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Here kitty, kitty, kitty. . .or not.

The next day and a half spent at Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge allowed me to indulge in a few of my favorite things – namely taking pictures, reading, and writing. 

It may surprise folks but I really enjoyed the time spent in the great outdoors.  Our rooms had minimal electricity and I had to walk on a path through the jungle by candle and/or flashligth in the dark.  All of our meals were by candlelight.  Hot water was only availabe at night as a result of solar heating.  It was all so simple and enjoyable and outside of what I consider my comfort zone – you know with the whole need to sleep with mosquito netting and being in the middle of the jungle thing. 

During the full day spent at Tiger Tops, we went on two jeep safaris and also one 1.5 hour trek in the jungle.  As with the first elephant safari, we saw some wild boars, rinos, a sloth bear, birds, spotted deer and lots and lots of vegitation.  The worst part, however, was that one of the jeeps carrying people not with my group spotted a tiger. However, the amatuers didn’t manage to get a picture, so I say it doesn’t count. 🙂  Especially since none of our group got to see a tiger during our visit.  If I ever go back to Tiger Tops, I’m totally bringing along a large glitter ball, a bit of cat nip, and laser pointer.  That would totally work to lure a tiger out of the woods for a photo session, right? 

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Day 2: Pokhara (or the day I was finally upright) and beyond. . .

Whatever knocked me out for 36 hours passed as quickly as it set in so after one full day of missing things I was back in the saddle. Turns out I didn’t really miss much – just a bouncy bus trip and time in town. My first day rejoining the group started with a canoe trip on Lake Pehwa. It was a beautiful lake with the jungle starting pretty much right at the shorline. Of course, my boat also got a nice round of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” going. We win 😉

We stopped at an island in the lake with a Hindu temple. Full of pigeons. A lot of worshippers were waiting at the shore to come make their offering. It was quite interesting to see their rituals on a much smaller scale than in Kathmandu. Next stop was Davi’s Falls followed by a stop at a Tibetan refugee camp. We got some background on the Tibetans that have re-settled in Nepal. It is quite amazing to see their houses with Free Tibet spray painted on the side. For these people, it is much more than a slogan – it is their past, their present, and possibly their future. I then partook in one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done – went paragliding. So. Much. Amazing. I ran off of a mountain, strapped to a guy, and a parachute of sorts. We had good wind so stayed up for awhile and got to see the beautiful lake and valley spread out below us. I have a DVD with some photos and videos (I didn’t trust myself to use my own camera on the flight) which I’ll upload at some point.

Next big adventure of the day was a shopping excursion into town with two of my travelling companions. I ended up wandering around the shops for about an hour by myself just taking things in. There were people from all over the world walking the streets – with the various languages mixing in with “Namaste”. I got some sweet gifts and also got to have some Baskin Robbins and hear some sweeeeeet karaoke. (Video to come).

I met back up with Kellie and Pam and we visited a few bars (they had local beer – I still nursed a sprite) and ended up staying out until midnight. It was totally amazing and odd to be walking through streets which hours earlier were full of cars and motorcycles and now completely empty. Plus, sitting halfway across the world, chatting, sharing stories, laughing and sharing a drink is something everyone should do at some point in their lives.

Pretty sure the boat guy that had to take us to the island where the hotel was wasn’t too happy to be woken up that late. . . . 😉

I am so happy that I bounced back after the illness. The paragliding was awesome as was the other things we got to do.

Yesterday we flew to the Chitwan National Forest area and landed on a grass runway. And the airport terminal was amazing. Again photos to come.

Once we made the trek to Tiger Tops we settled in and then went on an elephant safari. O. M. G. it was amazing. I took like 400 photos and we got to see a mama and baby rhino just hanging out. Absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to see the photos on a bigger screen. I can’t even describe the two hours we spent out there. I’ll let the photos do that. Today, we are off for a pretty full day in the jungle. I’m hoping to fill most of my remaining memory cards over the next day or so. I have hit over 4000 photos I think. I am shutter happy.

Time to head off for a boat ride now. Namaste.

Ugh x 1000000000

So, it happened. I got sick. Pretty much immediately upon our arrival to Pokhara. Awesome! (or not) I spent the last day and a half in bed. However I am finally feeling better and hope to actually leave the hotel room tomorrow. During some brief periods of being awake, I did enjoy the all cricket all of the time channel. Really wish we has that in the states. The hotel does have The Discovery Channel and TLC. That was unexpected. I am glad that I got sick when I did and didn’t have to miss the safari at Tiger Tops. In spite of this, I am still enjoying the trip. The vistas are stunning. Can”t wait to take more photos. Time for some more sprite. And sleep. More from me soon.

Hurry up and wait

Greetings from the Kathmandu Airport. We are waiting on our (delayed) flight to Pokhara. They divided the group in half for this flight, and my mom and I were in the second group. We got an extra hour of sleep and to prep. However, once we got to the airport – the first group was still here. There was weather this morning that has delayed most of the flights, so now we are waiting for everything to catch up.

The good aspect this is that is we were doing our Everest flight today, we wouldn’t have been able to go because of the weather. I am thankful we went yesterday, no doubt.

Last night we went to one of the former palaces which has been restored and has a restaurant and shops. We got to eat the typical “royal meal” (aka what the majarajahs used to eat) and see examples of native Neaplese folks dances. The meal included wild boar! And yes, I ate it (my mom not so much). As is typically me, I of course, thought of Moulin Rouge and kept waiting for Spectacular, Spectacular to break out. It never did. 🙁

At some point today, we will get to Pokhara. I’m not sure what we are up to once we get there, but I am sure it will be awesome. I really enjoyed our time in Kathmandu and look forward to returning at the end of our trip. The school we visited yesterday was quite interesting – and I will share more about it later. It was a school that also has a non-profit component to do more than just offer a free school for underprivileged kids. This country is amazing. I have seen so much over the past few days that it almost seems overwhelming, but I am thankful to see what I am seeing first-hand. Experiences like this help me remember to keep perspective on various things in my life. I am sure I will talk more about this as the journey continues.

I have already taken ~2000 photos! My guess is that I will hit 10000 before this trip is over. Best ideas ever were to rent the wideangle lens and buy a ton of memory. We should be departing soon, so I shall sign off for now. I miss you all, but am having a blast.

Namaste.

It has been at least 3 days since I had coffee

But I made it to Nepal!

 

Today starts our first full day in Kathmandu. After arriving yesterday
morning at 8 am, we had a low key day with nothing hard scheduled. I
was most thankful to get out of my travellig clothes – 30+ hours of
travelling later.

 

Instead of resting and napping, I left the hotel with 6 others in my
group and we went on a walking tour in “Old Kathmandu”. After getting
lost (surprising? I think not) we ended up finding the route we wanted
to be on.

 

We were walking through the “side streets” – basically if it had
wheels and/or legs it would try to travel down it. We passed shops
selling everything and anything. Take a turn down a small pathway and
you’d find yourself in a quiet courtyard with a small temple or
shrine. Some were simple, some ornate, all stunning.

 

It was also amazing to see people from all walks of life walkin
through the bustling streets. Also, I have come to the conclusion that
there are hipsters everywhere, yes even in Kathmandu. Oh, and the
Nepalese like Bieber. I kept seeing posters hung up at some of the
shops and even playing at a cafe.

 

And yes, they also sell Glee DVDs. Heh.

 

I am really glad that I went on the adventure yesterday. It was a
great immersion into Nepal. And I got to know some of the people I am
travelling with.

 

So far I am loving this country. It is so different than what I am
used to, but yet I feel comfortable. I’ll likey be uploading photos in
a separate post – keep a look out. Still working out the logisitcs of
posting.

 

I hope you are all well.

 

As the Nepalese say, namaste.