Sunday, 10 February 2013

Day 1: Syabrubesi 1400m to Thulo Syabru, 2310m

Straight into the trekking zone: a bucket 'shower' and a chappathi and omelette breakfast to the divine scent of burning juniper, a daily offering to Buddha. Ah! Bring it on! easy day's walk to slip into trekking. NOT. A vertical kilometer climb - perhaps 2-3km as the Nepali crow flies - to Thulo Syabru.

Tom chatted all the way and Rosie bounced along, but suffered asthma for the first time since we left Australia. A mix of exercise and the dry air brought it on.
Having Sandesh along was a blessing - we were all on our best behaviour, no whinging or dummy spitting :-) We learned some Nepali along the way. It was a truly delightful first day.
We passed the first of what would be many hydro-powered prayer wheels.

The walk delivered increasingly dramatic views of Ganesh Himal (Paldor, Ganesh I) behind us

...and Langtang Valley in front of us.

After spotting a red deer, we downed our packs at the Buddha Guest House which offered staggering views front and back.
Everyone in the village was getting ready for Tibetan New Year (Lhosar). We would learn that this was celebrated on many different dates and in different ways by each village we passed through. Consistently, new pole-style prayer flags are raised, yak butter decorates heads and flag poles and Lhosar bread is prepared and eaten.

As the trek progressed the Lhosar bread would vary from good to inedible - but we always felt obliged to eat it when offered!

Here's a link to the sound of Lhosar flag raising chants.
And the views from our guest house - this time toward Gosainkund and Laurebina La.

Shane and Helen have fond memories of Thulo Syabru from our last visit there in 2000. It hadn't changed much, and delivered in spades! We set out to find the lodge we stayed at previously, and found Galpo and Kamtu Dawa now running just a shop. Over a cup of tea we learned that the shift of the trail head from Dhunche to Syabrubesi had brought a downturn in trekkers staying at the top of town, and they were no longer able to keep their guest house open. As they would take no money for the tea, and because of their misfortune - and because they are just lovely people - we purchased a Tibetan singing bowl from their shop. Something else to carry...
The interaction brought tears to Helen's eyes. Galpo asked Rosie to be certain to visit them when she returned as an adult.

Buddha Guest House was wonderful. Being the absolute low season perhaps only one or two groups of trekkers are about on any one day, so the hosts make time to engage. We settled into their kitchen and watched life Nepali-style.

The owner has been learning to play his guitar-olin (??) for just one month. Can you tell??

Shane, Helen, Rosie and Tom

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