Fly to: Kathmandu, Nepal
Internal Transfer: 2 flights to Nepalgunj 1hr & Simikot 50mins
Visa required: Yes if British plus a remote access trek permit
Time Zone:+5hrs45mins GMT
Day 2, 11/06/10: Humla & Limi Valley
Quickly popped into the office this morning to discover the Humla remote access permit had received its stamp of approval, now all that remains is the final paperwork required for our crossing into Tibet. Chhewang seemed a little apprehensive and explained that in some instances the Embassy questions whether his origins are in fact Tibetan; something which apparently can stall things a little.
I left and headed out to the local spa treatment centre where I endured a full body massage along with reflexology & shirodhara. For those that have never experienced it, shirodhara is amazing. It's a form of ayurveda medicine & involves gently pouring warm oils over the forehead at the point of the third eye. Its used predominantly as a restorative treatment and is a fantastically mellowing experience. Now with reference to the body massage, the reason I used the word 'endured' was because at times it was quite frankly, excruciating. The therapist, a lady no bigger than your average 5yr old had the concealed strength of a titan.
She pulled and prodded me with such ferocity that it wasn't long before body and mind were completly dissociated. Now this was a full body massage which included, to my initial horror a thorough massage of the bum cheeks. Hmm bearing in mind how much rather soft, wobbly tissue there is there to massage I was amazed at how painful it was. So much so in fact I had to stop proceedings, unfortunately stopping proceedings here merely meant she focussed her force on another unsuspecting part of my anatomy. In this instance the focus shifted to pulling my toes out of their sockets one by one.
In all fairness, after the treatments I felt incredible; I couldn't walk & I think I lost consciousness during the shirodhara but i felt incredible non the less. Hobbling back to the hotel I was amazed at the atmospheric pressure the impending monsoon seemed to be causing, with such humidity even doing nothing would cause the sweat to pour.
After a quick shower i headed back out and found myself caught in an absolute downpour (perhaps the impending monsoon had arrived!?), as things unfolded and with me oblivious to the goings on I soon found myself caught in a scene of chaos. The rain had fallen with such force that it had brought crashing to the ground a cable the width of my arm. People were rushing trying to cordon off the pathway, creating make shift barriers - if I'm honest it all seemed a bit frantic and very dramatic. Just as that thought entered my head there was an all mighty 'crack'. Lying in a puddle the cable squirmed & jolted like a python - oh I see now what all the fuss was about - this cable was live.
That sudden realisation washed over me, in the West I take so much for granted but here; what would have happened if someone was hit by it - presumably death? Suddenly I became very aware of my surroundings, very aware of the overhead cabling and very aware of my feet and their contact with the ground - I guess without realising I suddenly became very present.