The weather was really nice and we were happy that it was. In a few days, if the forecast is right we may be getting some rain. We started out the day with a nice breakfast at the lodge. We slept okay but there was this strange noise around midnight on the roof of our bedroom. The tea house is really rustic and inside our room were tarts plastered on the walls. That is where the noise came from. It’s some kind of animal, maybe a big rat that ran around the out side of the tarf – it was crazy. Finally, it stopped and we were able to get back to sleep. We still don’t know what it was and it’s best not to ask about what it was. I really don’t think I want to know. As long as it didn’t come into our beds and stayed out of the room!
The tea house in Ngadi is very rustic as I mentioned. The toilets and showers were outside. There were two of each. There is hot water available for showers but we didn’t take any. I thought I brought my camping towel but it looks like it’s somewhere back home in a drawer, sigh. Fortunately, Doug was smart to remember his so we shared a tiny towel when we showered at the tea houses after the first day. The toilets are squatting toilets and I don’t mind as long as it’s clean. This particular tea house is kinda clean and I can tolerate it. I didn’t ask Doug but it seems like he is okay with it since he didn’t mention anything about the toilets. One thing about Doug I learned, is that if brings up something then I know it’s really bad or really good. The food was fantastic and the wife chef was kind to make use breakfast a bit earlier than we requested. Normally, we order our food, write it down and let the tea house know when we want the meals. We got up earlier than we thought so it was nice to have some coffee early!
Doug had his usual porridge and I had two chapatis. We both added our own peanut butter to it. Doug carried peanut butter and instant coffee – that’s how we love that stuff! I also ordered two boiled eggs , ate one and packed the other. The table where we ate our meals at this tea house were outdoors and it’s quite nice to get a view of the river as well as the nice cool breeze. We both were watching a little boy named Bijal. He must be the son of the owner of the tea house and he looked like he was around 12 yrs old. Bijal’s job was to be the bus boy and dishwasher as well, helping his mom carry water to the kitchen. He is always smiling when ever he comes to ask us if we were done eating so he can take away our plates. He would then go to the faucet and start washing the dishes. The water is super cold coming from the creek. Not sure how he tolerates such cold water. That morning at breakfast, we saw him up and smiling as usual then washed his face. He carried a bucket of water to the kitchen then started doing some dishes again. Such an industrious kid!
We have to take the road for a bit and we would also have to pass the construction of the dam. A bit unappealing and boring but eventually the views gets better. The first town we passed was Bahundanda right where a suspension bridge is to cross the road. We were met by a drunk old man and started talking to us in slurry Nepalese words. Doug was getting really stressed as we sat at a table by a store to take a break. Doug told me that he didn’t want to stay too long as it was a bit too much for him. We both used the bathroom filled with flies then headed off passing the many lodges then back to the main road again.
We continued on going up and down the road then reached a nice little village called Ghermu Phant. There’s a lot of nice places to stay here and it’s right by the waterfall. We stopped at the restaurant and lodge right by the waterfall and had some lunch. It’s a good thing we had lunch because what lies ahead was a long and arduous trek!
We started our trek on a path right behind the restaurant. It is an alternative NATT route or trekkers route to avoid the roads and marked by red and white lines painted on rocks. We went through some beautiful rice paddies and farm land. We then hit a big steep climb as it was getting hot. We climbed and climbed following the red and white paint on the rocks from the NATT route so we knew we were going the right way. It kept going up and up and up. We were climbing up to the ridge of the mountain! Steep! We saw the direction the route is going and we were getting worried. We followed the sign until it started to go on a trail with overgrown bushes. Doug went ahead and mowed through some bushes while I waited. I yelled and yelled at him a few minutes later to come back because I had a bad feeling that is not the right way anymore. In my mind, right after seeing a local up above us right where a large black pipeline was waving at us not to go down where we were headed. Doug finally came back and I told him that the signs may be pointing down to the trail we were in but it didn’t look right. I told him about the local I saw and we needed to get up to where he was, which was a very steep face that required some scrambling. Doug took the bushy face of the mountain and I took the rockier face thinking it was easier. I was so wrong! He was able to get up first and I was scared shit scrambling up some rocky and loosed dirt. I was really concerned that a rock may pull out of the ground if I put weight on it, luckily that did not happen. Doug was trying to make me feel better by telling me “you are almost there” and “you are doing good.” I had to claw my fingers down the dirt on some sections to get grip on the loose soil while sweat was all over my glasses. Luckily, there were enough rocks for me to scrambling up on and grab on. Thankfully, we took rock climbing classes because I needed those skills that day. Finally, the last part of it was going through a section of bush and I muscled through it pretty hard to make it up. Doug’s scrambling was tough, too and it was through some thick bushes and he was caught in plants that gave him splinters. Well, we made it through okay and gave each other a hug as another local man with firewood on his back was watching us with a smile on his face then moved on.
Now what? We continued to follow the water pipe that was being built in and saw a few workers right where a waterfall was. We weren’t sure if we were suppose to follow the creek down or cross the creek. Luckily, the men were kind enough to tell us where Jagat was and it was up that hill. It sure felt like climbing a pass, we were getting so tired. We climbed to another ridge then finally the trail we took met up with the NATT route. We were so happy to see that white and red paint on the rock once again. We are now back on track!
We followed the contour of about 3 or 4 sections of the mountains then finally, we saw the trail up ahead but it’s now leading to a large landslide section of the mountain. Doug was concerned that he can’t see how we will cross that landslide. I told him to stop worrying about what’s to come and just follow the route. We finally were able to see a tiny trail that led to the landslide section and lucky for us, an old man with a pile of bushes on his back wearing his thongs were going the same way. We followed him and I just cannot believe how he can go so fast with slippers through those scary parts. I was scared shit and Doug was just behind me. It was slippery loose rocks and a drop on the left side. It took some time but eventually we got out of that before another steep climb out to the top then we finally was able to see a village. It’s the village where the old man lives and he turned around telling us where to go by pointing his fingers downhill. We descended this steep face from the village down to a plateau then another steep staircase descent down to the river crossing the suspension bridge then another steep climb to Jagat. We were getting so tired after over 6 hours of trekking some really tough and rough terrain.
We found a hotel called The Northface Guest House and stayed the night. It had wifi but super slow and spotty. We had a room with attached toilet but a bit too pricey from the norm but we were so tired, it didn’t matter. We had a good dhal baht meal and milk tea then went to bed. As we were resting, we saw one side of the mountain from our window as if someone was lighting up fire on the bushes. The fire grew and then another fire was lit up just below. The fire started to rage and we wondered why that is. I ran down then to the streets and asked the locals what’s up. They were clearing out the bushes or trees for new crop. It reminded of how Thailand did the same thing. We watched it from our window with lights off, it was sort of beautiful to watch.
We had a tough time sleeping as our legs were so sore but we have to get up again the next day to head to Dharapani and we are taking the road this time!