At 6am we boarded the bright yellow bus to Pokhara.
I was so happy to find out that my seat was right up against the front windscreen!
I was so tired, but didn’t want to close my eyes for more than a second incase I missed anything!
As we made our way out of Kathmandu, I started reflecting on the last couple of days – I couldn’t help but compare Nepal to Australia and this took up most of my thinking time…until we reached the top of the first mountain on our journey and saw the view – absolutely breath-taking!!!
The roads were winding and there seemed to be more pot holes than bitumen!
The further down the mountain we headed, the sharper the turns seemed to get and the more the brakes seemed to squeal!
We passed through what seemed like hundreds of little villages and I was speechless as I observed such a different way of life.
We had 3 stops during our 8 hour journey – the first was for breakfast at a roadside cafe.
Chanelle was the most excited of us all to find that it was perfectly acceptable, actually only possible, to have rice and curry for breakfast! I have never met someone more crazy about rice!!!
This was our view…and yes, it was as cold as it looks!
After we had stuffed ourselves full of dahl bat, we were back on the road and amazed by more culture shocking sights and sounds.
Due to the fact that we were travelling during the pre election strikes, our bus was stopped multiple times by policemen who would search our ‘tourist only’ bus to be sure there were no locals on board – this photo doesn’t show it, but he had a gun…a BIG gun!
After I had calmed myself down, I was able to enjoy the rest of the trip, especially when the snow covered mountains started creeping closer and closer!
The second stop for the day was lunch, and instead of eating I spent most of my time making friends with these little guys! Although we only spent half an hour together, somehow it was long enough for me to get attached!
We finally arrived in Pokhara mid afternoon – we decided to split up and have a competition to see who could score the cheapest accommodation – I won
This was the view we woke up to for the next week!
Breath taking, stunning, beautiful, perfect, clean – it seems like words or photos don’t do Pokhara any justice!
Cows, Water Buffalo and Dogs roamed the streets and are respected equally by the beautiful people of Nepal – it was so refreshing to see these beautiful creates treated so lovely!
One of the things that we would look forward to each day was meal time, and who could blame us when this was on the menu?
The first morning waking up in Pokhara was incredible!
Sunrise was at 5:30am each morning and we were always so excited to wake up and explore!
Walking down the main street for the first time was a lot to take in – so many restaurants, clothing shops, trekking shops, jewellery shops and beautiful children!
We came across this little stall which was a little juice bar!
After trying their Papaya and Lemon Juice once, we were back almost every day!
Most eateries in Pokhara came with a view – something like this…
I fell in love with the happy and vibrant energy of Nepalese children.
With no electronic distractions to keep them locked up inside, they would be playing on the street from dawn until dusk – sometimes even until late at night!
Their smiles, laughter and energy was absolutely adorable and infectious!
While Chanelle and I were waiting for our juices to be made one morning, we noticed these little girls playing a hand clapping game – it looked like fun so I asked if I could join.
They grabbed my hands, formed a circle and started from the top…
“Change please, which name, hotel name…” and then began to list of the names of local hotels one by one. It took me a while to understand what they were saying so every time it would be my turn, I would go blank and the momentum would stop. At first they thought it was funny, but as the game continued and the tall foreign girl couldn’t seem to pick it up, they kindly let go of my hands and continued on without me.
It was funny!
I knew that my trip to Nepal wouldn’t be all smiles and hand clapping games – I came to break out of my comfort zone and face fears.
In life I have 3 major fears
3. Travelling Solo
Leaving Australia with one backpack of belongings, a friend that looks like Bob Marley and an open mind made me realise that I really know so little, and made me grateful for the incredible people who are in my life back home!
After consuming 50, 000 tonnes of rice, a freshly made juice and some freshly picked fruit felt like heaven!
Pokhara is such a relaxed and beautiful part of the world!
Sian and I hired bikes for the day and decided to ride everywhere…we didn’t end up going very far, but we had fun and didn’t end up with sore butts!
We did however order take away rice and hommus, roam the streets looking for some string and beads to make bracelets and headed down to the river bank for an afternoon of creativity and bonding.
We were approached by a lady selling jewellery who was so perplexed that we were making our own!
She didn’t really say a lot, instead she watched curiously and began to get her own string out of her bag. Before long we were exchanging bracelet making tips and stories.
She was from Tibet and was living in a refugee camp up in the hills of Pokhara. Every day she would get on a bus and travel down into Pokhara to sell her hand made jewellery…this paid for her 15 year old daughter to attend school.
My initial instinct was to be protective of my money and second guess everything that she was saying, but when I dropped any judgement and opinions and allowed myself to connect with a stranger like I would with my family, a whole new world opened up for me.
We are all the same, really, when it boils down to it. The only difference between her and I was that I was born into a first world country, and she was born into a third world country. She didn’t choose it, nor did I, it simply just is what it is. We are both human, both have family, dreams, the need to make an income to survive and the ability/desire to love and be loved.
I feel a lot of love for her, even tho I am now back at home and we only shared a brief hour together.
I had never experienced this before and am so grateful for her lesson.
After a couple of days of living the Pokhara way of life, I started to reflect and started to get emotional…and so the crying began…
To be continued…