Unexpected Problem During Nepal Trekking with Family: Day 9-10

Nepal Trekking

Our family’s Annapurna Sanctuary trekking plan has lasted for 8 days, marking only the halfway point of our 14-day itinerary with our 9-year-old boy. Visiting Annapurna Base Camp was an extraordinary experience for me, both physically and because of the magnificent landscape. I will never forget this experience.

I’ll recount our experiences from days 9 and 10. We journeyed back to Bamboo for an overnight stay and then continued on to Chhomrong the next morning.

As always, during breakfast, Mr Ram outlined our daily itinerary. He noted that our descent would make for a quicker and easier trek.

OK, let’s go!

But it’s quite cold here… the water was frozen.

It had been ages since I saw the ice. My previous visits to Japan were always during the warmer months and also hadn’t been in the cold weather, so it must have been at least 20 years since I last saw ice. My son was absolutely thrilled and wasted no time playing with it, stomping on it and breaking it with his stick.

Every now and then, I’d hear a thud and turn around to find the porter brothers chucking large stones at the icy river. I was happy watching them join in the fun together like that.

As usual, I trailed behind the group (I’ve always been a slower walker compared to everyone else), and I noticed Mr Ram and our son was doing in some activity by the riverbank. Upon closer, they were stacking stones. Soon, there was a small mound of stones dotting the riverbank. I wondered if it was a similar tradition to Sainokawara in Japan, but I forgot to ask Mr. Ram about it.

For reference; The Sai no Kawahara event during Obon involves the tradition of stacking stones along the riverbank, symbolising the actions of children who have passed away before their parents. Legend suggests that such children, considered unfilial, are compelled to participate in this ritual. Occurring during a period believed to be a temporary reprieve from the Cauldron of Hell’s torment, this event is a solemn part of Obon (holiday time from the other side of the world and all death souls are coming back to real world for the short time) where stones are stacked in memory of these children. Sad, isn’t it….

We were just going back our steps along the same path we ascended. While reaching MBC involved climbing, this descent was surprisingly fast walking down! Today’s plan was to trek all the way to Bamboo, passing through Deurali without any breaks. Deurali, where we stayed overnight on our ascent, now felt like a familiar waypoint on our journey back down. Still, I wondered if I’d manage to make it to Bamboo on the same day?

And here is my favourite photo.

The guide, Mr. Ram, and our son are sitting together and taking a break. It gives me an indescribably warm feeling. I felt sad thinking that I’d be saying goodbye to Ram in a few days…

Ahead, there’s a steep section with numerous large stones, and Mr. Ram and the porter boy sweetly whisked my son away. It’s moments like these that weren’t often captured in photos, but forced abductions like this were quite common, even during our climbs, lol.

Honestly, my son lacked a good sense of balance, or rather, he’s really bad at securing his footing. So, he often stumbled and fell. I suppose they couldn’t resist grabbing his arms to keep him safe.

I understood how you guys felt though…

The 9th Night: Bamboo’s Deluge of Great Shower AGAIN!

We quickly had lunch in the Himalayan village before descending towards Bamboo. Surprisingly, we arrived in Bamboo fairly early.

During our lunch break, we were talking about the great showers with a lot of water in Bamboo. After dropping off our luggage, I rushed to take a shower upon our arrival. Interestingly, we noticed the British tour group at the same guesthouse once again. Lovely people.

“The couple from England, seated in front of us at dinner, appeared to be in their late 60s. Remarkably, they had been trekking in the Himalayas for two months, independently planning and carrying their own luggage without the aid of a guide or porters. I was truly amazed by their feat! Wow, seriously!? I couldn’t imagine undertaking such a journey without a guide and especially porters.

It’s truly delightful to encounter individuals like them during our holiday. Personally, I thoroughly enjoy meeting new people and exchanging wonderful experiences with each other.

After the British couple departed, an Asian woman took their place in front of us. Initially, I assumed she was a solo traveller, but it turned out she was accompanied by her husband, who was quite ill. Both of them were from Malaysia, and her husband had been experiencing severe diarrhea and vomiting since the previous night. She explained that they were contemplating staying an extra night, seeking advice from their guide.

As a precaution, I offered them some Chinese herbal gastrointestinal medicine that I had been using for decades. Although it didn’t seem to have an immediate effect, but the following morning, her husband thanked me personally. He mentioned that he had vomited after taking the first dose of the medicine, but felt better after the subsequent dose and was able to move around.

I really hoped that they were able to complete their trek safely…..

When we stayed in Bamboo on our ascent, it was raining, but we still enjoyed a peaceful night. The next morning, after breakfast, Mr. Ram asked if we wanted to have the “Roast Chicken” in Chhomrong. Haha, remember that “Roast Chicken”? (read the Day 5 article). The deep-fried chicken leg! We eagerly said, “Yes, please!” to Mr Ram. He smiled with a little laugh, then made a phone call, guessing he’s making arrangements with the guesthouse for our request for “Roast Chicken.” hahaha. Yep, it was yummy!

However, as we trekked up and down from there, traversing valleys with numerous stairs, I recalled that part vividly! Once again, I found myself ascending those steep stairs (because it’s the opposite – we descended on the way there, but climbed up on the way back!).

The Moment a Big Problem Arises

And gradually, one problem, a big problem… that hadn’t bothered me much until now, suddenly began to assault my senses. It was everywhere!

Mule and buffalo poos! ! !

Ahhggghhh!!

Seriously, everywhere and It stank!!

Look, if I said it too loudly, it would be rude to our guide, Mr. Ram and the porters. In this region of Nepal, mules were a means of transportation, just like cars, and they were used in daily life. I refrained from commenting because I thought it would be impolite, considering these animals were part of their lifestyle. But I couldn’t help expressing a bit in Japanese…

“What the heck is this? It’s full of shit!! Aaah, it stinks so badly!!” (In Japanese, muttered quickly so no one else could understand)

Occasionally, I would get frustrated (I’m sorry, I tried my best, but sometimes I just couldn’t hold it… sorry…). And I let you know, this became a big problem, only my personal problem but it was a major issue after this point…..sigh

Alright, let’s just focus on our steps, shall we?

Ahhh, another set of stairs to climb…

Okay, let’s not dwell on the stairs ahead… just keep moving forward!

Cuties were everywhere!

Finally, we arrived back at Chhomrong, the same guesthouse we stayed in before.

Mr. Ram greeted us with a big smile, asking, “Roast chicken for dinner? How many people?” It seemed like he was confirming our order. We figured our chicken was already being prepared. He also asked what time we’d like to have dinner, and we told him 6 o’clock. Mr Ram mentioned that another group would be arriving soon, so he advised us to hurry up and take a shower before it got chaotic.

The incoming group turned out to be a bunch of teenagers with Australian accents. We couldn’t help but notice two boys had mullet haircuts (short on the sides and long in the back), a typical hairstyle for some white Australian men. It was quite a distinctive look! There were a few individuals who appeared to be teachers and sat behind us.

Finally, Rex asked one of the teachers (it turned out they were teachers) where they came from.

There were apparently 10th-grade students, 19 kids from a school in Melbourne, along with three teachers, one tour operator from the trekking company, and quite a few porters. It was a really fun night as we talked with the teachers, and the students joined in the conversation as well. They were very lovely kids too.

The guy, sitting just right there, he was the one of the teachers from Melbourne.

However, we were quite surprised by the price of this school’s tour. Well, not really, as school trips organized by schools are always expensive anyway. Nowadays, even normal school camping trips are expensive. Here, it’s international trekking so it wouldn’t be cheap either. Plus, it included various expenses such as the teachers’ travel fees and the tour company’s arrangement fees, insurance, etc. But since I organised our trekking itinerary, I knew the actual trekking price (including 2 porters and a guide), so it was really expensive. We just gasped when we heard the price.

The teacher also said, “Well, I’m surprised too. But there aren’t many opportunities like this, so if you can take advantage of it and afford it, you should go.” Sure, some parents would love this kind of experience, and also others might think that the price was a joke. But travelling with mates in this environment and amazing experiences in Nepal, yeah, why not it’s worth it if you can afford it.

The Best “Roast Chicken” Once Again!

Alright, let’s return to our chicken dinner. My son and Rex opted for the “Roast Chicken” once again. I considered it, but in the end, I decided to go for the chicken curry. It was served with fried chicken pieces, deep-fried to perfection with just a hint of salt, making them incredibly fragrant and crispy. And let me tell you, it was absolutely delicious!

Anyway, I kind of expected that the group of kids would be noisy at night, but surprisingly, they went to bed early and surprisingly, the night was peaceful. They must have been exhausted too…

chicken
This is the “Roast Chicken”
Simply but crispy lovely Chicken curry.

Okay, tomorrow we’re going to a village with an open-air hot spring, an Onsen! I wonder how many years it’s been since I’ve taken an open-air Onsen (hot spring).. I’m looking forward to it…

To be continued…… stay tuned!

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