(Written by Steph)
We woke up late (ha! I never thought I would call 8am late!) and decided that as the journey was going to be another 5 or so hours downhill, and me feeling my dodgy dancer’s knees, we would spend a day chilling in Sing Gompa and set off early the next day. There wasn’t a great deal to do here, but it was nice to have a western toilet and a nice, if basic, room.
Come evening time, we gathered in the dining area, huddled around the fire with all the Nepalese workers who had been working to rebuild a wall during the day. This was fascinating to watch – old school to the max – checking levels with string tied to wooden sticks and flattening rocks with a chisel, a hammer and a great deal of brut force. Still, they had the art down to a tee.
Over dinner, the Buddhist owners put on a video of a large group of people, dressed in traditional clothing, singing and dancing. The sense of unity and joy between them was magical, and I found myself mesmerised by them. When I asked who these people were and what event this was, the lady owner informed me that these were people from the Langtang Valley in a festival that had taken place one year beforehand. “Now 50% of these people dead,” she told me. The Langtang Valley had been completely destroyed in the earthquakes, being a site of so many landslides. The ones that were still living were lucky enough to be so because many of them were visiting children that were studying in Kathmandu at the time. A wave of sadness hit me. Watching how alive those people were, and knowing that so many of them were no longer, was heartbreaking. What must it be like for the people that knew them, who lived through this tragic experience, watching this one year on, I wondered? We slipped off to bed, and left them with their video and their thoughts…