We got up early in Besisharha And Khadgo went to inquire about taking a Jeep to the village of Puma – up in the mountains about 1 hour away by Jeep. “The road to Puma is very poor.” This is what Khadgo told me, and he’s Nepalese; when a Nepalese person says something is bad – then it is worse than bad in my mind. We wouldn’t even call it a drivable road in America. With all of the mud slides and rain from the previous day, he wasn’t sure if the Jeep could even make it through. He came back to me while I was eating breakfast and broke the news to me – the Jeeps can’t make it through, we would have to hike to Puma. This was ok with me for three reasons; I would have been terrified of being a passenger anyway as the ‘road’ was steep and narrow, I thought the exercise would be good for me as I love to trek, and I wasn’t in any hurry to arrive at the village due to all of my fears about being there anyway.
Unfortunately, if I had known this, I might have packed a little differently…like much, much lighter! I took my big pack and Khadgo took my other two packs with computer and camera and we took off. I loved the trekking. It was definitely challenging as I’ve never had to carry a pack that big while trekking before. Normally porters carry the bags, but I was my own porter today.
It took us 3 ½ hours to make it up the mountain to the Puma village. The last part of the hike we went through muddy/watery rice fields as a ‘short cut’. That is when it happened…the leaches. I of course didn’t know this until I took off my sandals after we arrived at my guest house. I had 3 big leaches and 2 small ones on my feet. I pretty much freaked out. They told me that there could be leaches here, and I’ve had them before, but they’ve been small, not like these big ones that were happily attached to me. I tried to stay calm, but I’m sure that the panic on my face was a give away that this is something that didn’t happen regularly in NYC to me. In NYC I just go for pedicures, the little pedicure ladies are the only ones that touch my feet – not leaches.
Khadgo quickly took his chewing tobacco (unused) and put it on the leaches and then he pulled them off. See, I learned something today – if you want to remove a leach, have chewing tobacco, they come off much easier and less painfully than pulling them off. Apparently salt and lemon also work. Tuck that info in your survival handbook just in case you find yourself in a similar situation. After they were pulled off blood started gushing everywhere…those little suckers work fast. Seriously, I’ve never had something bleed so much before. It’s worse than nicking yourself shaving – it’s like they drill into a vein or something! We cleaned it off with water that is undrinkable for me, and the situation was handled.
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