Saturday, 12 May 2007

Week 10-14 - Jomson Treck, Karnali Rafting and Bardia

Arrive in Pokarah, fealing sh*te from the previous night, its 2pm, I have a 7am flight the next day to start my treck, my brain is not functioning, I have too much to do. Arrive at my rafting agency at 6pm, they send me into a panic, I have no trecking permit, walking shoes or guide. They convince me to get a guide, only $US10 a day and sort me out to pick up a permit at 6am the next day before my flight. Its 6pm, I still need boots, pack a small bag for the treck and I need to change my flight to Bangkok which departs while I am on my treck. I decide to get my Mum to sort the flight for me, I can't function enough to make a phone call. I have 5 hours sleep, then get up at 4am to pack my bag.

Day 1 - Jomson Village to Kagbeni
Turns out to be my loneliest day since being away. We head to the nearest village, after one hour I have blisters and by bag hurts from my rucksack, I start to sing Lemonheads 'I lied about being the outdoor type' to myself. Arrive at 11am at a quiet town where I will spend the rest of the day, wonder around, then head to hotel. There is a squabling english family and a group of French girls, the girls seem the best option, my 'bonjour' hangs in the air like an unwanted fart so I sit alone, drink masala tea and go to bed at 2pm. I sleep right through to the morning and get a lovely 15 hours in bed.

Day 2 - Kagbeni - Muktinath
I feal much better the next day, the french girls are more friendly and the english family have stopped squabling. The days walk is fantastic. My guide takes me to a guest house where I am the only guest, there is a lively young place up the road but I have no money to get a beer. I adjust to my solitary life, for entertainment I sit on a wall and watch an old lady throw stones at some escaped chickens. I ring my mum, she can't change the flight for me, I'm screwed. I have little cash and the phone calls on the treck cost a bomb. People say there are no cash points on the treck, but maybe there is one when we loop back to Jomson. I have 2 plans. I estimate the phone call will take 20 minutes, which means if I sleep rough under the stars and only eat one plate of boiled rice a day and drink boiled water I will be OK to carry on with the walk. The rain doesn't figure in this plan. The other plan is to fly back to Pokaraha, abort the walk and make my phone call. I like the thought of option one and surving real basic, it will be a test.

Day 3 Muktinath - Martha via Lubrah and Jomson
My favourite days walking on the trip, 7 hours total. It is a side route not manny people take to the Tibeten settlement, Lubrah. My guide says these settlements existed for ages before the Nepelease goverment found them. I enjoy the walk and try forget about the flight till I get to Jomson.

I get to Jomson, the sight of the ATM is the best thing I have seen on my entire trip, better than any temple. Things will be OK! I can make my phone call, drink beer and eat well.

When I saw some wheat crops swaying and swirling round a group of apple tree's, I instantly thought of Van Gough's paintings. It was better than seeing the ATM! My next town I stay at is real social, the rest of the treck becomes a lot more fun after the initial bad start.

Day 3 - 9 - The Rest of The Treck
The rest of the treck consists of about 7 hour days of walking but is incredibly fun, at times we hike up for ages only to walk back down the other side, makes the previous days efforst feal undone.

The lead donkeys wear this big tasstle thing. The naughty donkeys that veer off track are at the back where they seem to get constantly whacked.

My mountain pictures turned out a bit naff, they were beutifull.

My base for walking and rafting trips, my guest house was fantastic, CBB MoMo. The owner took me fishing and played ping pong with me. Hung out with an english chap who took my bus from Kathmandu. My days basically consisted of: brakefast, walk/fish/cycle, read, lunch, siesta, read, ping pong, beer, dinner, beer, pool and then sleep to repeat the next day! Nice and relaxing. Feal a bit guilty when I hang in the chill out places, feal I should be out experiencing things.

Hindu wending in Pokaraha.

I wait for the rafting team in a town called Mugling and chat to an Old Gurka, the nicest person I have met in Nepal. He wears a Never Ending Peace And Love (NEPAL) t-shirt. The bus rolls up, it reminds me of the Scooby Doo bus, 8 young Nepelease kids fall out of the bus, that must be the team! There is also and Aussi, Scott and a Canadian, Kynan. As dusk falls, 2 of the nepealease lads sing and it starts to feal like Cliff Richards summer holiday bus, I start to get excited like a school kid going on an excursion. When night approach's the plastic shiva god at the front of the bus automatically flashes and insense sticks are burnt and 2 of the lads start to pray. I am a little confused but then figure it is to protect us on the roads at night as they are extrememely dangerous.

Half the dyas are spent chilling on secluded beaches, just as good as the rafting.

My, Scotts and Kynans tent. It feals like Ray Mears, I absoultly love it, we also catch a fish.

Buy chickens from a local village and strap 'em to the boat. Sorry vegetarians.

It is surprising that something so chilled and perfect for tourists is so void of tourists. Good for us but the hotel owners desperately need people. Most likely due to Moaist activity in the area and Lonely Planet doesn't do it any justice by sugesting that it is a ghost town. The town life and people within the park is a great attraction in itself. Everyone is happy and peacefull, the village tour we did of the Nehru villages highlighted this.

Me and Kynan go on a Tiger Safari on foot! We only had large sticks as protection and one guide. We enter the national park and I am extremely scared but excited, I ask our guide if I should hit the tiger with my stick if it starts attacking him, he says, 'yes, please try!' My heart races, we head to a likely spot and wait, I soon calm down when I realise that the tigers are located across a river. We head to a large high up platform, on the way we walk through a mob of monkeys, one makes a noise that I thought was a tiger, which scared me massively, I ran to the guide for protection and realised my error as he laughed at me! When I arrive at the high platform I suddenly feal realy sleepy from all the previous fear, my legs are pretty weak after that and I just want to sleep, a few other people laugh at me for being so sleepy and mellow!

The baby orphan elephant that wanted to play. He was a strong bugger! He got washed down the river away from his parents.

I spend a lot of time cycling round the park on a bicycle and chat to a lot of the local people. I chat to a hotel owner who has had no customers for 10 days, he blames the army base oposite his hotel, would rather it be on the outskirts where it would provide more protection to the park and the tigers that get poached. I chat to an owner of a restaurant, he says he only has one daughter and no son, so his daughter does the work of both a son and a daughter!

On departing Bardia, me and Kynan ride the bus on the roof, good fun although I feal I may get decapitated by the low telephone cables, some are proped higher with long bamboo poles, I duck to make sure I keep my head! In the evening we head inside the bus, the back of the bus makes me feal sick due to the bad suspension, so I try to sleep on a buffet in the isle, but it cuts my circulation and I keep jumping up with cramp. A kid on the bus rabbits on at me as I try to sleep, everytime I tell strangers that I am 27 and single, they think I am some sort of Huge Hefner, he asks me if it is true that love is free in england! wtf! On a more serious note, the bus seams to double up as an ambulance. There is an incredably sick lady at the front of the bus, she ends up coming near to Pokaraha to a hospital, after spending around 15 hours on that bus. There is also a malnurished baby to my left which is very upsetting, I'm not sure what hospital the baby went to, if at all.


Check out and the 2006 photos, see if you can spot me dressed as Hunter S Thompson. Gonna miss the festivals. It takes me bloody ages to do this blog, so leave a comment so I know people are reading it.



Snake said...

I accepted your picture request.

woodster said...

Great video mate I loved it. Pissed up laughing so hard. I'm in Galway, Ireland at the moment it's awesome here been partying a lot. The weather is bloody freezing and rainy though so I'm not used to that yet. Keep in touch mate.

Tyas said...

oooooo, he likes you

woodster said...

G'day old son,
Yeah my camera is still buggered but I went to Jessops when I was in England and tried a battery and it clicked everything back into place. Last week I ordered a new battery over ebay so once I get it hopefully this week I can have the old girl up and running again. Love your pics mate. If you want to party with the local girls instead of the tourists and lady boys in bangkok go to RCA club. It will cost you a good 100 Baht or so in a cab but well worth it. It's very nice and swanky inside and free entry. Also you must go to patpong and check out a ping pong show!! If a tuk tuk drivers says he's taking you to patpong and drops you off at this place in a dark street for a ping pong show it's the wrong place and he gets commission. Patpong is off Silom Road and it's got heaps of markets and go-go bars everywhere you can't miss it.
Keep it touch my friend.
Love your pics,

birdsall said...

Very funny with the baby elephant
Enjoy Bangock
All the best Malcolm

Snake said...

I want to see pictures of the French girls.

hdavidjohn11 said...

Reading & enjoying all blogs: keep up the good work.
Baby Dumbo & you together was a real classic: situation comedy at its best!. Hope you have some more footage on video.
All the best. David.

Ursula said...

hey Charlie, i love it! i just love it - its perfect! so funny. i liked your van gough pic too - can't think of what painting it is but can totally see what you mean. take care of yourself xx

Ursula said...

btw, definition of cute = charlie hobson getting harrassed by a baby elephant. *cute!*

Ben Hextall said...

Fear not dude those hours spent writting the blog are not in vain, I'm reading it!

Sounds like your living!

Maddog said...

Great stuff mate. Emily and I are extremely jealous of your trip. You Nepal trip brings back some great memories of northern pakistan and bus rides with chickens. Chappel and I are heading to truck in a few weeks and it will be a shame to be there without you! but I'm sure you've got other things to do! Good luck and keep up the blog, its a great read.
Dog and Emily