Thursday, 21 February 2013

Trek Days 11 & 12: Timure to Thuman 2340m, via Lingling 1600m

Happy to avoid more road walking, Shane organized for a local workman to drive us up for a look at the Tibetan border, then back down the road to the Lingling bridge for the 'zigzag path of exhaustion' - Sandesh advised the shortcut was 'good', better than going via Dalphedi.
At the border we surreptitiously took some photos. There was the remains of fortifications from a war with China from 60 years ago.

And obscenely large underutilised buildings on the Chinese side.

And, strangely enough, no security folk to be seen.
We started the walk over a long suspension bridge.

Rosie led the way, Tom relaying her decisions to climb, rest etc with a pine signaling device.

Every now and again we would look down in disbelief of our climb.

The reward was a magnificent mani wall. A mani wall has stones inscribed with Om mani padme om; some people say that a stone is added as somebody dies.

We found one stone where people sharpen their knives hoping for a lucky hunt.

We were excited to find a family room in the Buddha Guest House - previously we have been one parent one child in each of two rooms - not ideal (Rosie doesn't like to sleep without a parent in the room).

Thuman was the most exceptionally intact village so far, it felt like stepping back 600 years. Every house was almost identical: cows or other livestock downstairs, two-roomed house upstairs accessed by a steep timber ladder, a single decoratively carved window frame, a stone slab roof.

Up at the 1000 year old Gompa, a ceremony - of course - was at full throttle. This one, from 9am to 5pm, celebrated the release of the spirits of the villagers who had died in the previous year. In the front room the women joined to chant Om mani padme om incessantly (and unrecognisably!).

When Shane and I went in on our own, we were of some interest; when the kids came with us later, they ALL stopped mid chant to look, smile, laugh, stare and respond warmly to the kids' "namaste".
Inside, the lamas played music (horns, conch, big and small drums, cymbals) and recited prayers.

When they took a break for dhal bhat, they were happy to chat with us, making us very welcome. We were all transfixed.
Enchanted, we spent a rest day in Thuman.

We played catch with the local kids and organized a pony to come up to Nagthali with us tomorrow to make the ascent to 3150m as easy as possible for Rosie.
Shane, Helen, Rosie and Tom

Location:Boudha Main Road,,Nepal

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