Escape to the Himalayas

On the walk to Dalar there was a small temple along the way with a live in priest who showed us round and gave us all a blessing.

We crossed raging streams and slippery paths and eventually came to the river, swollen and fast flowing from the rain.

It is the one and only walk where we pass a shop. It sells masala chai tea and almost everything you could need from food, toiletries to sweeping brushes and a multitude of items imbetween.

We sat watching hard worked, sad looking mules who were overloaded with stone taking it up the hills and villagers passing by, almost falling off their motorbikes to look at 4 hot and sweaty looking foreigners. It was a very hot day.

Passing peoples gardens with crops drying in the hot sun, chillies, lentils and maize spread out.

All uphill, I looked like a baked tomato and we all took advantage of a spring gushing out of the roadside, washing our faces trying to cool off. It didn’t get better, a really steep climb up a ravine saw us all off. Eventually we reached Dalar and stopped at our guide Hemu’s house for tea and a sit down before eventually reaching the guesthouse.

We visited Bipin’s family, we have met them all before and again took pictures and chatted with his mum and more pictures on the steps. Our guide from last time Santosh (Bipin’s brother) was guiding elsewhere but we met his 2 young sons and his wife. The son of Kemal, another brother who Chris played badminton with last time was now a skinny bean pole of a teenager. It was lovely to share time with them.

This time
In 2018 with Santosh our guide

We walked around the village, always the best bits.

After a hearty dinner we all slept like babies before our final walk back to Khali Estate and our last night in Binsar. It was an easy walk back.

The accommodation, the round houses in the grounds are very comfortable.

A huge troop, 50 or so, of white faced langurs descended on the house and gardens like a bunch of football hooligans. They try and steal the fruit and vegetables in the garden, the staff shouting and banging pans to deter them. Apparently they do this every few days. They ate and destroyed all the stunning cosmos flowers in the garden and ran across the tin roofs sounding like galloping horses. They were fun to watch.

The staff at Khali

The next day we left for a 4 hour drive to Kathgodam station. There had been a Hindi festival called Dussehra which had been going on for days. Floats and cars with dozens of people all in their colourful finery and loud music making the journey much longer. Every temple en route had flags, music and much jollity going on.

At this point we didn’t have confirmation for all our train tickets. We had 2 in second class AC and 2 in 3rd class AC and that’s how it stayed. Chris and I said we would take the 3rd class. When we got to the station at 9pm my heart sank, it was the longest, scruffiest train I’d ever seen. There were big families with acres of luggage and lots of unsavoury looking single men. We would be in a 6 berth open carriage for 16 hours. Fortunately a lovely young Indian couple and 2 older business men were with us and it was fine. I slept all night from 10-6, they even swapped a bunk with Chris.

Trish and Ingrid fared less well as they had a very pushy, shouty Indian lady who really invaded their space and wanted their seats. Trish gave her what for the following morning.

The views from the train along the tracks was heart wrenching. Along the river it looked like all the poorest people we had seen in Delhi had been transported, beaten up, covered in grime and living in rubbish strewn hovels. There were festering pools of water, children in filthy rags and mangy dogs. Scenes from a poverty stricken region of rural India, the stuff of nightmares and utter desperation.

We eventually got to Gorukpur a real skanky looking border town which has the longest station platform in the world.

Fortunately our guide Sunil met us and got us past the incredibly insistent and grabby hawkers, porters and tuk tuk drivers. We crossed the border, much paperwork on the Indian side and easy peasy into Nepal. We were taken to a nice hotel in Lumbini, Buddhas birthplace, for the evening for some brief R&R before our next long car journey.

The roads were appalling, there had been a typhoon in Thailand and Vietnam which had left major flooding, and this was the tail end of it passing over. Huge pot holes and rivers of water on the roads, passing landslides and flooded towns and houses.

The enormous rivers we passed, brown with glacial mud. It took forever. We were on our way to Chitwan wildlife reserve and National park, a 6 hour drive.

We arrived at the most beautiful resort hotel. Lush tropical gardens, swimming pool and lovely staff. This is more like it.

One thought on “Escape to the Himalayas

  1. What a fabulous trip. Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Trish was giving the Indian lady what for 😆 x x


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