About a third of the way down we came to the village of Meghma. It seemed very appropriately named, since it loomed out of a sea of clouds as we approached. A small forest guards’ checkpost stood on the road. They’d taken down our details when we went up, and now we had to tell them that we were on our way down. The guard was very considerate, perhaps he’d not met many walkers our age. Were we okay? How far were we planning to walk? Could we reach before sundown? Did we want to sit down? Call our vehicle for a pickup? We thanked him and walked along.

The Singalila ridge runs north to south, with Nepal lying to the west. The Family recognized a lichen encrusted stone slab as a border marker and took the photo you can see above. The villages are tiny. The whole area is a protected bioreserve, slowly recovering from the intense capitalist assault that was the British empire. People who had lived there earlier continue to have the right to live and utilize the ecosystem, but new settlements are not allowed. We saw little temples, prayer flags in plenty, and a field of chortens protected by a gate.

Tamso ma jyotirgamay

The houses were weathered and beautiful. I was intrigued by the shape of the chimney. Why is the top three branched? Perhaps an engineer who reads this blog will be kind enough to explain. There is heavy rain here, so the sloping metal roofs of the old buildings make sense. The flat concrete roofs of the more recent buildings did not seem appropriate, they probably need a lot of maintenance. As a city dweller, I always wonder about the lives of people who live in such remote and isolated places. How do you cope when you can’t just pop out to buy some eggs? What if the nearest school is thirty kilometers away? How would you deal with an emergency when the nearest doctor is four hours away? People manage, so there are ways. We walked on through the fog, as it waxed and waned.