As I lay in this single bed, which is possibly home to bed bugs and requires 2 hourly repositioning to avoid bed sores, I realize that this has been the best 3 months of my life.
But before I get emotional let me fill you in on Nepal.
After arriving in Kathmadu, into an airport that looked like we had travelled back in time, we found the
forms we needed to fill in for our visas and got an extremely flattering passport photo taken. A few stamps here and there, bit of clag on the visa into our passports and just like that we were accepted into the country!
Our flight to Pokhara was the next morning so we decided to spend the night in Thamel. After piling our bags into an old Toyota bomb of a taxi we arrived at "hotel karma".. Good Karma we were hoping! We got a taste for Thamel, in particular for or2k a middle eastern restaurant, and decided to spend a week here at the end of our trip.
The next morning was an early morning trip to the airport where we would board the plane to Pokhara. The flight was only half an hour and I wasnt complaining! For a relaxed flyer the TINY plane sure got the nerves up a bit!
When we arrived the weather was perfect, and our bags had somehow found room on the peanut plane too..Things were going well. We met a guy to share a taxi with to Lakeside, "mount fuji guest house". Mount fuji was suggested to us by a man at the airport who said we could get the room for around $6 per night. Sounded good to us! When we arrived at mount fuji, it was perfect! The rooms were big and clean, the boys running it were friendly and they agreed to the $6 a night despite it being around $30 during high season. The German owner wasn't there during our stay so we could make ourselves very at home. Lakeside runs along Phewa Lake. It is a touristy town, but still has a lot of character. The whole town sounds like it is singing 'om
Mani padme hum' a buddhist prayer but that's probably because every shop plays the same soundtrack. We spent over 3 weeks Lakeside. You know the locals are used to seeing you when they stop asking you to buy pashmina every time you walk past and start making sure water is in the fridge for you. Highlights of pokhara would have been paragliding, not for the experience,( which was terrible) but for the memories. We drove up on a beautiful morning, feeling proud of ourselves that we had picked a good day. We opted to ride in the trailer of the car for the fresh air, and headed up the mountain for our jump spot! When we arrived the instructors filled us in on the procedure for take off. Basically, walk when he says walk, run when he says run. Easy! The little Asian girl behind me was having some difficulties, not with language barriers but just for her lack of running style. Her instructor eventually gave up trying to teach her, probably realizing he could just carry her through take off.
The instructor also pointed out the spew bags, explaining a lot of people get sick up in the air. I laughed at the thought of those poor souls and in disbelief..How wrong I was.
The take off went smoothly, and I had fun in the air for about 7.5 minutes. There was so many people up in the sky that we had to hover in the one spot (spinning) until it was our turn to cut into the crowd. After circling over the roof of one house about 67 times my stomach had enough. Kelly flew past and I managed a smile and wave before I reached for the spew bag, and ever so elegantly revisited my ginger tea. I asked to be taken to the ground early. I thought I would have along time to kill before my group would be finished but one by one they all came down early, 3 out of 5 bag in hand. The stats would have been 4 out of 5 but poor Kelly didn't manage to find her bag and ended up wearing her breakfast. She also didn't find her legs during landing and landed flat on her bum (I landed on my knees and if I don't include that she will not forgive me) that image alone made up for the lost funds on my shortened airtime. The poor Asian girl copped it the worst, she was on hands and knees for quite some time. The turbulence would have really thrown her round, poor dear. It was a very pale ride home.
Other days we spent rowing phewa lake and walking to the peace pagoda. The views there were amazing! We visited Tibetan refugee camps, where the people are so happy to see you and ate at delicious restaurants. We became pals with the boys who worked at the guest house. They were very relaxed about us being there. It was only when a group of older tourist arrived that we saw them wearing uniforms and not having their girlfriends over. We also made friends with quite a few local dogs, buying them a hot meal and fighting off the local dog bullies so the runts could enjoy a chicken wing or two. I would love to take them all home. We had plans to water raft but with monsoon the rafting near by wasnt possible so we decided to raft on the way to Kathmandu. The morning we boarded a tourist bus, and made our way to the river. Our bags were piled into a jeep and we were piled into a raft. It was the funniest thing we have done this trip! We could float down certain parts of the river and were literally yanked back in like an oversized salmon when it was getting close to rapids. We nearly lost one girl in a rapid but luckily for her I have the reflexes of a cat and speed of a mongoose and caught her. We rafted for 3 hours and arrived back at a tea house. The family prepared dal bhat for us. Me and kell were a bit scared to try it, with our tummy troubles but hunger won and it was delicious. Our bus from this point to Kathmandu was a public bus, it was about a 3.5 hour trip, and we were shoved in the corner of the back row. Being a public bus it wasn't luxurious but it was so fun. The Nepali music was pumping and the close encounters with oncoming traffic made it fly past.
We arrived back in thamel! We made our way to Hotel karma who gave us a good deal for coming back. We spent our days relaxing, shopping, watching titanic when it got to wet outside, and exploring the city.
Now it is our last night, and it feels like it has all gone so fast! I would love to come back to Nepal and explore it more. (not in monsoon!)
I have learnt so much, in particular how much I take for granted, and how much I can live without. Hot water, clean drinking water, clean fresh food, toilet paper (!) are all luxuries I take for granted at home. The poverty in these countries is eye opening to how lucky I am, how lucky we all are in Australia. We don't face the poverty people see here everyday. And yet these people seem happier then a lot of wealthy people. If we could share our countries wealth and education and they teach us their way of happiness and simplicity we could maybe meet in the middle and make a perfect world. I have learnt that all people are the same and we have to help people and connect with people when we can. Everyone in India and Nepal talks to eachother. Even just a "namaste". But they connect and don't just spend their time staring at iPhones.
I am thankful for the experiences I have had, and for the people I have met. I am thankful for Kelly, who makes me laugh in the most challenging times and has made me a better person. I'm extremely thankful to call Australia home and will be thankful for some Vegemite back in my life.