After arriving in Pokhara we met up with Surya (our guide) at 9:00 the next morning. This was obscenely late by Nepalese standards where people tend to go to bed at 8:00 pm and get up at around 5:00 am. Surya had a taxi waiting downstairs. Most of our gear went on the roof in a most precarious fashion. The rest went inside with us. It reminded me of a journey I once did across Ireland in a Fiat 500 with four people and 2 large rucksacks squashed inside. Fortunatly this journey was shorter. After an hour or so we stopped, got out and Surya introduced us to our 2 porters, Ram and Mantare. Mantare picked up the photo rucksack and said ” Its too heavy” Ram then picked it up and to my relief said ” its OK. I still felt guilty as a result of the comment however and, in a clumsy attempt to relieve it, started to show Ram how the advanced technical harness of the rucksack worked.

I showed him how to use the “slip in” adjuster to adapt the rucksack length to different back sizes. I showed him how to adjust the high tec 8 point harness adjustment system. I showed him the special cantilever belt tightening system and finally the integrated ” all weather” cover which had been designed to deal with deserts, rainforests and mountains. Ram smiled understandingly. He then put a large green plastic bag over the rucksack tied a bit of string round the middle and attached the string to a woven headband. He lifted the rucksack up by the string, put the headband across his forehead and walked off up the mountain.

Later we nearly stepped on a snake. Jo asked Surya “What sort of snake is that?” Surya replied ” A poisonous one”.

Surya, Ram and Mantare. Note the use of the high tec harness system

The snake