Cakes around the world travel blog


our room

our room

view from our room

view of mud from our room

another view from our room

living room

the girls and a bear

girls and goat


claire carrying yak dung

walking over landslides out of mud

claire's story of what happened in Mudh, edited by me:

"The next day we wanted to get moving so we decided to move on and go to a small village called Mud in the Pin valley national park. This borders on the Himalayan National park [this is not strictly true - Claire's geography is a bit random, ed!] and is a valley that is a bit greener , "with more rain, snow leopards, ibex and eagles." We decided to get the 1 hour local bus. Ummm. Easy apparently. That was the bus journey of a lifetime.

We got on the bus and managed to get a seat next to a grumpy looking French couple while locals were piling on their produce (sacks of peas and flour, glass, wire, massive suitcases etc) the bus was getting fuller and fuller with people and this was fairly amuzing when we eventually left and i had a Isrealiy older traveller sat on my lap, other tourists piled up at the back, all the locals sitting on each other and lots of luggage on the roof [luckily i was sat fairly out of the way, with only a few bags under my feet and an old buddhist man sat half on top of me, ed]. All was merriment, the only mild worry was the rain started and we realised that our rucksacks on the roof would be getting wet and more and more people were trying to get on.

Then more and more people were getting on.

Then more and more people were getting on

Then more and more people were getting on

Then more and more people were getting on

Untill-AHHHH oh my God it was like bus capacity gone insane. 40 peple were on the roof, every corner the bus tilted, we wound up a rain drenched thunder storming brown mud mountain getting darker and darker with women screaming, singing, chatting so loud, people hanging off the back, grannies on my head, children being thrown at you, peas going everywhere, tourist taking photos hanging from the windows, things falling off and the conductor calmly climbing on your lap to get fares looking like it was the normal number 5 route back from town. The French were very very grumpy by this point. [tourists weren't really hanging from the windows, they were actually comfy dry inside, taking photos of soaking wet locals who WERE hanging off the roof and from the windows, ed]


We arrived in Mud and promptly got covered in mud. We found ourselves suddenly, after slidding down a montain side with our soaked rucksacks, in a warm welcoming family house after following a man who said he had a room. This turned out to be the 'homestay' we were wanting to do in style. They were the most fantastic family, a husband called 'the owner' [? don't know what she means, his name was Tanzin, ed] who showed us to a tiny blue painted room on the roof of their traditional family mud (I mean made of mud, not the village name) house. Strange square thatching on the roof was like wattle and daube, a yak and a donkey lived downstairs, the kitched was a communal washing, eating cooking room. A yak dung stove was the centre point with raised seating around it where you sit cross legged in a circle with the family and the local shepards. They cooked us a wonderful pea dinner every night with a variety of different shepards for company.

Home brew 'hops wine' was brought out and the warmth from the stove, gently chanting prayer wheel spinning grandads, small dung covered children and chapati making mumbling women made for sleepy warm earthy goodness of a three days. Truly wonderful Tibetan people. This area was all part of Tibet for a long time and the traditions and welcome felt like a 14th century time travel privilidge. The toilet was two holes in a pitch black room, no elctricity and no running water.

We managed some walking from here as our Kaza heads seemed to have improved. The second walk was the most exciting as half way through on a flat field we noticed a Yak/cow/bull enourmous black tail swishy large horned creature was getting a bit jittery in the distance, walking on i began to get a bit concerned as it bagan running at the speed of bull lightning towards us then stopping and charging the other way. We wanted to stay calm and had seen many other locals and walkers doing this route so carried on.

Then it really came towards us.

A handy mani stone wall (Sacred buddist carved stone collection) was our retreat and as we guilty climbed ontop of it the bull was getting closer and closer. past caring how sacred the stones were we picked some up ready to chuck at fore mentioned beast from hell. I was ready to die, it was that scary. b was very pale as we looked at eachother trying not to make eye contct with it (B thought she had heard that makes them worse). It however stopped to a skidding halt about 10 meters away and snorted lots. Noticing a group of distant poeople we began waving to them in desperate help language but they seemed oblivious. A stalemate insued involvoing snorting, hiding , snorting, fretting, snorting ,waving and finally a bored charge in the opposite direction by the bull. Making a dash for the people we realised they were three tiny dung collectors about 5-12 happyly obivious. We panted up to them making bull horn finger gesturs still feeling like death was imminent and they proceeded to laugh and look like we were insane. The promptly adopted us, did a small song and dance performance, eat all our provisions, wondered at our binoculars and walked us back to the bull with me carrying some dung as a thankyou. On its second charge at the group, which had swelled to include a goat and a small calf they picked up some pebbles, throwing them at now less scarey yak bull and laughed at its tail between legs skitter into the distance at the terrifying sight of two pale tourists, three small children and a goat walking towards it... a lesson to be learned from children on bravery and friendlyness. They then took us back to their house for chai.

The next day we thought we would head back to Kaza. Then we heard the 'road was closed'. The owner calmly informed us that the night we had arrived in the middle of a monsoonal downpoor there were huge landslides covering the road and the bus only went to Gulling, then you walk and then you get a taxi. Ok we said sounds ok. On the bus were the French looking less grumpy but with news that the 2 km walk we had heard about was now 12. Then it was 14. What actually happened was that the bus stopped at Gulling (a small village) as promised then the 'walk' turned into a tractor ride with David grumpy French sitting on my lap, a hundred very excited Tibetan men also sitting on his lap,small children hanging onto B, curry falling out of bags and French screaming to 'STOP'. Everyone piled out and the walking then began. Backpacks are heavey. Mud is soft and jelly like when only held together by grit and boulders. Walking was hard. We got a ride from a man in a van, a government taxi, others were riding in bulldozers, children in the scoopy bit. It was fun. We Got out!!! We agreed with the French to make a quick exit back to manali and civilisation. Yesterday we did a 10 hour jeep ride with only two hairy moments that we were very calm about and arrived to telly, room service, running hot water and electricity yesterday. Thats it!!!!!!!!!!!! "

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