We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. Click here to find out more. Allow cookies

arrow Register here

Forgotten password?


Day 48: Lekhani to Pokhara

Dopali, Nepal 
click to enlarge 
file size
Crossing the cable bridge at Dopali, having been forced to abandon Ghurkha recruiting after Maoist guerrillas abducted Adrian and other senior officers.
Michael Palin - HimalayaAdrian and his companions have not returned. Wongchu, our experienced Sherpa leader, doesn't want to stay here a moment longer than we have to, and in truth, there's nothing much we can do.

We wait until nine, then strike camp and head off down to the valley. As we leave the village we pass groups of young men standing around. Faces that were so eager yesterday, are either blank or confused as they wait to be told what they probably know already, that all their efforts were wasted.

I feel we've let them down and try to avoid catching their eye.

Soon Lekhani passes out of sight, and we pick our way down steep and precarious clay tracks through tiny settlements where we are the objects of considerable curiosity. The sticky heat of the valley replaces the cool of Lekhani, and I'm pouring sweat by the time we step carefully along the knife-edge rim of a rice paddy and out onto a level but half-finished highway, which in happier circumstances might have prompted mass whistling of the River Kwai march.

The road-head, over two hours' walk from Lekhani, is at a pretty village called Dopali, surrounded by silent, wooded slopes and a clean, fast-rushing stream. Life seems utterly restful here. An old lady cradles a cat, a family sit on the steps of a beautifully carved timber-frame house whose long doors are folded open to reveal slanting rays of sun spilling onto a cool, clay floor. Dopali is like something in a dream, a vision of delicious drowsiness and lethargy sent to subvert the purposeful and debilitate the dedicated.
Choose another day from Himalaya


  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 48: Lekhani to Pokhara
  • Country/sea: Nepal
  • Place: Lekhani
  • Book page no: 109

Bookmarks will keep your place in one or more series. But you'll need to register and/or log in.