Journey with Smile
Humla is the most remote district in Nepal, and one of the poorest. It is a food deficit area where the crops that grow will not feed locals for more than 5 months out of the year, it’s people, usually the men folk, migrate to work as wage labors to the lowlands to earn money to buy food to feed their families.
Humla, despite its disadvantages has a very rich and well preserved culture, and its remoteness has preserved its natural beauty in a way that makes it a fascinating place to visit. It is a gateway for visitors to the sacred mountains of Kailash in Tibet and the holy Mansarvor lakes. To get to Humla, we have to fly from Nepalgunj, a steaming hot city in South Western Nepal. Access is however limited with only the airport at Simikot, spread across a ridge at 2900m.
H Plant is working in 8 out of 31 VDCs of Humla. The distances from one to another VDC is quite long and have to walk days to reach these places. From the district capital of Simikot to reach our working area, the trail threads along towering green cliffs above the roaring Karnali, the longest river in Nepal. We will pass clusters of stone houses having small windows with mud covered top and in the first floor having the place for cattle, dry grass, collected fire-wood. We will also encounter Thakuri women wearing heavy gold and silver jewellery, and Thakuri men leading flocks of long-haired goats up and down the muddy trail.
The changing sound of Karnali and adjoining hundreds of streams and cascades both sides of the river, lynching wheat and barley plants, potato and beans welcome us frequently. Rarely do we meet innocent women and children asking for medicine and washing soap. Sometime, we need to stop let the caravan of sheep and goats carrying salt from Tibet pass from the trail.
Different types of flowers in different colors and sizes, some at the cliff, some in the tree and some on the trail looking the river offer us the inner most love touching in our eyes, eye lid, checks and the lips. On the way, we cross high altitude pine forest and bushes of different types of herbal plants. The trees are also found rapidly decreasing putting the hills naked.
Though the trail is adventurous, hard, barren and complex but it is the mines of hidden and unexplored beauty. The trail offers vistas that are boundless and eternally beautiful and is certainly an incredibly stimulating heroic Himalayan experience. The surrounding beauty quickly wipes away the tiredness of our whole day walk
We will notice every face wearing a smile. No matter where we reach, though the life is challenging, every person we come across will greet us with a Smile and makes us feel life is still worthwhile, if we just smile.