Nepal – Odds and Ends

In this final post of Nepal, I just wanted to share with you photos and thoughts that I had throughout my journey that really didn’t fit anywhere else.  So, here goes…..

Impressions of the journey from Pokhara to KathmanduIMG_0410

This was our final road trip in Nepal.  Again, I don’t know which is the “lesser of two evils”…….driving everywhere or flying to various destinations.  In my humble opinion, neither is a great choice.  I am grateful for Mohan, who was our driver throughout our trip.  He was a very cautious and safe driver.   The ride back to Kathmandu was after our helicopter tour.  Due to this, we got a later start than Mohan would have preferred.  We left about 11:00 and arrived back at the hotel around 6:00.  It was another long and arduous day.

Here are some photos that I clicked as we passed by, thinking of my blog and sharing  Nepal with you.

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We stayed in Lakeside, Pokhara which is actually a suburb of the city Pokhara.  Here is a glimpse of the city Pokhara.

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These are some newer homes.  The Nepalis like color and as you can see with the house on the left.  It was common to see a variety of color combinations on different houses….lime green and orange; blue and orange; pink, red and blue.

While sharing about the colors of the houses, this might be a good time to explain what the various colors symbolize in the Hindu religion.  For example:

  • Red is the color of sensuality and purity.  It is often worn during celebrations…weddings, birth of a child and festivals.
  • Saffron, (or orange) is the most sacred color, represents fire and purity.  Impurities are burned by fire, hence the purity.  Hindu men who have renounced their worldly ways and are holy men wear saffron to symbolize their quest for light.
  • Green is a festive color that represents life and happiness.  For this reason, you will never see a widow wearing this color.  Green represents nature, stabilizes the mind and symbolizes peace and happiness.
  • Yellow is the color of knowledge and learning.  It symbolizes happiness, peace, meditation, competence and mental development.  It is the color of spring and activates the mind. Yellow food is consumed and yellow clothes are worn during spring festivals.  To attract a mate, single girls wear yellow and also, to keep evil spirits away.
  • White is a combination of seven different colors and so symbolizes a little bit of each one.  It represents purity, peace, knowledge and cleanliness. Oddly enough, it is also considered the color of mourning.  Spiritual leaders cover themselves in white ash to represent their rebirth in their spiritual journey.
  • Blue symbolizes bravery, manliness, determination, that a person can cope with difficult situations and is trustworthy.

I think this is food for thought….single gals reading this blog, who would like a partner, maybe you should consider wearing yellow when you go out.  To get in a happier mood, maybe wear some green or the next celebration you attend, wear red!

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This is an example of the older, more rustic homes that we passed.

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I like this photo because it shows “the old and the new.”

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Many homes had a whole side painted with an advertisement.   The company pays the home owner for advertising.  Speaking of advertisements, I saw an ad for “Ruslan Vodka” it read in English….”Happy water for happy people!”  Next time I order a vodka and tonic, I will try to remember to order a “happy water and tonic!!!”

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We passed through an area that had several cement businesses like this one.  This was rather small compared to others that we passed.  The cement blocks were all formed by hand and left out in the sun to dry.  At the beginning of our trip, just outside of Kathmandu, we passed brick businesses.  People were squatting and making bricks by hand.  They were then transported to a nearby kiln to be fired.  It must be a lucrative business since the 2015 earthquake and all the rebuilding that is currently happening in Nepal.

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I am not certain what river this is but there were several suspension bridges.  Sometimes, there was just a basket on a pulley to transport veggies, equipment, etc from one side of the river to the other.  Also, along the river, I saw people (most likely tourist) rafting and camping.  Along another part of the river, we saw men selling fish.  The fish were strung together and hanging on a pole.

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This photo isn’t much better but the white line is the suspension bridge.

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This is an example of a path that a person would take from the suspension bridge.  I definitely think that Nepalis who live in the countryside must be in great shape!

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We saw these vehicles throughout the Pokhara region.  Seemed sturdy but I wouldn’t want to be on one during monsoon season or worse, in an accident.

Speaking of accidents, we saw a couple along the way.  Heading towards the jungle, a bus had gone off the side of the road and down the embankment.  We didn’t see anything but saw the emergency vehicles.  There was a motorcycle accident where it appeared that two motorcycles had collided.  I saw one of the bloodied victims in a car on his way to get medical treatment.  Then, there were two large trucks that had gotten too far to the side of the road and tipped in the soft sand.

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These young people were walking along the side of the road on their way to school.  Honestly, I thought it was extremely dangerous with the traffic being so close and congested.  I saw a couple of tourist bicycling on the side of this road as well…..that, to me, was absolutely crazy!!!

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Once again, we were back in the city of Kathmandu……

Photos to share….

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This is the Nepali flag.  It is such an interesting shape and is designed after the many pagodas in Nepal, according to my guide and what most Nepalis will tell you.  However, Wikipedia claims the triangle shape represents the Himalayas.  You decide!   The red is for the rhododendron, the county’s national flower.  The blue border is for peace.  The moon symbol represents the calm and soothing spirits of the Nepal people.  The sun represents their fierce resolve.

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This was the Apsara Hotel.  Apsara means “beauty of nature.”  We ate all of our meals at the restaurant.  After David got sick, we didn’t want to lose anymore travel days.  It was funny because we were sharing that he had been sick to a Nepali and he referred to it as “the tummy being disappointed.”  I thought that was a nice way of putting it!!!

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This was a typical Nepali meal.  It is Vegetable Thali or Dal Bhat. It is also served with lamb or chicken.  Mine was rice with vegetable curry, a very, very spicy sauce, dal – lentil soup and sweet yogurt.  The bread was a crispy, tortilla like that had an odd taste.  It sort of tasted like fish.  It wasn’t a favorite of mine.  I love the way it is presented in all the small dishes.

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These bananas were from the jungle region.  I ate bananas in Kathmandu and they tasted like similar to bananas back in the states.  These little guys, however tasted totally different.  They were much sweeter.  I really didn’t care for them.

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I don’t think you could get any fresher mint tea than this!  It is a great soother for an upset stomach.

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Fresh juice!  I didn’t have any but liked his low-overhead!

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This is Kyle…from Boston!!!!  We met at the Australian Camp on our overnight hike in the foothills of Annapurna.  He had been working in India for 3 months and was taking a couple of months off to travel before returning to the hum-drum of everyday work life in the states.  We had a great time chatting at the teahouse.  Sadly, we didn’t get to say “so long” before we continued on our hike.  Lo and behold a day later, Katie and I were walking to get a coffee and look who we ran into!  Kyle joined us for coffee and then we said “so long.”  I feel that I will get to see Kyle again as he is so close in Boston!!!!

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This van was a mobil ATM machine…very clever, I thought.

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Inside the van….

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David got a haircut while in Nepal.  It was a good one and he got a head massage along with it!

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This was a little shrine…not certain to what god…inside the barber shop.

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My little stool to sit on outside while waiting for David to get his haircut.

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Remember the cows I mentioned in earlier?  Here is an example of one of them just wandering the street…..too thin.  He walked up to me to have his head scratched.

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More cows…just wandering and I am certain, searching for food.

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Hardware store on a bike!

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This was in the back of a house just a block off the main street of Lakeside.  I just found it interesting that in the “city” there was a cow and hay stack in the backyard.

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I took this photo back in the Thamel district in Kathmandu.  The wire that he was connecting was placed across the road – an easy tripping hazard for anyone walking by and not looking down. Obviously, OSHA hasn’t been established in Nepal!

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Mohan pointed this truck out saying it was old because the cab was made from tin.

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It was a very petite woman carrying this load.  She couldn’t have been more than 5 ft tall and 90 pounds.  This was just one of many women I saw carrying heavy bags on their backs.  We saw many woman working construction.  They were often carrying heavy bricks, tiles up several levels.

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Nepali scaffolding….they were building a tower of some sort.

The Beautiful People of Nepal…..

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This lovely young woman was selling tangerines.  I purchased some and then asked for a photo.  This was in Pokhara and there were many such women like her selling a variety of fruit from their baskets.

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I took this lady’s photo on the way to Chitwan.  She was waiting on the side of the road for possibly a bus?

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I asked if I could take her photo and before she said yes, she asked her husband who was working nearby.

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She was working at a small shop where I bought a soda for David.  I loved her jewelry.

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For me, this photo epitomizes the kindness found in the heart of the Nepal people.  His gentle expression says a thousand words.  He is wearing the typical Nepal hat called a Dhaka topi.

The Children…..

Before I share the adorable photos of the children that I took in my journey, I want to share the story of this young boy.  It happened while I was in Lakeside and late one afternoon.  David had gone back to the room to rest, I had been having a coffee with my new friends, Kyle (from Boston) and Katie (from Germany).   I had been gone for awhile and figured that I needed to get back to the hotel before David started worrying.

As I was walking along, this small boy approached me asking for money or food…..IMG_5535

At first, I ignored him and kept walking, wanting to get back to the hotel.  As I walked along, I vaguely remembered a little boy hanging around the cafe and being shooed away by the waiters.

I turned around and had quite a time finding him.  He was walking up to people asking for money and being ignored by everyone.  Once I caught up with him, I asked if he was hungry and wanted something to eat…..all with sign language.  His little face was dirty, as well as his clothes.  He said that he was and when I asked if he wanted something to eat, he said yes.  Of course there wasn’t a food vendor or grocery store around when I wanted one.

We started with the juice vendor.  While waiting, I saw a grocery store and took him in there.  I didn’t know his story….did he have a way to cook or open a can of food?   I picked up a jar of peanut butter and some crackers.  The cashier asked his story as we were checking out.

It was a sad situation indeed….his mother had been in the hospital for the past month with cancer.   His father was old.  Evidently, no one was taking care of this little guy.  I didn’t know what more I could do so I wished him well and left. Hindsight, I should gone back into the store with him and bought him a bagful of groceries.  As I type this, I keep asking the questions “why on earth didn’t I???”  For that, I have no answer.  I just hope and pray that someone else will have a little more sense than I did and by now, he is being taken care of in a safe place.

And now the rest of the children…..

I always ask the parents for permission to take a photo of their children.  Often, it is with great pride that they will say yes to my request.  We came upon a cute little boy dressed in a cowboy outfit, complete with the holster and gun.  I asked the father is I might take his photo and he agreed.  When I got my camera out, the little boy – who was all of 3 or 4 – decided he didn’t want his picture taken.  He pulled his hat down over his face and turned his back.  No coaxing from his father could make him change his mind.  It was good for a laugh….I said thank you, with a smile and as I share this memory, I am smiling!  Other children were much more cooperative!!!

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So there you have it….my amazing adventure of Nepal.  In closing I will share with you my favorite photo from the whole trip.  It was very impromptu and the subject didn’t know I was taking it, which is why I think it is so great!  I have taken thousands of pictures and this one probably is one of my top 10 favorites!  I hope you like it as much as I do…..Favorite Nepal Photo

I wish you blessings…….

 

2 thoughts on “Nepal – Odds and Ends

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