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Album: By Country | By Date Nepal | June 2001 < Prev: Lete to Kalopani | Next: Marpha >
Travelogue: By Country | By Date Nepal | June 2001  

June 2001 - Kalopani to Marpha

We wade the river, stop for lunch in Tukuche, and watch as the landscape becomes harsher. We also see many more Buddhist shrines

Maggie at (at least near) the top of the world Kids we met along the way It's wheat harvest time and this is the chaff.  We saw lots of folks up on the flat roofs beating the grain with hinged sticks.  The air was full of the dust made by fanning the grain. We're off the trail we are supposed to be on and wondering whether we can wade the river.  We were misled by a few bridges.  From a distance, we couldn't discern that they were in the middle of one stream or another.  So, we waded out to them, waded the side streams, and generally had a great time.
A street in Larjung. Our first attempt at turning prayer wheels.  We are doing it the wrong way.  Later we learned to spin them clockwise by hitting them with our right hands.  Almost always the ranks of prayer wheels are in the middle of the path, so one can pass on either side. This is a circle of life carved on a rock.  There are big middens covered with tablets that have  Tibetan words carved on them.  We couldn't find anyone that knew how the stones got there.  They generally said monks carved them and left them there but always seemed uncertain.  We never saw anyone carving them or carrying them around. Narrow street and ladder
Walking through one of the passageways in town. Some of the carved rocks Prayer wheels Path to Tukuche
Smiling girl The river has become a bunch of braided streams Walking along the riverbed This was a new feature - a door in a stone fence.
Tukuche was once a major trading town.  The name means "grain flat spot," a reference to the trading function.  The river was once the "salt route."  Salt from Tibetan salt lakes was traded for grain.  Indian salt eventually replaced the Tibetan salt and ended the trade.  Tukuche declined and even with tourism, it hasn't really recovered. A mule in "fancy dress" In Tukuche Maggie pointed out that the homes of traders look the same as in Morocco, Cairo, and Seville.  She correctly noted the carved balconies and Arabic shaped doors.
Door in Tukuche On the outside were walls, balconies, and sturdy doors.  Inside were nice courtyards.  Very much like Morocco.  Little girl in Tukuche Looking into one of the courtyards
The girl again Mountains from Tukuche Mountains Outside Tukuche was this enormous carved boulder
The landscape has changed.  Now it looks amazingly like the Western Slope in Colorado The best we could find out about these tablets is that the "Lama caste" makes them and puts them places. We liked them anyway. Cool rock
Simple rock