A Travellerspoint blog

Nepal

SHIVARATRI FESTIVAL

VISITING THE THE SADHUS ONCE AGAIN AT PASHUPATINATH

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As our tour comes to an end, we return to our starting point in Kathmandu. Immediately from the airport we go directly to the Sadhu Festival. It is complete madness and is packed with the usual characters (that we photographed at the beginning of the trip) and hundreds of others who have come away including India for the festival.

Honestly, I am not sure about these Sadhus and their level of holiness. Seems to be more like glorified homelessness. During the festival, the smoking of pot was mainstream and the cops turn a blind eye. There were many more women around today as well. They all wanted money for a snap.

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It was an interesting stop. Lots of locals and sadly many beggars. I was horrified by the number of people with leprosy begging. I had never seen this disease before. It is horrible.

Posted by curlygirl 16:16 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

DHAMPUS

POKHARA TO DHAMPUS - THE EASY WAY

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Our next stop was in Pokhara where we got an even better view of the Annapurna mountain ranges.

This included a sunset shoot.

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And an early morning shoot at the lake before heading to Dhampus.

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Dhampus is known as one of the first stops on one of the Annapurna circuits. The trek normally begins Pokhara but, after a hardy breakfast, we took some jeeps, stopping along the way.

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Dhampus is a small village of ethnic Gurung community. Seeing the local living was amazing. The women and young girls were walking long distances, up and down the hills, with baskets of cow dung, wrapped around their heads and balanced on their backs, to fertilize the gardens. The men tilled the garden using hand carved tillers and buffalo. This is not an easy life. They stopped to speak with us, and Nathan shared pictures from a previous trip.

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We even saw a young child who had been burned by boiling water being treated by local medicines. Getting to a doctor isn’t easy or cheap (by their standards). The father asked if we had any medicine while the child whimpered in his arms. I later learned that someone in our group gave them the money to get to a doctor. This shit is real and it is hard. It took my breath away.

All this under the incredible backdrop of the Himalayas and the Annapurna mountain range.

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It was pretty easy to feel satisfied in our simple accommodations despite having next to no water and no heat. These simple tea houses are resting places for the trekkers and come with a hot set meal around a common table. We were happy and very grateful and I slept like a log in my rock hard bed.

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Posted by curlygirl 17:53 Archived in Nepal Comments (1)

BANDIPUR

A QUAINT VILLAGE WITH A VIEW OF THE HIMALYAS

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We have spent an amazing couple of days in the village of Bandipur. It’s charm and incredible view of the Himalayas attracts many tourists yet it remains very traditional. Our stay at the Old Inn was awesome. The staff was friendly and helpful and the Inn is restored in its original style. Like all the hotels in the mountains, there is no heat and the overnight temperatures went to 4 while we were there. Our windows and doors shut but with large gaps. Still it is perfect. I am asked why I am so surprised at the limited amenities and I think it is because in other places I have stayed mainly in larger towns where the infrastructure has been developed, if only, recently. I don’t even lock my room here.

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We visited a village called Ramkot. It was an incredible look at local living. People are welcoming, and smiling but working hard.
The bush ladies blow my mind. This picture is of one with a very light load.

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These women walk forever piled high with branches filed with leaves for the cattle. They look like a moving bush.

I loved my time here but found myself sobbing as we pulled away. We are so much a product of where we have been born and I am feeling incredibly grateful.

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In the morning, we wake at 530 to walk to a view point for the Himalayan range. We are given no promises. Nathan has been coming twice a year since 2010 and has rarely seen them without cloud cover. We are so lucky. After a day of rain, we have clear skies and a perfect view as the sun rises over the range. It is truly incredible and cannot be captured in photos.

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Posted by curlygirl 02:57 Archived in Nepal Comments (5)

CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK

VILLAGES AND RHINOS

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We had two nights in this national park that is home to crocodiles, rhinos, tigers and many birds. As expected we did not see the tigers but saw the rest.

We had beautiful accommodations, hot showers but only occasional slow internet.

We also some took some time to visit a few local villages. The people are really amazing and welcome us to catch of view of local life.

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PS. I am now in Dhampus at a small tea house for trekers doing the Annapura trek. Surprisingly for $1, I have an internet connection that works. Sadly, I lost my hard drive yesterday and so all the pictures I had selected for other blog posts have to be redownloaded. Sigh, technology.

Otherwise all is great!

Posted by curlygirl 00:48 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

SADHUS OF PASHUPATINATH

AND MOVING ON TO PATAN

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I am now so far behind that I can no longer distinguish the days or what we did on each day so I will attempt a brief recap of what has been happening.

We went to visit the local conjugation of Sadhus. These, as you may recall from Varanasi, India, are the hotel men who live without material goods. I have to say, from the outside looking in briefly, there appears to be a very fine line between the Sadhus and any community of homeless crazy people. Many of them wear little clothes and the temperatures get quite low at night. They also depend on handouts to live….so we did hand over a few dollars to get these snaps. It is interesting and makes for great photo ops.

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The other interesting things in this location are the burning ghats. This was much smaller and more intimate than in Varanasi. Completely fascinating. In Nepal, unlike India, woman are involved in the ceremony. Their crying is accepted although some still hold the school of thought that the crying keeps the soul from transitioning.

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We visited a senior’s home.

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In the evening, we toured the lovely town of Patan where we spent the night.

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Posted by curlygirl 08:44 Archived in Nepal Comments (1)

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