This Weekend’s Activities

I’ve been hoping to do a trip to Rara Lake, the biggest lake of Nepal, for the past 8 months. Rara is in Mugu, and until recently was only accessible after a week or so of walking. Now, there’s an airport that drops you off just a few hours away. We are still in the thick of Nepali holiday season (basically the entire month of October), so now is the prime time to go.

When Jamie and Sandip were planned to head to Humla, arguably one of the remotest place on the planet, for a farming project with Himilayan Permaculture Center, it only made sense that they stop by in Rara on their return and that I join them there. I told Kelly of this plan, and it was quickly clear that she should also join. Soon enough, Patty and Meg were also in on the trip. Then, almost everyone else decided to come as well, but no one could commit except me, Kelly, Patty, and Meg.

Even this morning, it was still only the four of us confirmed to go. When Top accepted our invitation to come, the floodwaters opened. Both Maggie and Nena had told Top she would come only if he did, and Anna had to follow suit because she would be the only fellow left out.

And so, tomorrow morning we fly out on a 9-person airplane from Surkhet Airport to Talcha Airport, which can hardly be called an airport. It’s more like a 100 foot long road on the side of a mountain:

Rara Airstrip

Rara Airstrip

From there it’s a 3 hour trek to here:

Rara Lake, this weekend's destination.

Rara Lake, this weekend’s destination. Apparently there are more bird species at the lake than annual visitors.

I am friends with a pilot in the airline, and he’s arranged to have the plane to do some low flowing over the lake while we’re on our way. We’ll spend 3 days/nights at Rara, cooking, swimming, and doing day treks. After the 3rd night, Kelly, and Jamie (assuming he makes it to Rara after 3 days of solo trekking from Humla), and I will set out on a 3 day trek to Jumla, where Kelly will fly from back to Surkhet, while Jamie and I continue along to here, the village where most of our kids are from:

Oda, in Kalikot, Nepal.

Oda, in Kalikot, Nepal.

We’ll only be able to stay for two nights – I need to return within 10 days of tomorrow to teach a kite building class to the children, completely redo the water system here at the house, and oversee the installation of over 4 kW of solar PV on our roof. On top of all that, we just signed a contract with our general contractor, and are eager to start getting everyone else on contracts to assemble the wider, full team.

We’re subscribing to Basecamp, an online, cloud-based project management service. I think that will help immensely in keeping our whole team on the same page and delegate responsibilities. We’re in the process again of looking for the most beautiful clay/soil we can find, since our radioactive clay source is no longer selling. Today, I drove the motorbike 45 minutes down rocky, nearly impassable roads and through 3 rivers, looking for red clay. We found some magnificent purple-tinted clay that Hemendra had mentioned, and also some bright red. They’ll both be good options, but the road conditions worry me. Last weekend, I took a motorbike trip with Kelly about 2.5 hours into the mountain northeast of here, and we passed some wonderful clay on the way. I’m having Sandip look into this, and exploring that area, while I’m gone.

I can hardly wait for the flight tomorrow morning and the ensuing adventure. I’ll need to post about the experience and my best photos upon my return, as soon as I find myself with free time. Vaya con dios!


2 comments on “This Weekend’s Activities

  1. cassidia8 says:

    Pete and I are so JEALOUS!!! Have fun and be safe Bhai

  2. Tim says:

    There’s a lake in Montana, the headwaters of the Bozeman water system, that looks very like Rara Lake, snow-capped peaks & all. I hope you have a great trip, Duke!

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