We had a beautiful and varied 5 hour trek today.  The walk was entirely on a trail.  This is our definite preference, but it does mean that the walking is more challenging.  There were several steep climbs on well constructed stone stairways that had our legs burning.  The walking times do not adequately reflect the effort expended on some legs, as the climbs take a physical toll.  Many of the other trekkers have porters, which would make things much easier.  The porters carry up to 30 kilograms, which means they are often bearing two backpacks lashed together.

Much of the day we could look across the river at the ongoing construction on the road.  There were also a number of places where aggregate was being extracted from the banks of the river.  We were told that a 600 MW hydro power project was proposed for one site near the town of Tal.  The locals that we have spoken with welcome the work that these developments provide, but otherwise seem opposed to them.  Change is occurring rapidly in the valley, and it appears likely to continue.  It makes me sad to see the degradation of this amazing area.

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