Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/112

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60
THE HIGH ROAD TO KATMANDU

passages, breaking the solemn silence of the forest with their songs, which echo in the distance with a long-drawn plaintive note like that of a lost Dryad. Bullocks and goats may be seen undertaking this route, and almost as if out of their element flounder from rock to rock, but rarely come to grief. A buffalo calf is being carried up in a basket on its owner's back, with the anxious mother blundering along in the rear. The little one seems quite self-possessed in its apparently uncomfortable position, with its head lolling over the shoulder of its human foster-father, and shows its affection by occasionally licking his ear.

From the foot of the descent there is one more phase of the journey. This consists of seven level miles across the plain to Katmandu, which lies towards the centre of the valley. Through an expanse of flat cultivated country the road winds, crossing by bridges the Kalimatti and Vishnumatti Rivers, until the capital of the State is reached. The highroad to Katmandu is at an end.