Friday, October 23, 2009

Pony Trek

Yesterday we embarked on a full-day “pony trek” to Sarangkot, a beautiful mountain view destination which we were unable to do on foot because of Ali's knees. Our guide arrived with two unhappy and unhealthy looking ponies. When we asked him how long he had had them for, he replied that he used to have ten ponies but eight of them died. Not a very fortuitous beginning to the day.

It was decided that since Ali had experience riding horses horses, she would get the big “scary” pony and since Jeremy did not he got the small “nice” pony (as the guide's friend described them). The guide himself would walk beside us the whole way. This seemed like a real feat especially since he was wearing too-small flip flops that kept coming off and had very short legs.

The guide told us that he would take us up a different path than the usual trekking route because on that route he could find “no peace” with tourists talk, talk, talking all the time. We were happy to try something different, if a little hesitant to ask him many more questions. The route was scenic and very quiet indeed, the only intrusions being bulls, yaks, and cows which would alternately run for cover out of fear from the ponies or stand menacingly in our way until the guide beat his stick at them. It was also, at times, terrifying. For example, when our ponies stumbled and slipped up a steep slope of sliding rocks or were pulled up a tall and narrow set of stone stairs by the guide, or when Jeremy's pony attempted now and then to make a run for it in the woods, with him on it, or when the guide said that because the regular road was broken, we would have to make a new road: “It's a bad system, but it's the Nepali way.”

As the day progressed the guide became increasingly talkative and jolly and even took out a small radio so he could listen to his favorite music as we walked. The mountain views were breathtaking as we wound through rice paddies and small villages. Our butts were very sore at the end of this at times nerve-racking day, but we were happy.

Tomorrow we make a 26-hour voyage to India. Wish us luck.


Jeremy and Ali

p.s. there is another new post below.

1 comment:

luciajgraves said...

I'm very glad you gave Ali the big "scary" pony because she is a caballo at heart and knows how to speak caballonese.