views were stunning. To give you a better idea, that is twice the height of Scafell or one and a half times Ben Nevis. We had deliberately driven to the top to mostly walk downhill for about 12k.
Iso was a very gentle and humble guy; he was about 25 and hadn’t gone to school because of the troubles in Nepal. He worked two jobs to fund his studies to be a guide and was incredibly proud of the fact that his 5 year old son was in school and learning to read and write, funded by his work as a guide. His house had no running water and he ran up and down about 80 steps several times every day to keep his family supplied with water.
It proved to be fabulous walking with wildly different scenery, beautiful terracing, fields of rice and lots of women working in the fields and carrying amazing loads. The weather at the start had been cool and misty, but as we descended it got warmer and about 12.30pm we stopped for lunch peering down at the next section. The descent was down a very uneven staircase so you were unable to get a rhythm and you had to constantly watch your feet. I was terrified of falling and the temperatures continued to rise. I was exhausted at the bottom, partly due to the tension created by the amount of concentration needed. The uphill was challenging in a different way and by the time I got to the top I was completely shattered and had blistered feet. I could go no further!!
Iso rang his mate who came with a battered old motorbike and I had the hairiest of trips back down to Dhulikhel, mainly over rough track. It sometimes felt like we were riding down a set of stairs! I was never more grateful for a cup of Nepali tea when I got back.
Back to Murcia and the new season hopefully will start in September. We send details of the next walk to our WARM mailing list, normally about a fortnight ahead. If you are interested in joining us on a walk and want to be on our mailing list then please contact Norma on Warm2005@gmail.com