After taking our erstwhile companion, (the kitten, still of no name) on a 4 hour bus journey from Kathmandu to Bhara Bise we arrived in good time and quickly found a jeep to take us all the way to Gaathi.
The kitten was a huge success in Bhara Bise, and the source of much amusement as I excitedly mashed chicken sausage and water and fed her her first wet food, (she'd had a good crack at it on the bus but found solids just a bit beyond her....). After getting a jeep and spending the bumpy journey juggling a kitten, an unhappy cockerel and navigating landslides we arrived, slighlty damp.
Once we got to Gaathi the rain simply never stopped. People were still rebuilding their homes, working in the fields and carrying 30+ kg of potatos to be traded for corn up and down the mountains but for my less than fleet-footed Western feet it presented a real problem.
The journey to Sothang is not easy to do in 1 day at the best of times, and the rains were placing a real chance that I'd be putting my Nepali travelling companions at a disadvantage and risk.
So after 2 days of waiting out the rains we had to re-arrange our meeting with the Sothang Coordinator to a village a mere 1 hour hike higher, (though it took me 2). After a considerable meal of local potatos and green chilli chutney, ('Achar') and a short nap underneath the shaman's bee-hive Tara arrived from Sothang.
Despite the location the meeting when well and we have a clear vision of how the newly elected local officials will interact with this project and process. The shaman kindly ignored the mozaic pattern of blood Beebal and I were leaving on his patio as we walked and talked, sufferring the after effects of 20+ leeches each during the journey, (they are real little buggers but at least the chickens liked them).
After negotiating and signing a preliminary agreement, Tara is currently conducting the community and ward levle meetings and aquiring the documents which Beebal will bring back to Kathmandu, (along with the cat) so we can finish costing and sourcing the materials for this November's Trek.