Archive for July, 2010

Plans change

July 2, 2010

I wake up at 5:53 am, seven minutes before the alarm on my phone is set to wake me. The sky looks clear and for a few seconds I believe that Nandu and Chamu will accompany me to Hiramani glacier, which I’m excited about since it’s not on the map of Kumaon. After those few seconds pass, I remember the deep feeling that these guys are all talk and despite the nice feeling I had from sharing utta with the goatherd, I am looking forward to leaving these guys to be on my own. The scenery somehow is more magnificent when there is no one telling me how magnificent the scenery is.

‘The jeep is coming,’ Chamu says. I’m not ready to leave. I could either wait on more hour for another jeep or walk from Leti to Sama, the latter having both economic and health benefits. After walking for some time I spot a jeep turning around in a small village which I mistake for Sama. He picks me up and w argue that he will take me to Kalek for Rs. 30 after he initially asks for Rs. 150. He drops me at Sama and says it will cost me Rs. 200 fo him to take me to Kalek, 3 km away where I can catch the trail to Sikar Mandir (temple), another 6km walk up a mountain. I pay him for cheating me and walk from Sama to Kalek where I have omelette, chapatis and chai while I learn a few more Hindi words.

This pilgrimage is an arduous task. My pack is weighing me down and I’m continually sweating. Something has to go to make this pack lighter.

resting on the way to Sikar


The trek up to Sikar is beautiful, but I’m not in shape yet, so I cannot fully enjoy it unless I enjoy the pain little and think about how much more endurance and strength I’m building with each heave towards the summit.

Sikar Mandir entrance


Tige, tige, they keep telling me. Besides the babji, there are four other men at the Mandir. I see them pouring a new concrete ground and I wonder how long they work there and how often and who pays them for their work, but I don’t know the words in Hindi that I need to ask these questions. I also would like to spend more time with baba, but he doesn’t seem interested in this foreigner. He just wants me to relax.

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Waiting in Leti

July 1, 2010

I’m staying with Cahmu Singh Korungla and his mother in Leti. The area is called Napani. Last night he is sure to make plans for us to go to Sikar in the morning and return by evening. He repeats his plans over and over again adding that we’ll go to a nearby mountain the day after to get a view of the Himalayas. After repeating his plan so many times he asks, ‘Should we go to the nearby mountain tomorrow and Sikar the next tomorrow?’ ‘I’m OK with either plan,’ I tell him. ‘We’ll go to the mountain in the morning, then Sikar the next tomorrow, then Pindari glacier the next tomorrow.’

After a nice long sleep in my new warm sleeping bag, Chamu tells me his new plans of going to the mountain view in the afternoon and going to Mringthuni glacier instead of Pindari glacier because Pindari glacier is closed. This is the first I’ve heard of Pindari being closed and I don’t think I believe him.

my host and his goatherd brother

So far there’s been a lot of talk, but I will wait patiently to see if he knows the area as well as he says he does. All of a sudden he tells me that he may have to leave for Haldwani tomorrow and stay for a few days. Of course everything happens all-of-a-sudden, it’s expectation that cause perceptions of time to become insufficient.

So many plans being made. I’m enjoying his hospitality, but it seems silly to keep making such general itineraries. I’ll wait and see.

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Please help me promote my new organization which is raising funds to build toilets in Nepal. Click on the Facebook link below and click here: Charpi Development Organization

Charpi Development Organization