martes, 31 de agosto de 2010
Our first Couch Surfing experience in Khatmandu. So! If you want a budget and insider travelling experience...you should join Couch Surffing. This website is a magnificent et of both hosts and people looking for a place to rest for free. This has been our first great host family, thanks to Menuka,the girl in the middle. Here we are all of us (Edu is taking the picture) having some Italian dinner. This opportunity of living with a Nepalee family for a few days has been absolutely fantastic not only the fact of saving a bit of money but making new friends and learning about their culture :)
Brekfast in the kitchen. Running water / electricity here is not a privilege so we filled the buckets in the morning to be able to use water in the night :)
Welcome to a beautiful and clam Pokhara! This is a highly recommended destination to anyone visiting Nepal. There is a charming lake sourrounded by the Himalayan mountains, as well as many facilities for tourists (sometimes is actually nice to sit down in a nice and relaxing terrace to have a fresh western beer while listening to life music!).
The old bazaar. This is a common image in both Indian and Nepalese markets. These colours powder are used between the eye browns (as kind of a Bindi) when entering a Hindu temple, or by any married women. Women have to wear a stripe of this colour on top of their forehead from the day they marry, instead of wearing a ring as we do in the West!.
While on our road trip with the motorbike, we saw a Buddhist Monastery and we decided to visit it. I asked a monk if we could have a quick look into the classes and he kindly agreed. As you can see here is a class with 7-8 years old doing some maths. I will write down the name of the place soon!. They are mainly orphans or sons of big families with low resources but their smiles and kindness can not be compared!
This boy (sorry but his name was way to complicated for me to remember Tzanam... ) was super proud as he had 10/10 in his maths exercise!. Ah! and if you look on the table, he has some rolled paper... well, it is actually a poster of a famous Indian girl, he was very naughty!! :) .. - Look Miss, is a girl :)!!
Tibetan refugee village, near Devi's fall. Nice little town :)
domingo, 29 de agosto de 2010
sábado, 28 de agosto de 2010
Chitwan National Park
1st stop, catch the jeep, and went for as canoe trip through the calm waters of the river. The peace and tranquility of the ride was a superplus! :) Though we didn;t see any crocodiles, we got to see a Rhino! (apparently another sign of good luck)
Well, I guess I'll have to stop talking about good luck, as according to the Tibetan book of Life and Death, luck as such doesn't exist, is all about the Karma you accumulate that will result in good ir bad things happening to you so, from now on, Good and bad Karma!.
viernes, 27 de agosto de 2010
Drinking, 'Tomb bah ' or 'Chang', which is the equivalent to Tibetan beer. It was a big challenge to find somewhere to drink it as it is regarded as a drink for the poor (only 15 ruppes which is like 20 pennies). It is made by boling some kind of small seeds (they looked like mustard seeds). You have to pour some hot water into the mix and leave it to cool for about 5-10 minutes and... ready to drink :) It was a nice experience although the bar lookes a bit dodgy or clandestino... But we got to meet a very nice bunch of Sikkim guys there and we have been invited to come back in the future and go to their villages : (not sure if it was the beer happines ..)
Tsomgo Lake, Sikkim.
Here I am riding Michael the Yack!. A great experience visiting the holy Lake, close to the border with Tibet at about 3500m of altitude. The lake itself is quite nice, but the trip through the slippery hills, with the fog and the rain was something to remember... Riding a Yack was very cool!!!
Panoramic view of the lake. One of Edu's expertees on panoramic pictures:)
We have to admit that our first impression of Darjeeling was quite poor. We arrived in a packed jeep in whixh instead of the legal 9 people allowed we managed to fit 12 people... The constant rain and the awful hotels we saw as we arrived, added up to the heavy weight of the rucksacks and the frustation of people who did not understand a word of what we were asking.. Having said that, once we found a nice hotel and had a warm shower, we saw the beauty of the place :) We did a tour to a Japanese temple, a famous stone (though it was just a stone Tenzing Rock....) and Yes! Happy Valley Tea gardens where they grow the tea sold in Harrods! There is a fun video from a lady who 'invited us' (plus fifty ruppes per tea cup) to the best Darjeeling tea in the whole valley! This picture is a selection of 6 different qualities of tea which ou have to smell and guess.. Eduardo got it right, I couldn't smell much...
Drinking the tea at the lady's house. Don't miss the detail of the dog on the right hand side, it was key for the picture!
Crossing the border. So! The time came and our Indian experience got to an end when we reached this particular bridge which divides Nepal and India. The Border is called Karkavita, and to be very honest, there is not much difference bewteen both countries.. Well, we suppose the language, the currency, which is Nepaleese Rupees and.. nothing more! At least at this particular city, once you start going up towards the Himalayas, things change!
Even if we have not seen the sun as such for many days (remember we are in Monsson time and clouds and rain are our faithful travelling friends.
martes, 24 de agosto de 2010
lunes, 23 de agosto de 2010
Kushinagar, statue of Buddha on the city where he died.
IF YOU THOUGHT YOUR JOB WAS HARD ....
You might need to look closer into this one, the two men are IRONING clothes with the 18th century charcoal fuelled irons... we founf it quite amusing :)
Here is one of the workers at the Buddist temple.
This kind man is cutting the grass with a sharpless blade, kneeling down in a 40 degrees, humid and very sunny day... anyone up for some gardening??
Thinking of transporting some goods? Not only you will have to squeeze between the wood, but you will have to cope with loong journeys and massive potwholes in the road.... COOL!!
Making new friends :)
jueves, 19 de agosto de 2010
Chinese Buddhist Temple in Sarnath.
This was the first temple where we were able to stay for the night for 100 rupees (about 1.40pounds).
How did we ended up here?? Well it seems that the internationaly famous Lonely planet guide (aka The travellers Bible) is so widely used that all the suggested budget hotels are now Luxurious or super Expensive ones (even if the rooms are no more than a rough dusty bed and a broken window with views to a grey old wall...) For that reason we had to search for a realistic budget option and thanks to our tuk tuk driver we were driven to this lovely peaceful temple where we were allowed to stay with the condition of been back by 8 :)