Pokhara Valley
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Rock Quarry, Pokhara Valley, Kaski District, Nepal.
We rented a motorcycle with the intent of getting out of town and into the hills. Our plan was to find a random trail head, and spirit away into the mountains for a day or two. The range didn't matter much - we knew the views would be spectacular from just about anywhere. All we wanted to do was get lost. A few KM out of Pokhara proper, we came upon a woman dumping rocks onto a pile near the side of the road. She must have been carrying 200 pounds or more on her back, though she couldn't have weighed more than 120 pounds herself. I was gobsmacked. We parked the bike and hiked to the quarry with her, in awe of the job she and a number of other women were doing. The ladies were friendly enough, but non spoke English, so we couldn't quite figure out what they were doing. The foreman - a man doing none of the heavy lifting - tried to explain to us what was going on; from what I was able to gather, the rocks were pounded into dust to be used on construction sites. I didn't bother to ask who would be doing the pounding, as I had my suspicions. I've met people with tough jobs before, but these gals take things to a whole different level. I tried hauling one of the baskets over the rocky trail and through the stream, but had to pack it in when my shoes came off. I think it's important to see how people live in other parts of the world, if for no other reason than to give us a bit of perspective on how we do things at home.
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