Time to charge our batteries! We are taking a trip to the far reaches of northern Nepal and will be officially beginning production of the film. The district of Sankhuwasabha is our destination and we will be on road for four weeks going as far the Tibetan border town Kimanthangka. After a bit of an ordeal and a week of running around Kathmandu, we acquired permits for the region and have hired a young man named Rinjin to accompany us. Rinjin is from Chyamtang - about a two days walk from Tibet - and he will help with meeting and talking to people in the area. We will be interviewing villagers along the way and hope to identify some of the characters for the film. Since permitting was such a pain (only the northern 1/3 of the planned road is in an area restricted for foreigners - known as the Makalu Barun Buffer Zone) we are taking our gear with us and documenting what we can on this, our initial, trip. We hope to take subsequent trips to the area over the coming months, but will be taking full advantage of our time there. We will be traveling along the upper Arun River valley, staying under 10,000 feet for the duration and hopefully avoiding any snow!
We will take a LONG bus ride (12 hours, we have been told) from Dharan to Khadbari. After spending a night in Khadbari, or maybe two, we will take a jeep ride north to Num along a rough dirt track. From Num we begin our walk steeply down to the Arun River where construction is underway on a major bridge that crosses the river. The Arun is the major tributary for the Koshi river - which is the largest river in Nepal - which in turn empties into the Ganges in India. On the other side of Num bulldozers have been busy at work (ferried across the river) for the past year or two expanding the roadway north. We will walk along the newly constructed road and eventually beyond it, along its planned route all the way to the border of Nepal and Tibet (China). Needless to say we are very excited!