Sometimes First Impressions of a Place Are Not the Best
The Sherpa woman was squatting on the side of the trail on the path looking over the edge of the hill. Yelling. She wasn’t hysterical but she was very animated. Nepalese people are very calm and yelling just doesn’t fit with their character. They are very accepting and you don’t see them getting angry. As we got closer I could see she was yelling into her mobile phone. Bad reception perhaps? Finally we were close enough to see the problem. The woman was yelling at two teenage girls way down on the slope, maybe one of the girls was on the other end of the phone, although she could probably have her heard without the phone. She was directing them to round up a yak who was eating in a cultivated area where it obviously should not have been. The young girls where having some difficulty catching the yak because of the slope. It was quite funny but then again it wasn’t.
Mongla the Second Time Around
We were almost into the very small village when we witnessed the escaped yak scene and the scene is seared into my memory.
When my husband, The Trainer was planning our itinerary for our 2018 trek to Gokyo he decided we should stay in Mongla if we were going to stick with our altitude rule. Before we left Australia when he told me would be staying the night I was unimpressed. In 2015 on our trek to EBC we had stopped for a breather and a cup of tea and the view in Mongla before walking down to the river and across and up to Phortse. I clearly remember the falling down stupa, the tiniest of places, no lodge of any significance that I would want to stay in and a lot of fog.
The Trainer who is the researcher for our treks knew we were on a point on the mountain path where there should be a good view. We had a cup of tea, resting and waiting for the cloud to lift. But the weather was not in our favour and would not be for a few more days.
Fast forward three years to 2018 and although also the end of September and the tail end of the rainy season, we were much luckier with the weather. It was a beautiful clear day and we had a view. And is often the case when you travel, the weather, how well you are feeling and who you meet can influence how you feel about a place you are visiting. And we really enjoyed our night in small Mongla.
We checked out the two of the four lodges on the small point and decided on Snow Land Lodge behind the restored and newly painted stupa. The eyes hadn’t been painted in properly yet, they were still covered in plastic, I’m not sure why.
A room with our own bathroom is always our preference but the lodge didn’t have one. As we were the only people in our section of the building we had exclusive use of the shower and toilet for the stay. With the exception of Namche, I had one of the few showers I had on the trek here, after we arrived.
We turned out to be the only people staying the night apart from a couple from Indonesia who arrived after us.
We met them as they arrived, on their return journey from having climbed Renjo Pass, feeling tired but also glad they had managed the climb. We ate with them in the dining room that evening. The Trainer was learning Indonesian at university so he was pleased that he could practice his Indonesian. I stuck with talking in English and also learning some more Nepalese from our porter guide Dilip.
The walk from Khumjung to Mongla
The weather had made for great walk we had seen some lovely green valleys and spied a few eagles or vultures riding the thermals.
Again we were thankful for the amount of stair training we had factored into our training before we left Australia because we had quite a few steep lots of stairs to navigate on this part of the track. What am I talking about. They are everywhere along the track.
Oh and that naughty yak here was after he meandered up and tried to sneek through the village …
The feature photo in the header is the view setting out the next morning of Phortse on the other side of the valley. A pretty perfect view, in my opinion. The small settlement of Mongla was worth the second visit.
Have you visited somewhere you were unimpressed but changed your opinion when you revisited ?