January 15, 2018

Nepal day 5 – Namobuddah

Filed under: Trips — pearsey @ 9:24 am
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As I awoke this morning in Balthali, something was missing… not much, just a little ray of sunshine. Our view was rather limited by fog, the village a short distance away and visible yesterday through the clouds was nowhere to be seen. As we ate breakfast, the fog showed no signs of lifting, the sun was still nowhere to be seen and the rain started falling. Despite that, it wasn’t freezing cold, but it was cool enough for longer pants and a jumper.

A questionable plant at the resort - that grows in the area!

A questionable plant at the resort – that grows in the area!

When we left our accommodation in Balthali to go on a little 3-6hr hike, it was also still raining, although only light rain, but enough to start out with wet weather gear. We weren’t entirely sure how long it would take, but we pretty much had all day, so it was more likely to take 6 or longer. I think our guide was playing it safe with us and letting us know that we had plenty of time and could therefore take our time doing the hike. It turned out that way and we had plenty of time to rest (which you needed at this altitude) and enjoy the view.

Wet weather gear!

Wet weather gear!

We started out easily enough, down the hill, through the potato crops, down a bit more to a swing bridge. The swing bridge crossed a shallow rocky river, the noise of the fast flowing water over the rocks making the river sound immensely impressive. Of course when you go down, you have to go up. As we climbed higher, the view got more impressive, until again, it became obscured by fog.
We walked, or ambled, along, taking our time up those hills (or mountains to those of us from Aus).

Fog and rain clearing

Fog and rain clearing

As we got closer to the monastery where we were going to have lunch, there were a few ladies digging in the paddock. They stopped and had a little chat to us; they were weeding and digging the ground over to get it ready for the next crop. They did invite us to join them, I think they would’ve loved that, but we had a lunch appointment! I guess you would get used to working at that altitude, but walking was hard going for those of us from Australia…

The ladies digging near the monastery

The ladies digging near the monastery

Surprisingly there was meat available for lunch at the monastery and the meals were quite cheap. The Namobuddah monastery is a training place, where they train the young boys in buddhism and to become monks. They live on site, away from their families and most are sponsored to be there. The actual training room, or shrine hall, had about 200 desks and was easily the most oppressive place I’ve been in for a long long time.

The temple training room

The temple training room

The next part of the walk to our resort accommodation for the night was relatively easy compared to the morning. Along the way though, we saw a group of Tibetians, dressed in national costume and singing and dancing. They were on a pilgrimage tour and were at the local shrine to give their offerings.

An observer

An observer

Our resort for the night was Namobuddah Resort. From the resort, you were meant to have great views of the himalayas. We could see plenty of fog… The accommodation here was quaint, kind of like cottages you’d find in Europe in the snow areas. You had to duck your head to get through the doorways and the ceilings in general were fairly low, although you could walk normally no worries. We sat on low seats with a low table in the dining hall, I was short enough for my knees to go under the table, but most weren’t! My room was like a chalet, with an upstairs and downstairs. It had an indoor toilet, but a separate private toilet and shower room. We were welcomed with the room heaters turned on, which gives you an indication of how cool it is here (they stayed on all night).

At Namobuddah Resort

At Namobuddah Resort


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