September 26, 2008:
Dhi to Luri Gompa
Woke up around 6 am. It was great to
be able to sleep in a place with no
barking dogs! Had breakfast at 7:30
am. Watched the Didi on her
spinning wheel for a while. Then we
started our hike to Luri Gompa. We
went down to the Kali Gandaki River.
Yes, we were again in the Kali
Gandaki. We crossed the river and
walked south in the riverbed for a bit.
We took the next valley to our left, i.e.
east, called Puyung Khola.
We stayed in the riverbed for the next
45 minutes and slowly gained altitude.
To our right were spectacular rock
formations caused by erosion. In these
rock formations were also lots of
caves. We left the riverbed and hiked
up to the first village in this valley, Yara.
While walking through this village, a
couple of times we got close to those
Tibetan Mastiffs who barked at us
viciously. Outside the village, we went
back down again into the riverbed.
For the next 15-20 minutes, the  riverbed was real narrow. Then it opened up again and soon thereafter,
we climbed out of the riverbed again to get to the village of Ghara. Here, we were told, was the keyman for
Luri Gompa. Immediately after entering the village, there were several women in the field. Yam started
talking to them. All of them wanted to get married to me or so they said. We had a lot of fun talking with
them. I finally agreed that I would marry all four of them and they were laughing.
The keyman for Luri Gompa apparantly was working in the field, but he was notified of our arrival. Another
lady took us to her house and served us some Tibetan tea. She also took the opportunity to show us
jewelry and other artifacts which she had for sale. We stayed at her house for about an hour and ate our
packed lunch of which some of it we shared with the lady and her mom who had come in from the fields.
Finally, the keyman showed up and we
left Ghara at about 12:45 pm. The keyman
actually was a monk at Luri Gompa, but
as it was harvest time, all monks were
working in the fields. About 20 minutes or
so outside of Ghara we finally saw Luri
Gompa perched high on cliffs to our left.
We hiked up and the monk let us in.
Located at an altitude of 4,005 meters, Luri Gompa was built in the 14th century. The first room is a chapel
which houses many images and statues, including one of the Guru Rinpoche. Next door is domed shrine
room which is filled completely by a big chorten. Only a small narrow pathway remains between the
chorten and the wall. The chorten is decorated with lots of frescoes. Before we left, we circled the chorten
three times.
Lower down is a monastery which houses several monks who were all out in the fields. We went inside
the assembly hall. The walls were adorned by beautiful paintings. After taking a few more pictures
outside in this grandiose scenery, Yam and I started our hike back to Dhi at around 2:15 pm.
The keyman told us about a different route down back
to Dhi. We followed at first the riverbed in front of Luri
Gompa. After probably close to an hour, we passed
some caves and then saw a chorten on the right
signalling us to leave the riverbed. We went up to a
ridge from where we had great views of Dhaulagiri. Up
here, we took a break soaking in the sights.
We continued along the ridge and soon were
back in Yara. Approaching Yara, we saw how
the local population is watering their fields.
They pipe the water down from high up in the
mountains and let gravity flow it into their
fields. Yara was surrounded by trees and
fields in an otherwise desolate landscape. At
Yara, there were 2 groups of Germans again. I
really think there were more Germans than
Mustangis in Mustang!! We continued down
the same riverbed we came up in the morning.
Finally, back in the Kali Gandaki, we walked
upriver to the bridge, crossed it and were
back in Dhi at around 5 pm.
To my surprise, my lama friend
Tenzin as well as 2 of his lama
friends were in our lodge waiting for
us. They made the long trip from Lo
Manthang that afternoon. As they
had the next day off, they wanted to
pick me up in Dhi and walk back to
Lo Manthang with me. I had a very
pleasant evening in their company.
We sat in the dining room and talked
about buddhism, different cultures in
Nepal, in the US, etc. etc. Some
funny discussions as well: One of
them wears glasses and I showed
them my contact lenses, something
he had never seen before. He loved
them and wanted to look into getting
some on his stay in Kathmandu over
the winter. Went to bed around 9 pm.
Yara
Two of my future wives
Dhaulagiri