The trek started at a very unremarkable spot in the road; two small shops, where you could have tea, of course, buy last minute supplies (though hardly an issue since there were tea houses with supplies all along the trail), and the porter could tie your bags together, ready to cart them up into the mountains. Our porter was a young man named Pfuri. He looked as though he was about 17, although he is actually 21. He took our two packs, along with his own smaller bag, strapped them all together, added a long strap with a wrap on it for the head, hoisted it took his back and took off. He was ALWAYS ahead of us, jogging up the steep steps and climbs as if they were flat ground, while we slowly ground our way up the tortuous steps. All of the men and women of Nepal climbed the terrain as if they were on a Sunday stroll – absolutely amazing and humbling.
The trails we traveled on varied greatly…the beginning of the trek took us winding through a small village with stores, services and homes lining the path, a path not much wider than a single car. A road above by-passes the village proper, giving a way for cars to get up to the river crossing, about a mile in. Kids played in the path, chasing each other, tossing balls, rolling sticks, and watching the many groups of foreigners hike through their village. We had a leisurely hike up to the bridge crossing the river…the point where we entered the true countryside where donkeys, horses and men are the beasts of burden.