Hey guys....greetings from Pokhara
Its a pretty laid back place, set beside a huge lake with snowcapped mountains around it.
I had to get a 7hr bus from Kathmandu to get here (no trains in Nepal!). I've been living with 32 orphans of Tibetan descent. Their ages ranged from about 7 to 14, my job was to teach them English in the morn (before school) and after when they come back. The only problem has been becasue of the Tihar festival, there has been no school! So I've been with them for about 13-14hrs a day, which can get pretty tiring! The teaching side has been really rewarding, all that training in Prague paid off... Besides teaching, I've been playing games and sports stuff with them...footy, cricket, badminton and frisbee! The kids have nothing, but as you can see by the pics, they are very happy, they are a good bunch and I think their Buddhist beliefs keep them in check as well. They chant in the morning and for about 10minutes after dinner of a night. Nepal in general has a lot of power cuts that can last a few minutes to a few hours. they tend to cut the power from about 5pm to 8pm most nights to conserve energy,...so a lot of playing by the kids is weither done in the dark or by candle light! They are really sued to it though and just carry on as normal when it happens...me I'm running round looking for my torch!
The orphanage is only about 15min from the lake, so when they were at school I would head down and relax... I've rented a boat a few times as well, its pretty cool to just row out yourself to the middkle of the lake and take it all in...Around the lake are hills that you cna paraglide from...Pokhara is apparently one of the best places in the world to do (so the LP says :P)....sooooooooo I'ev booked to do it this sunday...will post the vid when I get a min.
On the other side of the lake on a hill is a Peace Pagoda that offers great views of Pokhara aand the moutnains (when the cloud hasn't covered them by mid morning!) I decidied to go the 'scenic' route which takes you through paddy fields aand thick forest....there are many paths goin off in different directions so its quite easy to lose your bearing! The forest itself is full of snakes (saw a few little ones and a biggy on the paths), monkeys (jumping from tree to tree), leeches (one manged to latch onto my foot through my sock...bloody hurt as well!) and buffaloe (who don't do much except look mean!). To get down I though I'd get a boat back acrsoos the lake, so had to ask this guy in a village to take me back over in his boat.
I've finished my teaching a little ealier (2 days) than I'd planned, purley because they don't give you day off. They say the time they are at school is your time off, but that didn't work out when the school was closed for a week! So, I'm just relaxing by the lake side now in a pretty nice hotel. I really wenjoyed my teaching and foudn it really rewarding to do.
I do my paraglide tomorrow and then start my Annapurna circuit trek (14days around the Annapurna moutnains range over the biggest pass in the world) on tuesday.
Hey guys..check out my paragliding vid and pics. The hardest thing was making yourself run off the side of a mountain side...your instinct tells you NO!! The ride was really smooth and cool... Landing is an experience as well...you've gotta be readdy to run as soon as your feet hit the ground. One guy just landed on his arse...must of hurt haha.