There are days we question the world. Then there are simply days. -Charlie
The journal diary entries by Wade Baxter Stevens, Camp 1 commenced 9 OCT 1994. This entry is from SUN NOV 20; Pokhara 2; Day 70.
“This is more like it – conceive, take control, execute. Up at 6am t stroll (yeah sure) up high ridge blocking Annapurna view, to Sarangkhot. Unfortunately, views not exactly clear or sunny until quite late. Spotted 2+ great arvo shots from spur near him. Lodge yesterday and today. Nice village in lee of spur line, which is a limestone razorback of jagged boulders and spires, some looked great for boulder problems. But the disappointment of the grey skies was amply balanced by joy of the walk – finding the way on faint tracks and pads, discovering goths and animal shelters where none can be seen from below, trusting instincts not heeding stupid warnings “not this way”, tigers – yes, many animals, using logic not directions (given by those who’ve never been or tried). First “village” had no real tracks leading anywhere, paths go through fields, courtyards, some leafy avenues with cuttings through rock even, improbable circuitous (pad) route, until the boulder-field, then razorback proper. Good photo of Machupuchare, and of lake, hills on other side. Struck by size of Pokhara – huge! Been told, seen map, but it never really sunk in… Village marred by power lines, Sarangkhot hillface scarred by road/track works and erosion, power lines, television tower, kids touting and begging all over, beginning to get sick of it all – depressing walk.
Would be nice ridge walk without all this and views! Sarangkhot touts in full swing, not sure what to do, check out lodges, drink stalls, top of hill. View, lunch, lassie, settle in at drink stall, selected for the nice bamboo armchairs (as at M.Fellow). Decide to stay, to “recover” views, return down same route tomorrow morning, evening shots back down + further along from ridge. The greens here are great – fortunate to have thin hazy cloud smears to dilute the sun this am, at times. The terraced hills etc, provide great foreground, esp. when “hills” (those big white + black buggers i mean) aren’t out fuly. Arvo though, its hazy and sun-blasted, peaks cloudy in solidly, so no show. Still getting pestered constantly – simply everyone’s got something to tout, always the “Namaste” to suck you in – have taken to not answering – ignoring. Stroll past town, take few photos.Advise some visiting Indians of my views on begging / touting – but it’s far worse over there, they don’t understand my objections; they themselves prob don’t get it anyway. The professor is touted; I get involved in an argument, which he ends with the usual “colonised country”, “the arms of capitalism” diatribe. Not as simple as loathing those who beg or parents who train their kids to do it, as its success is the fault of unthinking (capitalist) trekkers. Can’t have English speaking / Western food cooking lodge owners and not have down-side of poor Nepali touting…”