So getting up to Kalimati is not as difficult as getting to Uri. Uri is a much longer drove to the jeep drop off and then a few hours trekking up past Ghandruk and the a right off the beaten track to Kot Danda. Pokhara to Uri is a days travel. Pokhara to Kalimati half a day – no need to walk – I can get there all the way by jeep. (Although jeeps only go once a day in each direction). Down the mountain in the morning and then leaving midday to get back up by early evening.
Getting to and from Kalimati school to where I sleep at night is just over an hours trek down up and down again or up down and up again depending on which direction. Tougher going back at the end of the day. So sometimes i wait for the jeep coming back from Pokahra and catch a lift with them .. if there is space!!! Often there is not and its a case of people clinging everywhere!
The roads are pretty rough, barely a road really and very steep sides. Going up the mountain it best to get a seat on the left hand side of the roof, if you have not managed to squeeze inside. I think the locals grown internally when they see me joining as with my big western backside, I take up the space of three Nepali ladies!
So I often end up on the roof.
Except last week the only option i had was hanging on the right hand side at the back. Which means you get to see the terrifying cliff edge drop as the jeep trundles up miraculously not going over the edge. Except I though it was screamed and flung myself half off landing flat on my back in the mud, much to everyone’s amusement and my embarrassment.
So yesterday was a walking day back home. It was late getting dark but the road is the middle of nowhere and quite safe. Except that is for the buffalo.
Now Nepal is full of buffalos. And i had seen the children in Uri playing tag on the buffalo’s tails and they seemed docile enough. Walking home on the road ahead of me was one great big buffalo. What to do? It was getting dark I wanted to get back, wait for it to move..? No it was docile enough .. I decided to just walk around and behind it.
What i had failed to notice was that this buffalo was not grey but black and not a buffalo at all but a bull.
Passing behind it i heard a great big bellow and snorting and before i knew it i was tossed in the air like a rag doll and next moment lying on the ground. the only thought in my mind was horns gouging and being trampled and i screamed. I looked up and it had trotted away.
Never have i felt so physically vulnerable.
My screams had brought the attention of a couple of guys chopping wood. They took me into their makeshift tarpaulin tent where they were living, fed me something and poured hot black tea into me until the jeep arrived. Everyone was very concerned and ordered me never to walk again, the jeep was much safer.
So my daily options are death by jeep or death by bull.