Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wandering Wednesday - Deorali, Nepal

After 6 months of no mountains (we gleefully named it 'Flatland' for a reason), it was a pleasant surprise on our recent holiday to discover that mainland Greece is very mountainous - driving through this countryside brought back happy memories of our time spent trekking the Nepal Himalayas, almost one year ago.

Deorali (or at least I think that's what is was called) was our first overnight stop and experience of a Nepali teahouse. Rather then an organised camping trek, we decided to set our own route through the Annapurna mountains (with the assistance of the faithful Lonely Planet Trekking Nepal book) and hired a couple of porters to carry our gear along the way - 3 absolutely fantastic Nepali men who entertained us constantly along the route and kept our spirits high with their cheerful banter - "no worry, chicken curry" soon became our motto.

We had planned to stop somewhere different for the night but our head porter advised we stop at the tiny village (consisting of about 2 teahouses) of Deorali instead as it was less busy and we were more likely to be able to find a room. I'm so pleased we took his advise - with the exception of a French (? or were they American? my memory fails me) couple, our happy little group of 6 Aussies (3 in matching brand spanking new hiking boots - we were quite the trendy bunch :-P ) were the only people there.

Deorali was a fantastic introduction to a Nepali teahouse trek. The views were spectacular - I mean, how can you beat the Himalayas!, the sunrise magnificant, the food absolutely delicious and in much deserved quantities after all our walking, the raksi was.... well about as good as ever (tasty in the boys opinion, but like drinking metho/vinegar for me) and the fire was toasty and warm.

The teahouse itself (the first one as you come into the village, rooms on the left and kitchen on the right) was much what I was expecting, although probably not so bad - sparse rooms but with beds, fabulous air conditioning (holes in the windows), a bucket shower (but, they boiled some hot water for us wimpy Aussies) and a CLEAN squatter. That first night was an interesting discovery on how to stumble to the end of the hallway, not fall in the squat toilet, not drop your toilet paper AND somehow hold your torch - all while your teeth are chattering madly...

Deorali is just one of many beautiful, peaceful little villages in the midst of the Nepal Himalayas... I had such a fantastic time here and Nepal is a place that will always be very special to me - I can't wait to go back one day, I'm especially determined on this one...

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