The village of Sahartara is about 200m above Barbung Khola. Here, we were happy to learn from the owner of the house we stayed in that he had been to Jomson over the Mu La, and that it was not a difficult route unless there was snow. Thus, our prospects were good for completing the circuit.
At Sahartara there was a group of trekkers, who were planning to fly out from Jupla, about two days walk down the Barbung Khola. They were the only non-Nepalese we were to see for over three weeks. From now on, the locals were ethnic Tibetans, who called themselves Gurungs.
Tamangs are also descended from Tibetans who "went out to the low land" (that's what "Tamang" means). They migrated so many centuries ago that their language has evolved to the point that they can no longer understand Tibetan. However, most Nepalese speak Nepalese, often as a second language, and the Tamangs could converse with the villagers in Nepalese. The Tamang scriptures are in Tibetan, and so, for a Tamang to be a lama, he must be able to read Tibetan.
Young girl at Sahartara (on the roof of the house we stayed in).
The crew packing up at Sahartara. Thulo scratches his head at right, while the villagers watch intently.
Each morning that we stayed in a village, there would be the pantomime of the paying of the bill. A figure would be named; shocked horror expressed; angry words and glares exchanged; then, when it appeared blows were to be struck, agreement would be reached, and the parties would return to their happy smiles.
From Sahartara, we hired two porters, and walked east up the Barbung Khola to the village of Kakkot.
Tarjan descending from Sahartara to the Barbung Khola
We stopped at the collection of houses seen in the preceding photo to buy kerosene.
On the afternoon of the day we left Sahartara, we had the first rain of the trip. It became quite heavy during the early part of the evening, and in the morning there was an ominous coating of snow down to about 4000m.
Thulo and Gunjaman, well equipped for the rain. Behind is a side valley to the Barbung Khola.
On our arrival at Kakkot, the Tamangs bought a goat, which they dispatched and dismembered with amazing skill for people of the Buddhist faith.