After my last independent trek here in Nepal, I decided to try a trek with a guide especially one who I had just created a website for 🙂
We took of from Pokhara in Buddhi’s brothers taxi to Naudader to start walking the Panchasse Circuit. Buddhi had planned it would take 2 nights and three days.
We set of downhill to start with but soon started our 2500 feet climb to the village at Panchasse village. It was interesting talking to Buddhi especially to contrast relationships 🙂 At 25 his parents decided he should be married. So a young lady was found in another village. Buddhi played no role in this ! He met his future wife only a few days before the wedding and then only for a hour or so. Buddhi in turn was shocked that I had been married and divorced twice !!! What a contrast.
We then started talking about the caste system over here in Nepal, which IMHO cripples mobility and stigmatises people I was appalled that your caste is shown on your government ID so basically its state approved racism. Also if you marry a person of lower caste, then you and your children assume that castes lower status, also certain jobs are reserved for certain castes. What a way to cripple a persons chance in life!
We eventually reached Panchasse after many more discussions on starting & running businesses etc etc all very interesting given the huge difference in costs and rewards eg they pay £25 a month for each childs education. Quite a lot here but nothing compared to The Perse’s £1,000a month!
The ‘Happy Heart hotel’ in Panchasse was truly amazing! Red mud flloors in the bedroom (swept daily so they shine) and a kitchen out of date by a few hundred years (the village has no electric)! All the cooking (and we had a delicious Dal Bhat) is cooked on an open wood fire with no chimney! It was very interesting to see the sisters control the temperature by pulling the sticks in and out of the fire plus an occasional puff down a pipe to get it to flare again. Even more interesting was watching the sisters clean the pans by mixing the wood ash with a little water to make a paste to wipe the pans with!
The next day we were up at 5am to do the trek to see the sunrise on top of Panchasse Hill a nice brisk 1500 foot climb before breakfast. After breakfast we descended steeply down to catch the rickety old bus from Pame back to Pokhara.
A memorable trip (especially meeting one of the founders of Auroville, which is top of my list of places to visit in India -after 40 years in Auroville he has now married one of the sisters) and many thanks to Buddhi my ace Nepalese guide!
PS: We only took 2 days as we are both quite quick walkers 🙂 It’s OK he can go slower he was telling me about a customer he guided for 60days as the guy could only walk an hour or two each day!
The post header is THe Annapurna Range from Panchasse Hill