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  • Writer's pictureVoita

Limestone, tobacco, salt

Similar to Ned Stark, I'm also a believer of the brutal honesty approach to life. Example:

The second new guest, a broad shouldered Ind raided the teahouse's kitchen at night. Encouraged by the pillage, he engaged me in conversation.

"I'm with the Russians. Americans give bombs to the arabs.
"You should go visit Russia then.
"My uncle said that Ukraine (I didn't hear what). I know eastern Europe, Belgium, Denmark... but not the Czech Republic. What can you tell me about it in one sentence?
"That you had too much whisky.

And I went back to uploading photos.

He stared at me for a while longer, before returning to the bottle. Apparently, he was 'dining' until 5 AM. What a hero.

the Signs of Progress

intel gathering. for best results combine with Google, locals and your gut.

My legs finally ceased resembling the Cordilleras on a LSD trip, which called for a new bout with the devil. I couldn't leave the area without at least a short hike now, could I?

7 stupas, 8 nagas

yesterday's views

The weather could have been anything, for all I knew, since the entire hillside was swallowed by a dense fog. But since there was no rain pouring out of it, I took off. Rani Dhunga is a hilltop in 8.200 feet, some 6 miles away. With a little bit of heavenly mercy, I should be back before the afternoon downpour.

survived the fire from yesterday

first line of defence

whatever awaits ahead

I donned my long sleeves, wedged them into socks and headed to my meeting with fate. The tiny pathway was full of overgrown grasses with droplets of water mirroring the mist. To my boundless relief, that has left little space for leeches. Or perhaps my shoes by now smell bad enough even to the bloodsuckers. They're most certainly on their way out, purchased in April, but I need them to last through the monsoon, lest I'd drown my this year's third pair straight away. Another month or so...


Stink up your shoes is however the official strategy of the local village sages. Walking in the woods, I could hear the clink of a bell and figured, donkeys, how nice. Right below the peak I bumped into a local couple, vividly attempting to transfer a message. I gathered it to mean that the hilltop is inhabited by a devil, and I wasn't far off. The clinking are angry bulls, ready to take out their strong emotions on anyone in their vicinity. Well I sat with them in the cloud for nearly an hour without arousing any feelings. Perhaps my shoes smelled to them too.

Rani Dungha

a puffy offering

to local gods, bulls and monster flies

I caught up to the two lads halfway back even though I managed to lose my way going down. They had a fire going and were smoking pot. I turned their invitation down, but at least allowed my boots to be smeared with a secret anti-leech mixture. Their guru, an old shepherd, was walking around in only wellies and shorts, without a single drop of blood sucked out of his exposed legs. Yellow wellies are a staple equipment around here, to the last young boy.

dead ends

Ultimately, the worst of the trip were pools of mud of which I carried out my fair share, covered up to the knees. No rain at all today, either, which allowed us to bask in electric light in the teahouse for the first time in the last three days. And in the moutains, during a monsoon season, that's not bad at all.

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