Langtang Trek

Langtang Trek

Place: Nepal
Time: 11.2011
Activity: Lodge Trekking
Inside: Story & Pictures

DAY 1 - driving to Syabrubesi (November 11th, 2011)

I'll have may legs shortened, don't worry!
Not that the seats are too close to each other.
I'll have my legs shortened, so sure!
It's me being too tall, don't bother.
I'll have my legs shortened, just a matter of time!
Man, so clear, even if insurance will not cover.

Being of western body size causes pain in Nepal. This is for sure. The lack of seat comfort is one story, however, what will kill you is the seat pitching of local buses. A backpackers heaven is an only partially filled bus, a free neighbor seat, room to stretch the legs. Too often however every single seat is occupied, too often four people share two seats, too often the aisle is completely filled up with incredibly indifferent people. In worst case they bear the horror untouched – however, not seldom, they fight back with a big smile on their face. The aura these people spread will relief you from the pain in your knees - for a second. I love traveling!

My bus ride to Shuyaphru today is one of these adventures. A bus station in Kathmandu builds the hub to remote Langtang. The place is busy and triggers pick pocketer alarm in my experienced backpacker brain. It sets me to a “be aware” state,  not serious enough not to share my local guides relaxedness on the other hand. Finally our bus arrives. An Englishman, taller then me, tries to squeeze himself onto a seat. A complicated operation. He is experienced, is aware of the suffering of the next hours. Gestures and language speak clearly: he hates bus rides in Nepal. His local guide is sensitive enough to recognize the guests discomfort, politely he apologies. “Don't worry, no problem!” responds the poor Gringo. Ironic, bitter and still with some humor he continues: “Right after my return I have an operation scheduled: I'll have my legs shortened to be prepared for next time Nepal.”

Sometimes I dream of being a knight -
I'd park my horse in front of the pubs and kill all TVs inside with my sword!
Tonight I dream to be the king of this beautiful heritage -
I'd ban the stupid tomato sauce they serve with the delicious dishes, just for the tourists!
And, as I am dreaming of having power -
I'd ban the fiddling fiddle sellers on the streets of this beautiful country, they're so nerve killing!

Digging machines along the road work hard to fight the destruction of Nepals mighty monsoon rains. It is the never ending game of the infant with the adult: I drop and you pick up. No matter how hard people work to free the connection, a single monsoon day spills all away. The game starts from the beginning every rainy season.

We are heading towards Tibet. We will recognize that today - by the culture of the village that is our destination and by the fact, that three cascading control stations have to be passed. The border to the national park finally has to be overstepped on foot. The bus filled up during the ride, now even its roof is crowded with locals. Finally I am happy to stretch my legs again in Shyaphra. Two Euros a night is enough for a basic accommodation. A not really hot hot-shower is available across the street. MoMo is severed in a vegetarian version for dinner. As usually the ravioli style filled pasta tastes delicious, however for us gringos it is served with a bunch of western sauces. I am ashamed of the stupid influence we have on this proud culture. I hate ketch up!

A citizen of this country walks by. Living in Kathmandu he now travels with fifty for the first time to the mountains. “It's so beautiful, it's sooo beautiful!” he shouts out, heavily breathing. Obviously he is not so well trained. Meanwhile my local guide educates me about his opinions and believes. I learn about exile Tibetans living here, about the Hindu casts, about India, claiming to be a democracy and being more aggressive on Nepal than the other Goliath in the north. “With china” he says, “Nepal get's along better”. He has a strong believe in the fact, that Nepal needs to have nuclear weapons. “In India they teach in school that Buddha was born in India” he continuous with a harsh tone: “Also they tell their children that Mt. Everest and Kanch stand on Indian ground. Meanwhile India works on this plan: Every night the shift the boarder into Nepal.” Since decades a fight is going on in the Himalaya range between the countries, ever since the border line in the mountains has not been sharp, definitely however, it shifts to the east over time.