Sunday, 17 August 2008


The weather in the UK is never predictable, as I'm sure you don't need me to tell you; so living in a country where you can predict almost to the day that the rains will stop is slightly odd for those of us of British origin. However that is the case with Monsoon here. We were told this week that the 30th September is the official date for the end of the rains, but that sometimes it goes on for a few extra days.

Once it does finish, that's it for rain till the winter rains which are supposed to be around January time, although they were much later this year. It's weird to think that we won't have any rain for 3 months or so given the situation now. Everyday it rains, not all day of course, but if we go 24 hours without it it's unusual. Often it's been quite good and just rained at night, which has the added bonus of keeping all the street dogs quiet as they seek shelter, enabling a better nights sleep for us.

While the rain does vary from British style drizzle to tropical style torrents we've learnt one key thing; if you go out without an umbrella or raincoat you can guarantee what it will do. Last Saturday evening saw the biggest downpour we've had since being here. Our house fills most of the compound it's on, but there is a paved area which goes all the way around the house. Well as a result of the huge deluge in such a short period this paved area was turned into a moat, trapping us in our house.

Thankfully our flat is up two small steps and the flood waters only made it to the top of the first step, so our flat stayed dry. However we knew of two houses that weren't so lucky and our friends living in those houses saw quite a bit of flood damage. One friend said she was sat on her bed reading when she noticed her bin was starting to move across the room. In another house the flooding was so bad the dog had to actually swim through it to get to dry land. We've been reassured since that downpours like that only happen about once every year, so hopefully we won't see another one like that this Monsoon.

We've now been back at school two weeks and have really enjoyed it. Actually being on full timetables, having a form and being one of the slightly experienced members of staff, showing the new guys the way has been really good. It has been busier though, particularly for Dan who spent quite a bit of the summer organising the timetable; then mistakenly assumed that after the first day of term that would be it and no changes would need to be made.

We hope you are all having a good summer and enjoying the unpredictable English weather. Thanks for all of you who've been in touch, we do enjoy hearing news from England (or Ecuador as we did this week), apologies if we're sometimes slow to respond but we do appreciate the updates.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Jomson Trek

Well our summer is now nearly over and we are starting to get ready for the new school year.We broke up just before the end of June, and start back on monday.

We had a very lazy first week here in Kathmandu, before heading down to Pokhara in the second week. We spent a good few days there before we attempted to fly to Jomson. We were heading to Jomson because it is on the north side of the Annurpurna mountains and so in a rainshadow. However, we were told that due to the bad weather caused by the monsoon at this time of year flights are often delayed or cancelled. We were booked on the second flight of the morning and so got up at 4 in the morning to go to the airport for five where we found the gates still locked. This set the trend for the morning as we waited, usually patiently, for things to happen.

When we did get inside there was no-one to check us in, and when someone did arrive we were not allowed to check in as the first flight still hadn't checked in - even though there flight was due to leave 20 mins previously, not a good sign! Once we had finally checked in we were directed to the airport cafe for breakfast and a couple of hours later a plane arrived. However, we quickly realised it was not ours. It took off again after a very quick turn around, headed for Jomson. A short while later when it returned with the same passengers as it had not been able to land and so all planes were cancelled and we were sent home about 9.30. So we all headed back to our hotel beds for a nap hoping that we'd be able to do it all again tomorrow! So we learnt our lesson and went a bit later the next day - we were now booked onto a different airline as ours had no space. However to cut a long morning short we did finally get to Jomson! Yay!

Jomson and the surrounding area has some stunnning scenery. As I said earlier it is in a rainshadow and so the landscape is very barren, but around the villages there is a lot of green where the locals are using irrigation for farming. We were with a family of 4 and two single girls. We took it at a very leisurely pace, walking to our next stop in the mornings and then exploring the village and surrounding area in the afternoons, if we wanted to.

The lodges where we stayed were all very Tibetan in style and did very good food, alot more homely then the places we stayed on the ABC trek, as many of them were actually people's homes not just lodges which were only open in tourist season as before. Have a look at our photos on facebook to see more of the scenery and our trip.

Since being back we have both been in and out of school a bit preparing for the new school year. We have also been relaxing too. We are off to a nice hotel for the weekend now to enjoy the end of the holidays and to celebrate our wedding anniversary which is next week. Dan planned it as a surprise and told me last night!

Hope you are all enjoying your summers and have a good break at some point too.
Dan and Becky.