Day 3 (11th Nov)
Route: Jagat – Lunch in Tal – Danakyu (7-8 hours)
The vegetation appears more rustic today; it occasionally contrasts with the delicate lilac flowers hanging from the trees. Like everywhere we pass cows, buffalos, chicken, geese – some seem to belong to someone, others are being chased away and others walk around without orientation and no one seems to miss their presence at all.
Today’s agenda is to stop for lunch in Tal (having walked 400m by that point) and then make it to Danakyu (with another elevation of 490m) making this the second day in a row where we trek for almost 8 hours (with a total of 890m today alone).
Trek Nepal’s thought behind this schedule makes sense: at the beginning, when the group is full of energy, they get you to do the longest stretches and reach altitude quickly. Once we reach 2500 metres, our speed will naturally decrease and it will take us much longer for a much shorter stretch. Plus, we need to slowly acclimatise to the altitude at some point – which is not necessary in the beginning so we can do the metres without any potential health concerns.
We pass bigger streams with huge boulders – transforming the landscape into rough and evermore rustique looking terrain. Ben runs back to the suspension bridge we have walked past, as he sees how a herd of donkeys is led across the bridge, to take a photo. Much further on, we reach a lengthy stretch of flat land which is a relief after many up-and downhill stretches this morning.
At some point, a cow is being chased away by a woman working in a field and it decides to follow Ben for a while which makes for funny photos. The guest lodges look much more colourful than in previous days and they remind me a bit of the colourful landscape in Cape Town.
In Tal, we watch two kids play-dance together while we have lunch and some of us connect to the restaurant’s WIFI connection to keep up to date with what has been happening on social media channels. The guesthouse this evening is one of our favourites – the rooms are spacious, clean and the beds comfortable. This is the place where our group’s running gag of the ‘Korean girl’ is born: While Ed, Holly & Raphaelle decide to go for a stroll through the village – Ben & I decide to stay behind and shower.
While Ben is washing some clothes, I head down to the hot water shower and stand in front of the door for a good 15 min – the person in the shower does not seem to be in a rush. I even demonstratively try to open the locked door twice, only to hear annoyed knocks on the door to signal ‘I’m busy – wait!’.
After another 5 min I decide to opt for a cold shower instead. We later hear that the Korean girl, who is doing this trek all by herself (credit to her…but…it does not make you the centre of the universe, darling!), remained a total of 30 min in the only hot shower in our guesthouse to firstly, wash herself and secondly, wash all her clothes with hot water.
At this point, I was wondering like so many times in my life, what happened to common sense? Is it not obvious enough after reading countless of signs in guesthouses (and even on the back of restaurant menus) that water is a luxury in this country – yet alone hot water!
As I had written in another post: to minimise environmental impact, cold showers should always be favoured.
***If you do decide to have a hot shower, keep it short- cut the water off when you soap yourself and make it quick!***
After this incident, we joke about making sure to not stay in the same guesthouse as the Korean girl – or to plot imaginary plans to forbid her to ever come close to hot water facilities again.
Have you ever met irresponsible tourists on your travels? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.