“Yeah, that’s right, I’ve got a bike. Sure, it’s got two flat tires and crooked wheels, but when I cruise around town adorned in my Britney Spears tee, let’s just say the ladies take notice. Afterwards, I like to take a break for a little roll in the hay, if you know what I mean.”
That’s what I read in his glance. It’s one of my myriad travel skills. In any case, after yesterday’s traumatic hay photo, I got a lot of hate mail and threats of law suits from the hay industry. So I’d like to go on record as saying yesterday’s children were not killed by hay. As this boy demonstrates, child and hay can have a healthy relationship. Though they might get bitten by rats.
* * *
Today was a much longer hike than I anticipated, carrying all my belongings on a shortcut from Gorkha across the hills to Manakamana (which, helpfully, is pronounced very similar to Mahna-Mahna). I expected about three hours or so; it was closer to nine. Partially I think because of the local man with a rope and knife who kept redirecting me to follow him on shortcuts while he listened to his mp3 player. I followed of course. I mean, what could go wrong?
As it turns out, they actually were short cuts but steep ones that may have added to the overall time it took me. Nonetheless, he was very nice and helpful, a real gentleman, even without speaking any English. But my estimation was based on what I’d read the reverse hike to be, which as it turns out is steeply downhill. Uphill is much more difficult I learned. I wish they would tell you these kinds of things in guide books.
Also, I was only hiking in Keen sandals without socks, as I sent my hiking boots back to the States with Maggie.
In any case, it was a great, sweaty hike on which I got a little lost several times, regularly accidentally diverted onto what turned out to be driveways (well, ‘walkways’) to peoples’ wooden hut homes. But around dusk I made it into downtown Manakamana, bypassing the long line of pilgrims with sacrificial animals. It’s a holiday, so temples are open late for your slaughtering convenience.