12.02.2007 - 12.07.2007 0 °F
Nepal! We are in Nepal!!!! We didn't plan on coming here but after meeting many many travelers that said it was a "do not miss" and "must see" and "you are so close (India is our next stop), why not?" We thought, why not?
We were first greeting with total chaos and people shoving themselves in our faces. Not fun. Then we made it to Thamel, an area of Kathmandu, which is known for being congested, polluted, and dirty. That wasn't a lie. The other thing is that we are coming from about a month straight of 80 to 90 degree weather. Here its probably in the 30's. Frreeeeezing!
So I had to spit out the bad stuff. Besides these petty things, Nepal is absolutely stunning. The thing to do in Nepal is trek. EVERYONE comes here and does 7 to 10 to 21 long treks. Being that we are only here for a total 4 full days, we opted to do a 4 to 5-hour trek (hahah!) and then do sightseeing. The "easy" trek (why do they always say that?) was actually difficult and for the first time, we heated up. We were basically trying to keep up with our guide, who was walking at a brisk pace, and we made it to Nagarkot in 3 hours. The guide was like "wow! You guys are in great shape! You're fast walkers! It normally takes 4 to 5 hours, and you made it in 3!!! WOOOOOOWW!" We were like "Umm..... we were pretty much trying to keep up with you!" Oh well. Although we were mostly walking on garbage, it was still a nice trail and soo refreshing to be away from the pollution and be in nature. Ahhh....
Nagarkot is known for its awesome views of the Himalayas, and that was no joke. I know it sounds like I say this a lot, but really, seeing the majestic Himalayan range is like nothing I've ever seen before. It is soooo stunning, I really can't even describe. I got goose bumps looking at it (and thats not only because it was so cold), but even writing this now. I looove mountains, and to see mountains like that is seriously out of this world. Nepal has 14 of the highest mountain ranges in the world, and 8 of them are 8,000ft (including Mt. Everest of course). We watched the sunset and sunrise there, which was sooooooooooo awesome!!!!! Here are a few of a 023990823423 picts I took:
Then here's me in my nightware. Seriously, thats how I slept it was so cold
We also did some great sightseeing to Bhaktapur, this ancient city that has pretty much stayed the same for thousands of years and is really really ancient and you could literally transport yourself hundreds of years and it kinda looks the same:
We also saw Buouddhanath Stuppa, the largest stuppa in Asia:
(it really is big, but I guess the picture doesn't really show it) and the cool little town surrounding the stuppa:
One of the more interesting things we've seen is Pashupati, a cremation site. Yup, there literally were people being cremated as we watched. There is this whole ceremony that happens, their feet and hands get washed in the holy water, their body is covered in a yellow drape, and then umm.... they get cremated. They believe that the human is the highest form of being and that to be cremated you are skipping the re-incarnations, which are more lowly ways of being (like an animal or something). To be cremated you use the 5 elements of nature, and.. some other details I can't remember. To be honest, it was really eerie and spooky:
Then of course there was the Monkey Temple. I'm sure it has more spiritual significance, but really, there were monkeys all over the place which was cool, but they kinda scar me. They can be super aggressive.
What I liked most about Nepal is the people. They are SUPER SUPER SUPER patient and REALLY nice! AND very interesting looking, they look very fusion because of the neighboring Tibet and India. Here is a pict of our guide Ram, its an angle shot, but you can kinda (maybe?) see his wide set eyes and flat nose that almost looks mongolian:
I'm soo glad that soo many people told us about coming here, and although it was a hassle getting here, it was well worth it. Seeing the Himalayas in person is definitely a highlight of my trip. I wish everyone, someday, will come out to see it. I would also love one day to do a 7-10 (no more!) day hike through the Himalayas. People that have done it say it is sooo amazing and I believe it!!!!
Here is a last shot from the plane of the himalayas:
Amazing!!! You really feel like you are on top of the world!!!!