The village people are so fond of me. They always asked my guide if I am Nepali, then I wittingly joke to them that I am and in fact I belong to the Gurung Caste. The response that I usually received from this brief conversations is genuinely heartwarming- the smile of recognition and acceptance.
I think it is also one of the many reason why I enjoyed my hike so far. The privilege to connect with the people I met on the road, to have brief discussion with them about the simplest thing.
I belong to the Gurung Caste is what everyone was telling me.
According to my guide Sujan, in Nepal there are four Caste group- Gurung, Chati, Damei and Baramund(where he belongs). Each of these caste occupies portion of the mountain, they are often distinguished by their facial characteristics and the type of livelihood that they have.
Day 5 trekking has to be the easiest. Though my legs still not fully recovered even after nights of faithfully applying heating cream I bought in Taiwan, they still managed to push through and endure another six hours walk.
In less than an hour, my guide and I reached our first stop- New Bridge.
Similar to what to expect on the rest of the trek, small villages with a breathtaking view of the ever looming Annapurna mountain range.
The compact view of Annapurna South and Humchile mountains in the background, with waterfalls on one side, farm fields and cute goats somewhere in the middle and the never-ending river are the many reason why I love Day 5.
The tea house we stopped by was ran by a beautiful lady name Rubina.
There were kids playing outside, I guess they are sisters, as the eldest was trying to fix the hair of the younger one and the place was filled with their infectious laughter.
A man selling baskets of oranges passed by. I bought five piece, giving one to the kids, for me and my guide. The orange was sold at a foreigner price, after spending few days at the mountains somehow it is understandable. After all, it is not easy to carry heavy baskets across mountains everyday for a very small profit.
The final stop was a series of stone steps directly taking us to the elevated town of Tolka. I met four Japanese hikers, converse for a few minutes and they told me that they are doing the hike on the opposite direction. At exactly 1 in the afternoon, we finally arrived. My first order of business- wash my clothes.
End of Day five.
Time for hot shower, supper and rest. I met a French lady travelling alone with no guide and stopping over anywhere she feels like to and this is her fourth year hiking Nepal. During winter, When it gets super cold in Bordeaux, hiking in Nepal is her escape.
Jhinu – New Bridge – Landruk – Tolka