Great Big Walk Audio Update Day #20

Hey this is TA calling in from Day 20 from the great big walk. It is a rest day here so we’ve been doing laundry and getting clean and all those kind of things we do on rest days. At times the tent looks like an absolute disaster area but we’ve calmed down enough to be able to play a little solitaire and give you a shout and tell you about our day. Because it is a rest day, the step counts are significantly down. Marian’s was 4 442 steps with 33 floors and 3 km. Mine was 4 822 with 36 floors and 3 km. Mostly earned on a walkabout downtown and then a visit to the Monastery. The Monastery here is Olangchung Gola is one of the oldest in the region and it was interesting to see the outside of it. Unfortunately the Llama is off soldiering somewhere so we were not able to see the inside. One of the things that we saw for the first time ever actually was prayer wheels made out of animal skins instead of out of metal. So we took lots of pictures and enjoyed visiting the outside and feeling the place in the space of the Monastery. Olangchung Gola is an area that is very well known for its skilled traders. They travel to other parts of Nepal and to India to bring goods back, cloths, grains, sugar and they travel over an ancient trade route to Tibet and they trade for salts, wool and carpets.

We actually watched some young women today making some carpets here and there is a folktale or a folklore about how the village got its name. Olung means wolf, chun is a trader and gola is place. So it is a folklore about how a wolf showed a trader the way to Tibet. Wanted to say a special hello to Immaculate Heart of Mary Elementary school in Corner Brook. I had a great visit out there earlier in the year. And thanks Carla for your question about how this region was similar and different to the Hinku one which we traveled last year. In some ways the answer is the same thing but different. I think the Hinku has a little bit more of a tourism focus that is sort of in some ways why some of the villages are there. Both are herding areas, having Yak karkas and Yak pastures. On the route we took into Kanchenjunga base camp it definitely had a little more of a tourism than where we are now. Much of the trail in the Kanchenjunga conservation area was very well developed. But having now left that we are travelling in a much more remote area. Some of the trails are very rarely used because its less likely for people to go east to west or west to east in Nepal than it is to go North to South just because of the way the mountains and the valleys run.

We’ve faced a lot more landslides here in this particular region. We did have some in the Hinku but the ones we’ve seen here I think have been much more catastrophic. Both are very very beautiful and amazing to traverse and I highly recommend a visit to the Kanchenjunga area and we will now be starting towards the single link over to the Makali Liberu national parking thing and so I will be looking forward to seeing another area and to seeing the head at the end of the hinku we were trying to see last year.

Thanks and well going for the texts. Always great to hear from folks and we’re now 20 days and counting without a shower so we do get washy washy. A little bowl of warm water in the morning and at the end of our day to try to clean up a little bit. So we’re doing fine in that regard. Life here is very comfortable. Our little yellow abode is our home now. We’ve got it pretty organized and we have a routine of where everything goes and today we’ve heard 4 seasons. We woke up to a brisk spring morning which quickly turned into a beautiful summer day which was great for getting laundry washed and dry. And then it kind of got gusty and fall like and now of course it is winter and snowing. So just like home in Newfoundland and Labrador, 4 seasons in one day. It is great to rest as we climbed up to the Monastery, we could feel a little bit of the fatigue in our legs and its good to give them a break and to give our staff a bit of a break. And tomorrow we head out further and deeper into the Nepal wilderness. Thanks for following along and have a great day and hope you take a great big walk today yourself.

Total Steps for TA: 4 822, 36 floors

Total Steps for Marian: 4 442 steps, 33 floors

Total Distance for TA: 3 km

Total Distance for Marian: 3 km

Great Big Walk acknowledges the support of the Memorial University of Newfoundland Quick Start Fund for Public Engagement in making these updates from the field possible.

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