Wednesday, 20 August 2014


Water!  Pouring off the hills, dripping from the leaves, splashing in the puddles, tumbling over rocks in the streams and roaring down the rivers.  The constant sound of raindrops pervades. Everything is sodden. It is monsoon time in Nepal!

The road to Besisahar has become a mess; boulders and small landslips, which have fallen down the hillside, restricting the road width in many places, huge potholes filled with water and knee deep fords where the side streams cross the main road.  Two smooth rock faces beside the road have turned into torrential waterfalls, one spectacularly high with white water streaming down it. It is not surprising that there are so many difficulties with the condition of roads in Nepal, when you see the power of running water at this time.

Lying awake at night I listen to a cacophony of noise; from the stream that runs beside my house (but has never had water in it until now), the frogs croaking and cicadas scraping; one variety actually whine like a drilling machine struggling to keep going.  

How green all the vegetation is too!  Everything is growing so fast. The young rice in the paddies has coated the hillsides in emerald and the forests are lush. 

However work weeding the rice paddies is a very wet activity, so the Nepalis have invented a special umbrella-hat, leaving hands free. Simple but effective!

It is hot and uncomfortable because of the humidity, especially for a ‘bideshi’ from a cool European climate.  At around 24C.degrees at 8pm as I write this, it will be too hot to sleep comfortably.  My walks to school, even when cooler early in the morning, leave me wringing wet with sweat, and I need to carry a change of clothes to freshen up before I start work.  No wonder the schools shut for 5 weeks during July and August because of the monsoon!

The river in March
Yesterday, on the way to one of the nearest school, much of the path had turned into a rushing stream.  

The river in August after heavy rain.

From the bridge over the main Marsyngi Khola, the river was unrecognisable from the one I had seen a few months before.  A roaring torrent of water, double the size of the dry season river, was charging down the valley.  

The water was brown/grey with the silt it carried, and I’m sure there were lots of boulders being rolled down the valley within this torrent.  No wonder there are so many large boulders visible when the water level is low, 10 Kilometres down the valley. 

Even the small stream up a side valley near the school, had become a fair sized river.  I stopped and stared in wonder at the ford; here back in February I had managed to cross without getting wet feet.  Now the force of the water would have carried me away if I had attempted that! Fortunately there is also a suspension bridge further upstream so we were able to reach the school.

In places long streams of water fall, bubbling and white, down from the hills above.

A tree covered in large white flowers caught my attention – beautifully scented and with an interesting shape, this was a flower I hadn’t seen before.  This tree looks very dull and ordinary during the rest of the year, but comes into its own with the rain of the monsoon.
Pheri bheTaulaa

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