My recent adventure vacation to Nepal consisted of four phases. The first was sightseeing in Kathmandu. The second was three days of trekking from Pokhara up to Dhampus and around the mountain villages overlooking the Himalayas. The third was white water rafting on the Seti River and the final phase of the trip included visiting the Chitwan National Forest and seeing the wildlife within. I will spread this travel log over the next few weeks since this is a garden blog but the garden is now resting under a new layer of 15+ inches of snow acquired this past weekend and not much is stirring there as the shadows stand still for just a moment.
Welcome dinner at Rum Doodles in Kathmandu
When one reaches a certain age, when there is less time looking forward than there is looking backward from that age, when good health is still a reality and when life lessons still include the urge to learn from traveling to vastly different cultures and locations, it is time to pack the bags and go. An adventure vacation is not relaxing but there will be ample time to sit on the couch...later.
City Square in Kathmandu - Birds and Beasts
Our adventure choice was Nepal. It is a long journey to Kathmandu, Nepal from Ledge and Gardens in Rhode Island. I traveled with my husband, the Equipment Manager, and four of our close friends. We met up with eight others which comprised our tour group. Our group left Boston on December 1st, stayed overnight in New Delhi, India and then traveled on to Kathmandu. The time is still a blur since Kathmandu time is eleven hours ahead of EST. I think.
Not sure what this is but there are many on the road.
I would describe Kathmandu as a scrambling city of chaos. There are people rushing to unknown destinations in and on every form of transportation available all with their hands on their horns creating a constant cacaphony of noise. There are trucks, buses, cars, motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles, rickshaws
and cows all competing for the same road space. The ancient architecture is beautiful
and often sits right next to the contemporary buildings which are not.
The market places seems to blend into one another as one walks through the city streets. There are many fresh vegetables, spices
and other wares
and there is always someone at your elbow trying to make a sale. There were even seeds and sprayers for sale on the street.
The Monkey Temple was one of our stops and it's official name, Swayambhunath means 'Sublime Trees'. The monkeys there are holy although not all healthy.
I found them quite intriguing with their human behavior and knowing eyes.
This family was taking turns grooming each other. The facade of the temple was under repair and covered with scaffolding. It is visible on the right of the picture below.
There were many families and schoolchildren visiting the temple and rotating the prayer wheels. This unusual sentinel
is barking out commands and surveying his competition from his high perch above the buildings. The temple and adjacent buildings are perched high on the hill overlooking the valley and the prayer flags are blowing in the breeze.
We also visited the oldest city in the Kathmandu Valley, Patan. There are striking carvings on all the buildings
in this highly organized square and this center of fine arts is full of things to see from the very ornate
to the cleanly simple.
Our final adventure in Kathmandu was to board a small plane and fly to see Mt. Everest.
Mt. Everest and the Himalayas are coldly beautiful and seeing them from the airplane was a thrill.
Here it is with the cloud floating behind it. I am checking it off my list.