A Travellerspoint blog

Varanasi - Delhi - HOME.

sunny

19th Varanasi - Delhi

5am. My alarm goes off. I let it ring for ages. The other two don't even move. I get up, turn on the light. Still, no movement. You two are slugs.

We were to catch another boat up the Ganges, but this time at sunrise. We all crammed in an autorickshaw. I stood in something slimy in a dark alley. We got chased by men who 'have a boat'. We found one whose price we were happy with, and off we went. It wasn't dawn just yet; maybe a slight hint of lighter sky to the east. Bron and Joss sent candles out across the water, and clunk, clunk, clunk, we headed downstream. Unlike the other night, there were no fires and dancing- but the burning of bodies never stops.

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Men covered themselves in Ganga water, over and over again, careful to completely wet every part of them, which is particularly impressive in the dead of winter. It was freezing without being wet. Yet all up and down, men, nearly naked, and women, fully clothed, all plunged into the water, before clambering back up the steps to get warm.
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After a yummy breakfast, we headed back to the hotel, and for a little bit of contrast, lounged beside the swish hotel pool for several hours. 2 Swedish girls came and lay there in bikinis. One gave the water a shot. It was freezing. I could have told her that.

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Catching a taxi to the airport, I sort of sadly looked upon the last Indian countryside I would see. It was really beautiful, the canola crops, brassicas, and women amongst the fields, working away.

The flight to Delhi was fairly uneventful, although it was the first time I had ever actually walked from the airport to the aeroplane. It felt kind of odd. After a fair bit of smog after takeoff, we enjoyed an hour and a half of sun in the eyes, followed by a pretty landing at sunset. How idyllic it all looked, bathed in peachy sunlight. Delhi seems to be mainly residential apartments, and forest. It's a bit weird. And there was a patch of heathland with a river running through it. Where are the slums? Maybe further out.

Susan had been really keen to visit Connaught Place, again, for a bit of contrast to the rest of the trip, before heading home. So, after my wanting to murder our taxi drivers for being Indian males (thus not capable of listening to a woman), checking into a not-so-glorious hotel, we headed out to Connaught Place, to experience the sort of Chadstone of Delhi. It was mainly fancy clothing shops and even fancier restaurants where the prices were literally ten times what I had seen anywhere else. I didn't know such places existed!

Trusting Lonely Planet (despite our numerous disagreements), I dragged the O'Malleys to some sort of South Indian take away joint half a kilometre away. I was worried at first; it looked like McDonalds, was noisy, and oooh no, we didn't know what 95% of the things on the menu were. The others got a Thali; I stuck with a dosa, for old time's sake, and I dunno about the others, but I was not disappointed!
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Served on a banana leaf, the thali had three pappadum type breads in the centre, surrounde by about ten little metal dishes of various richly coloured curries, sauces, yoghurts, and a dessert. My dosa, as big and glorious as ever, also had a banana leaf, and four dishes; one gold, one red/brown, one mint-green and finally, a white one. All were absolutely sensational, and a lovely trip back in time to the food we had in Mumbai and Goa. Home again, shower, bed. My exploration of India is over.

20th Delhi – Melbourne

After a rooftop breakfast, all five of us headed to the airport. I had expected a largeish car. It was a tiny car. 3 bags on the roof, two in the tiny boot, four gals mashed in the back, we headed off, through the partly familiar streets and highways of Delhi. I will miss you.

And so here I am. Sitting in an airport. The O'Malleys have flown away home; I still have a few hours to kill, in a waiting room where the Indians seem very civilised, unlike some very similar ones that scared me silly waiting for the plane to Mumbai 6 weeks ago. They still snort and cough like they're trying to heave up a dead rat, but it doesn't intimidate me anymore. They still stare at me for half an hour straight, but I hardly notice it. I don't even remember what used to phase me. I just hope I don't go home and start offending everyone by driving like a lunatic and pushing in queues. No, I still know what my culture is, but I think India has certainly taught me a lot. It has taught me that losing it doesn't work; if someone's pissing you off, talk them down with dry humour; always leave with a smile. Because, rich or poor, healthy or sick, surrounded by loved ones or homeless and alone, happiness is everything. And people mean more to us than we are sometimes willing to admit. The price of your tandoori chicken or taxi ride doesn't really matter, but it is nice to get out of a taxi having picked a bit of a fight with the driver for shits and giggles, at the very least.

This country certainly has the whole 'chill' thing worked out, but that's certainly not to say that I think it's a healthy place to live. Never will I accept a world where men think they possess women. I think it is the most vile and outdated behaviour imaginable. And I understand that girls cost money to marry off in a dowry, but to therefore label all females as some sort of burden on society? The number of times the O'Malleys said that they had two daughters, but only when they then added that they had two sons, too, did people say 'Ah, you are a lucky man'. The way boys go to school, but girls are always the first to be taken out in times of financial need. That in a family of ten boys and one girl, the girl speaks the best English, because she has worked hard, yet they still kill baby girls because they cannot afford them. I can't judge, but to someone of my cultural background, it makes some sort of logical sense, but is completely inexcusable in every other way.

Same with castes. Sure, make holy men the highest caste, but to force a whole group of people into a life of begging, because they are so filthy and untouchable that they cannot even buy food from other Indians, let alone earn money? A life of slavery, being abused for something well beyond their control, having no basic human rights? Are untouchables and the abuse that they receive some sort of strange exception to the whole karma concept that seems such a strong part of this culture? I understand that no world is perfect, it just a difficult thing for a 19 year old white girl from Australia to get used to. And of course, things ARE changing; in some communities, the caste system has been demolished, and all children have the right to an education. Some men at least know to treat western women with courtesy. People are being educated about basic hygiene and safe sex, slowly. You can see the public signs in every village. It will be a long road, especially with so many people so heavily set in their ways, but I guess we just have to respect every fairy step they take in the direction to a healthier way of living.

So here’s to a wonderful journey. To write a proper reflection would take several weeks. So let’s just leave it at this: India, you have changed me most profoundly and exposed me to some of the most breathtaking and heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen. Thanks for the memories. I will miss you.

Posted by hazelnutty 20:56 Archived in India Comments (0)

Varanasi: The spiritual heart of the nation.

And all my favourite parts of India rolled into one old city.

sunny

17th

Varanasi. The religious centre of India. Pilgrims from all over the country arrive in hoards every day, by every means possible, to bathe in the sacred waters, cremate their deceased, bless newborns, and so on. Because so many people here are from elsewhere, and devotedly focussed on their pilgrimage, we, as tourists, had relatively little unwanted attention inflicted upon us. No one really cared what you were doing, because the majority of people there were doing something similar.

After checking into our hotel, I introduced the O'Malleys to the joys of autorickshaw rides; the little dramatic tiff to reach an agreement on price, followed by a rollercoaster ride, where you fear for the lives of yourself, but also everyone else in the vicinity. Thrown off in the middle of nowhere, we followed pilgrims towards to water, before ducking off into a side alley, a bazaar, glittering with golden bangles, colourful textiles, incredible smells (good and bad), and fresh fruit and vegetables. Down some steps, and out onto a ghat, I was taken aback by the sight before us. Not just the sheer number of people washing in the water, selling boat rides, or rowing down the river, but also the openness of the other side. I hadn't realised before how big the sand plain on the other side was until I got here. Bascally, there is Varanasi, a crazy ancient city. Then there's the Ganges, the sacred river. And on the other side of it, there is a huge expanse of off-white pebbles and sand, nearly as far as the eye can see, which cannot be built on because it is flooded during monsoon season. So, people sprawl everywhere on one side, and on the other is just barren, white silence. Some people ride ponies across the plain. That's all. There's just nothing there.

Starting at Lalita Ghat, we walked south along the river, watching pilgrims bathe in the holy water, while locals washed their clothes beside them. The sun was drifting away, so the floodplain was doused in peachy light, and everything would have been perfectly serene, but being in India, there were of course dozens of men chasing us, trying to sell us a boat ride. I would have kicked them up the bum, but I don't think that would be okay in Varanasi.

We finally did take a boat ride, just as the sun set. We agreed on one hour. He rowed for two. But it was breathtaking, so we didn't mind. A little girl jumped on the boat as we were about to leave, selling candles to float on the water. The boats are made from leaves, heated, pressed into a boat shape, and dried hard, with flowers, usually rose petals, surrounding a single, handmade candle. This is one of the few parts of Varanasi culture that we could partake in: you place the flower on the water, and say your name as you release it. I imagine it is to ask for blessings from the river.

So we headed north, in darkness by this stage, the ghats lit up by street-lights and fire. At pm, the nightly dances and music started, where a whole series of ghats were lit up with flames, lights, singing, dancers and beds of marigolds. Candles drifted about in the dark water, and finally died out, halfway across. The furthest point we reached was Manikarnika Ghat, the famous site where people cremate their deceased. Apparently the process takes about 3 hours, and costs around 5,000 rupees ($120), and supposedly, 2 trees worth of wood. Our rower/guide said that two trees are planted for every child born, and perhaps this is why.

I am generally fairly spooky. I can't stand graveyards, am a little bit scared of the dark, and CANNOT STAND dark water. Yet there we were, sitting in a pitch black river, watch bodies being burned, and I felt incredibly calm. To see the families sitting in groups on the steps, watching, while somebody made their exit from the physical world, was quite humbling, and it sort of made sense. People are born, people die; these are facts of life. There were no cries from the families; it was quite quiet, and a cow stood in the middle of it all, watching. The only people moving were the blokes (and boys) putting wood on the fires.

There were at least 8 cremations taking place when we were there, and our guide said that they go on like this, all day and night. 6 were on the main part of the ghat, and the there were two on a rooftop above the whole lot. These were people of a high caste. Well separated from everyone else. But then there are some people who are not allowed to be cremated. I have heard that the lowest caste, the untouchables, may not be burned. Our guide also said that lepers, babies,people who died of smallpox, and a few others, are not burned. I don't know what happens to them!

Afterwards, I attempted to find the 'Our Pick' for Lonely Planet restaurants, the bloody Brown Bread Bakery. It was really hard to find, because the Indians wouldn't let us go down the alley to get there, because there was some stupid temple in the way. Whatever, temple, who do you think you are, anyway.

The food took forever to come, they forgot Bron's dish til we were all eating ours, and then they realised that they didn't have any chicken, and no one could be bothered going and finding another one in an alley, apparently. It was yum.

Home again, and the Bron-Joss-Hil autorickshaw agreed to a Philip-Susan autorickshaw drag-race. It was jolly good fun, belting down the streets of Varanasi at top notch, dodging everything from men on bikes to trucks full of gravel. We cheated, by going around the wrong side of a traffic island, but we were totally victorious anyway.

18th

Because no one else actually got that much sleep on the night train (only weirdos like me sleep better on night trains than in real beds), we had a sleep in. After a buffet breakfast, where getting a plate AND toast AND butter AND jam was a bit of a struggle, we autorickshawed back into town. I tried to find a mosque, LP map failed, so I gave up, and we just wandered down back streets for a few hours. And it was amazing. This wasn't tourist/pilgrim-aimed markets; these markets were for the locals, selling fruit and veg, desserts, kitchen supplies, handyman supplies, and so on. It was AMAZING. Taking a guess, we took a left turn to try and reach the water, which it did, but it was only when I saw the heat waves rising over the edge that I realised we'd hit the one ghat that was NOT okay to walk into. The cremation ghat. Awkwardly, we tiptoed away, and tried again.

Then I found a sugarcane juice stall, I enjoyed my last one, possibly for a very long time. Sob. The bloke selling it to me said 10 rupees. I gave him 10 rupees. Then he shouted 'TEN RUPEES' and I shouted 'I GAVE YOU TEN RUPEES', and whatever the issue had been, was suddenly resolved. It's amazing what confidence/shouting can achieve.

Lunch, at an equally yummy but marginally faster restaurant. I had chicken yakisoba, which, kind of like the spaghetti bolognese I once ordered, was really just normal Indian noodles with some vegetables and spices. You're really better off just ordering Indian food in India, although discovering the Indianised version of overseas equivalents is always pretty entertaining.

In the afternoon, we visited a temple at the university, which was quite nice, and the fort, which had seen better days. The highlight was probably crossing a pontoon bridge in an autorickshaw. Terrifying, yet you have to laugh, because it was SO bumpy!

We then spent about nine years trying to get from one corner of town to the other through peak hour traffic. We all nearly died of carbon monoxide poisoning, our autorickshaw broke down, so we got another driver/autorickshaw set, Bron got bucked out into the traffic jam, and it was all generally just a pretty fun experience.

Posted by hazelnutty 20:37 Archived in India Comments (0)

Raxaul: a bustling dustbowl

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15th Pokhara – Raxaul

Our van arrived 15 minutes early, causing me to skull my breakfast to avoid making our driver wait, but then 5 minutes into the trip, he stopped for about 20 minutes to have a yak/ask directions to Raxaul from his brother/boss. I was soon regretting wishing he would hurry up, because he drove like a maniac, and I was quite carsick within half an hour.

The next two hours were torture, bolting through the mountains at top speed, swerving even on the straight bits of road, but then I got distracted by the huge, beautiful green-blue river winding through the valleys below us. Leaving the pointiest bit of the himalayas, we then entered the sort of foothills/ floodplains, where we had to be stopped a few times by border men, because we were entering special zones or forest. I don't know what kind of tree it was, but we drove through miles of this stunning, tall, open forest, with little evidence of human impact. Apart from the odd tramping track. And half-built/ long-abandoned shed.

Passing buses full of fairly sad looking Indians, with spew marks on half the bus sides, we reached a series of towns, and in each one, our driver shouted at the blue camo army people (that stand around everywhere) for directions. He did not have a clue where he was going. They all thought it was pretty funny.

Many dusty miles later, we reached the border of India and Nepal, and... we could not find where to get our passports stamped. And then we were in India, and the number Michael had given us to call didn't work on anyone's phone, nor did Sammy's, so we just bailed and went to the ONLY hotel in Raxaul that even gets a mention in Lonely Planet. It wasn't that flash, so Philip and I left the 3 girls at the hotel, and went a-hunting for the hotel Michael was staying at, aback trusty autorickshaw steeds that kept trying to buck me off.

The Duncan Hospital is painted in that classic earthen red, with low celings, shawdowy corners and winding passageways. It's clearly a complex that has developed over time, and, really, it works pretty well. Anyway, down a crazy series of passageways, we finally reached the Western Guest House, the part of the hospital where western interns (such as Michael and Sammy) stay. It is also the only part of the hospital with a garden. It's paradise, relative to the rest of the city.

Through a fly-screen door, I heard Sammy's voice, and then were was beautiful Sammy, and a slightly surprised Michael, paler and gaunter than I recall him being, and smiling faces and a much calmer world to the one outside. After even more rigmarole, we managed to get the girls and luggage (by pony and cart) back to the hospital, where we would be staying, and settled down for some masala tea, biscuits and corner store Christmas cake, to share stories, and reflect on the last ten/five/three weeks. It was so, so nice to see Sammy and Mick again.

Before long, it was dinner time, and we bit by bit met the other girls from Holland and Perth who are staying at the Guest House, all of whom are lovely. I'm not really sure what the Dutch gals are up to, but the Perth girls are 6th year Med students, doing a more practical sort of exchange than Mick and Sammy.

After a really nice dinner, we played pictionary, which Michael and I would have done better at if we could read words/colours. Not that I'm bitter.

16th

After another AMAZING meal, this time home-made jam, pikelets of glory and cornflakes (nom nom), we went and sorted our whole illegally-being-in-India situation. Not tooooo traumatic.

Then we were lucky enough to be offered a tour of the hospital. Starting off in the old hospital (the earthen red bit), we visited the generators (which are at least more consistent than the power stations), library, x-ray and ultrasound machines, intensive care ward, labour ward, newborns, laundry and a whole heap more. I won't go into any depth, but will say that it was really fascinating to see how efficiently everything seemed to run. The saddest part for me was seeing all the families waiting outside. The hospital obviously doesn't have enough room too provide accommodation for them all, so, huddled in a corner, there is just a sea of blankets, where mohers, fathers, wives, sisters, children, and so on, lie, waiting to be able to visit whoever they are there for.

We then went over to the new hospital, which is not yet open, a huge, 3/4-storey building with lots of natural light, white, shiny walls and open, straight corridors. Ignoring the plaster dust and so on, it looked pretty well ready to go, with all the machines, beds, toilets, chairs and lights installed. The contrast between the two hospitals was bizarre. And to think that the whole thing was funded by their own money (the Government does bugger all here)- crazy.

More dericious food, and then out into the dusty streets of Raxaul, because I had agreed to go shopping with Sammy. I usually consider the thought of shopping while travelling absolutely vile, but this was actually really, really fun, and a great step into another world. We were looking for sarees, which involved the shopkeepers pulling about a few dozen different options, and laying them on the table, nd everyone going 'ooh, aaah'. Bron, Joss and Susan came along too, and joined in eventually. Philip and Michael preferred to stand on a heinously noisy, dusty, smelly street outside for several hours than be in any way associated with shopping. Whatever floats your boat, guys.

After making our respective choices, we had to get them fitted to us, and then went bangle shopping. At this point, Philip, Susan and Michael went home, while we powered on, battling with shopkeepers over the price of some bits of round metal. Banter. Fun.

Home again, and we packed up, ready for our midnight train, and then went to the church service that Michael and Sammy attend every day in the hospital. Usually it's in the morning, but being a Sunday, it was at 5:30pm. One of the Dutch girls was leading the choir, and then an Australian woman, who has been working in hospitals in India for of the last 11 years, did a talk about being the 'foreigner' in a community. I guess she'd know about that!

Roast for dinner, then everyone played card games, and all too quickly, we were on the road again. Yes, I cried, again. Hilary fail. Crying leads to tireness. The train was a 12 hour jobby. I slept the whole way.

Posted by hazelnutty 20:35 Archived in India Comments (0)

Pokhara: Lakeside, colourful shops and really big potholes

sunny

Our one full day in Pokhara itself. We hired bikes from across the road from our hotel, and then, after a bit of rigmarole, managed to find 5 bikes that actually worked, and rolled on north on the lakeside road. To the west of lakeside is the lake, and to the north, there is a huge hill, which is the takeoff point for the paragliders. There are usually about 10 of them hanging in the air above Lakeside at any given time.

At the end of the lake, we followed the road around the base of Paraglider Mountain, which was really just a whole series of peaks along a ridge heading northwards. Between the spurs were inlets of rice fields and villages, which stretched out into the bottom of the valley. Buffalo, cattle and ponies grazed peacefully there, on what looked like pretty awful grass, as is the norm in this country.

After a few soft drinks, which were surprisingly difficult to order, despite being in abundance, because Nepalis don't understand the word 'coke' (you have to say 'cok' or 'cawk'), we headed home again, this time on the lakeside path itself, which was riddled with 5-metre wide, 2-metre deep frigging gorges that we had to drag our bikes through. Why couldn't the path just be a simple path, or maybe have bridges? Why?

That evening, we went for a bit of a wander along the main street, bought a few bits and pieces, before having dinner at a place where the food was amazing, but all the waiters were far more absorbed in the football game on tv than actually doing their job. And the toilet tap was a chunk of copper in the wall about a metre from the actual sink. I reckon they just did it to confuse unsuspecting tourists who don't know understand Nepal's secret tap code. Anyway, I had some sort of korma, and it was one of the best meals of the whole trip. Then we skipped off to bed, because we had another early start.

Posted by hazelnutty 20:32 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Trekking near Pokhara

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The Trek: Day 1

Having packed all our essentials in big red duffle bags the night before, we headed downstairs, where a whole heap of men were waiting. Surely they're not all our porters? The blokes grabbed our red bags, and we followed them down the road to a bus. A classic scrappy but well loved type Nepali bus. We assumed it was a public bus, and that all the people on it were just locals, getting from A to B.

Turns out that all THIRTEEN people on that bus were coming with us! This was going to be a party! We seemed to have employed half a Nepali village by booking this hike. There were wives and daughters, and I don't know how many of the others were related too. Anyway, they were having a great time.

We were dropped off at some little town with our guide and a Sherpa, and we wandered down through the foggy forest to a lake. The lake that we couldn't even see, because everything was so white!

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One of my favourite images of the whole trip was looking out across the lake, and seeing two specks appear through the white. They were rowboats, their drivers taking three strokes on one side, then 3 on the other. As they came closer, it became clear that they were actually racing, and laughing like crazy.

We then boarded boats ourselves, Bron, Joss and myself on one, and Philip, Susan, our guide and Sherpa on the other. We watched the sparrows skimming across the water and then weaving up in the air, mist rising in sheets and swirls from the lake.

After I'm not sure how long, we reached the other side, having passed a lot of silent forest and a small cluster of pale houses. We climbed up a little peninsula, and then up some more, into forest, through a tiny ridgetop village, all swept out immaculately as they all are, and down into a different valley. This one was filled with rice fields, only being winter, it was more just some fairly unexciting cattle pasture. The bottom of the valley was rice fields, and the slopes were forest, and we walked between the two, following the curving path around the fields past women washing clothes, boys building something wooden, baby chicks, goats tied up, tucking into some fresh fodder, and a heap of sarees, all laid out on a grassy bank to dry in the morning sun, when it finally got there.

Across the field, we walked past a school, a fairly noisy islanded building surrounded by dead rice stumps and silence. The kids inside were chanting something after a teacher, who, unlike her pupils, could actually sing. It was a sort of nursery rhyme, our guide explained.

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We stopped for lunch on a terraced paddy on the other side of the valley. When we arrived, our food was already half cooked, pots puffing out steam, women scrubbing away at plates, and men making a big clutter of pots and pans, to allude to the amount of effort and skill that was going into our meal's preparation, I suspect.

The food was pretty carb-loaded, white and oily in style. I think there were some interesting coleslaw sandwiches, chips, pasta, and bananas. Deericious. They kept topping up our drinks, and gave us about 25 peoples' worth of seconds.

After a bit of a nap, we headed up, up, up, about 1,200 metres or so, through incredibly steep, but damp and cool forest, the noisy schoolchildren still echoing along the whole valley. Closest to us were Fishtail (Machuppichchu) and some Annapurnas, further around, some Ganeshs, yes, the same ones that I had seen from my hike 2 hours on the other side of Kathmandu. They are pretty big mountains.

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Circling the mountain peak, we passed another huge primary school (where are all these kids coming from, the trees???), and a whole heap chased us about 20 minutes along the village path, as school had just finished for the day. The main three phrases used were 'Thees ees a .....!', 'What is your nem?' and 'Give me ....!'. Annoying, but so incredibly cute. The girls wear gorgeous navy dresses, all with red ribbons in their hair. The boys seem a bit more casual about the dress code. The uniform may have included red jumpers, or perhaps that was just a trend?

Up the hill and into the pine forest on top, we reached a clearing, where masala tea was, once again, all ready for us. As was our 'lounge room' (3 mats in a U shape) and 'dining room', a big white tent, and bedrooms, 3 spacious orange tents looking out over the mountains to the west. Gorgeous.

Bron, Joss and I sat/lay on the lounge room from whenever we arrived until sunset, before taking refuge from the cold inside our candle-lit dining room for dinner. There was a HUGE bowl of popcorn and pappadums, and they were just appetisers. OM NOM NOM. So much food. More momos than could be poked by any stick, as well as a whole heap of traditional dishes. Scumptious.

Day 2

We got up for sunrise, my dready hair hidden under a white beanie, and the rest of me hidden beneath many layers because it wasn't a warm day. All the valleys were filled fog, so as the sun rose, they all lit up in the golden light, like a big golden doona. The mountains soon followed, gleaming white against a dusty blue morning sky.

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That day, we wanted to get from one side of the valley to the other side, so it was more or less down lots, then up a fair bit, then along a bit. Our legs were wrecked after so much down hill, and pretty much everyone slipped at some stage, but eventually, we got to the bottom. Then some old woman started chasing us, maybe just yakking excitedly with our guide, but she sounded pretty heated up over something. Anyway, we were all fairly impressed that while we were gasping for breath, she was able to climb the same still, and talking so much that she wouldn't have had time to breathe! We passed ANOTHER school, this time a high school, halfway up, in a forest clearing. Kids must walk a very long way to school, here, because there very are few roads, but so many kids all attending the same school. We suspect this is why they start at 10am, not 9.

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After lunch in a little terraced village, we wandered around the mountain, passed some suspicious buffalo, half-baby-half-chicken type chickens, and some very baby-sized goat kids. We camped on a sort of ridge-side peninsula of sorts, a fairly flat bit of land with a house hanging off the far end of it. There were more kids there, which Bron, Joss and I watched for about a thousand hours because they were ADORABLE. Our circus of porters, cooks, cleaners, entertainers and associates were already cooking up a storm near the house. They were also laughing quite a lot. More than I knew people who were working could.

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Another lovely sunset, followed by a western dinner, and CAKE (how do you make cake the Himalayas? I don't know, but apparently anything's possible with these guys), we were off to bed, much to the disappointment of our entourage, because it meant they had to tone their party down.

Day 3

Another cold morning and pretty sunrise. And those crazy big pancake bread sort of things they make here. I still don't really know what we did that morning, but we again, went down lots, across lots, up lots, across lots, ate despite being fuller than a kid on Christmas afternoon, then down some more. There was a lot of pretty forest, terraced rice fields, villages and villagers, and finally, a LAKE. Turns out we had actually done a perfect full loop over the last 3 days. After taking a happy snap of our crew, we all piled into a bus of similar ilk to the first one we took, before rolling, swerving and coughing our way back to Pokhara.

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That afternoon, we made ourselves pretty, caught up with emails etc, napped, and recovered. Food. Sleep.

Posted by hazelnutty 20:30 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

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