Monday, 29 June 2009


Jumbesi - Thubten Choling

After three days of walk, we arrived at a village called Jumbesi. We had the incredible luck to arrive the day of the begining of the Buddha Purnima, the festivities celebrating the anniversary of the Buddha Shakyamuni, which logically, happen only once a year, and following the obscure Tibetan lunar calendar. Jumbesi is an elegant small village in between green mountains, and it's an interesting halt to do, given all the monastaries that surround it. Looking closely at the well maintained and attractive aspect of the place, it probably receives a lot of outsiders.

When we'd finished exploring the little village, we joined the procession of people who came out of the temple, holding portraits of the Buddha. After a short walk through the hamlet, we ended up at the local monastery, where they left the effigies, and where the population gathered inside. They offered us tea and cookies, and Yves who stayed there longer than me was offered lunch, me, I went out to take a look at the surroundings. Later on, we met again, and decided to go to another monastery, named Thubten Choling which lays further, and is surrounded by an entire village of Buddhist students, who live there to graduate in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.

Jumbesi - Buda Purnima

We were only three days from Jiri, but Yves didn't want to continue, he was arguing that he had enough, that he had walked more than a week, with the so-called guide paying drinks to everybody, he wanted to go back. To me, it meant to go on with other travellers or to come back with him. The initial idea of the trek that we'd agreed between ourselves, was not to get to Mount Everest but to get the closest possible to have the best possible view of the so named black pyramide. But from Jumbesi, we had no view at all, at least of the Everest. Yves was tired and didn't want to go on.

There was a group of Danish goddesses in our inn, with guides, porters, and gear, a real expedition, in which were only missing the litters, and slaves who would carry them up the mountains.I didn't feel like joining the group, and I was improvising for quite a while, that is travelling with no route, no map, following tides and winds, I decided to go back with him. The period allowed by my visa was also running short. Even though, three days one way added to three days the other, plus the day off, that maked one week in the Nepalese Solo Khumbu. That was enough to taste the local delicacies and other dishes, I would have continued of free will. In an other incarnation probably.

On the way, we've met two Frenchmen who were coming back from the Everest base camp, they were in a terrible state. They told me that Garcia, the Portuguese alpinist who already had done one climb to the summit of the mountain, was in the region for a second atempt. Later, I came to know that the climbing had been successful, we almost met. Garcia had lost one of his companion during the first ascencion. A citizen of Belgian nationality.

I couldn't stop myself from staring at my fellow mate who was doing the trek with me, also of Belgian nationality. What a weird coindidence... Nothing happened to us. We arrived at Jiri, and went on to Katmandhu. We had got a discount from a taxidriver who had brought another alpinism goddess and his guide. Some people are really ready to pay any price to live extraordinary adventures, and agencies who feed that hunger. Well ... We'd chosen the version without guides and travel agencies. It also has its price, but much more freedom of choice and of decision.

I saw a green lizard one meter and a half long cross the road, it almost caused an accident. We had left the highest mountains, and its snow peaks, and went back to the jungle, lowest in altitude, of Katmandhu's regions. The landscapes are always mind-blowing, whatever the altitude.

As the events came to prove it in 2007, 2008, the several regions that I crossed were full of communist graffities, all throughout the country, mainly villages walls painted with communist icons. That was intriguing me at the time, but I came to understand it better when the Maoist made the world news talk about them. As it seems they've abandoned the government with which they'd formed a coalition, not being able bring down the absolute monarchy which reigns for several centuries in Nepal.I don't think that stability will come back so soon to the highest country of the world, both factions are guilty of abuses and crimes that will not resolve, in any possible way the extreme poverty that rules Nepal.

Solo Khumbu - Thado Khola

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