There are different kinds of landslides in life, and our guide was soon to meet his.
Before leaving Katmandu, we made arrangements to have a driver pick us up in Pokhara and take us west. Easier said than done, as so few Napalese ventured in that direction. Success finally came in the shape of a guide. Sporting a pony tail of middle-age grey, an ear-ring and his favourite topic – how and why he stopped being a Hindu and was now a practicing Buddhist with his own guru – the guide refused to give us any contact of a driver. It was impossible for us to travel alone without a guide!
We had no idea how unpredictable the far west was and besides, we were only two foreigners, and as if that was not enough, we were both female. For us to reach the far west, there was no doubt that a guide was necessary and he would be our guide. Karma?
K. had never been to the west nor far west. K.’s main occupation was taking tourists to the east, rescuing trekkers trapped by flat tires, advising where to set up camp: all in the east. We listened to his incantations of Buddhism. We listened to how treacherous the west could be. Most of all, we listened to his need to come with us and be our guiding light.
In the end, we gave in. There was no other way to secure a driver and a jeep, so K. had to be taken along. Perhaps he did have other things to teach us, after all, he was Nepalese – and a professional guide. Without much further thought about our guide-to-be, we proceeded to Gorkha, where we had scheduled meetings before heading to Pokhara.
he who listens shall not slide.
Listening was not his strongest feature.