Thursday, 10 July 2014

Monsoon consequences, Pokhara, Nepal, July 2014

Muddy in the hills...
Wet Consequences....

A consequence of any prolonged wet period in Asia invariably means an increase in the mosquito population. Nepal and especially Pokhara is no exception. The Mosquitos here are big, bad, ugly and ruthless when it comes to seeking out a meal of warm human blood. The good news is they lay low during the daytime, but at dusk and after dark it's a different story! It's pretty near impossible to avoid being bitten with swarms of the creatures patrolling every inch of airspace possible. Particularly troublesome are the black and white stripy variety - seems they are programmed to seek and destroy! They will chase their victim and once attached are strong enough to penetrate fabric, including denim. 

More water means more electricity, at least here in Pokhara. It's on pretty much all night and most of the day now - good news for those that need the ceiling fans operable. A good fan will keep those pesky Mosquitos at bay and allow a decent nights sleep. The abundance of monsoon rains added to the melting mountain snow is apparently enough to up the nations electrical output considerably via the numerous hydro power units along major rivers. Locally, the lake is at a pretty healthy level - even the pier walkway is drenched ankle deep forcing those determined the get to that platform in the lake to wade out. Gone are the garbaged covered mud flats, instead waters laps gently at the concreted edge. 

Another inevitable consequence of monsoon rains is travel disruption, particularly to rural communities where roads are mere dirt tracks carved into hillsides. Landslips and rockfalls being the major hazards to watch out for as I witnessed on a recent trip to Sarangkot, a hill village above Pokhara. And inbetween the landslides, well, the tracks are. Pretty well churned up by those buses and jeeps, but they all,get through eventually. However there are occasions where the story sadly ends in disaster as that bus slides down the hillside or the jeeps fails to negotiate a slippery corner. Thankfully my next trip is back to Kathmandu on a reasonably good road that doesn't run high in the mountains. 

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