Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/111

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59
FROM CHITLUNG TO KATMANDU

and rocks. Sections of this imperfectly trained landslip are rudely shaped into a semblance of steps, but the main part of it, for steepness and dissimilarity from anything within the ordinary category of a road, is ludicrous. Nevertheless, in its primeval grandeur, and primitive construction, this last stage leading into the heart of Nepal is most impressive, and although the view of the valley gradually dissolves as one progresses, the occasional miniature pictures of the tender distance framed by the heavy foliage form a beautiful contrast to the sombre savage "great world's altar stairs" down which we are plunging.

The inhabitants, however, of the valley and its neighbourhood seem to make light of this march, and a constant stream of them are to be met with, some of whom daily make the journey from Chitlung to Katmandu, or vice versa, in connection with their work. Most of them are heavily laden coolies, but there are also parties of women and girls, wearing diadems and tiaras of wild flowers, who climb with chamois spring up the rocky