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Himalaya

Day 46: Kathmandu to Lekhani

Lekhani, Nepal 
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Lekhani village, with our campsite in left foreground and a magnificent view north to Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri ridge.
Michael Palin - HimalayaAfter two hours of painfully slow progress the track runs out. Everything is unloaded and re-packed in cone-shaped wicker baskets, dokos, which are then loaded onto the backs of porters and, looking like something out of the archives of the Royal Geographical Society, our 44-man, and one woman, procession, complete with everything, including the kitchen sink, sets off across the hills to find Lekhani. Worryingly, its name doesn't appear on any of the maps I have and the Sherpas who are organizing our transport are from a completely different part of Nepal. Local enquiries have to be made, which usually means chatting up someone half-buried in a paddy field.

Eventually, winding down across slippery, vertiginous rocks, between terraced fields of sorghum and millet, we come to our village, with attractive stone houses, some thatched, some tiled, spread along the hill, between spurs of rock running down to a valley far below.On the northern horizon a spectacular panorama of Annapurna, Machhapuchhre with its distinctive twin summits and the 26,750-foot (8150 m) Dhaulagiri massif looks sublime in the late afternoon sunlight.

The only disadvantage of this precipitous location is that there are only two unoccupied flat places in Lekhani. One is a sports ground, where the recruiting will take place tomorrow, and the other is an old cow patch, corrugated with dried mud. This is where we pitch our tents.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 46: Kathmandu to Lekhani
  • Country/sea: Nepal
  • Place: Lekhani
  • Book page no: 104

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