After a Raft and a Swing we need a Himalay-down!!
Trip Start Sep 09, 2007
33Trip End Ongoing
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The first day was like a school trip as we reached the border that evening and were put up in dormitories for the night. The early start next day wasn't easy (especially as our plans for an early night went to pot in a sea of Nepal Ice lager!) but the bus ride soon made up for it. The scenery and the ambience in Nepal was stunning as the bus wound its way through the mountains, small villages, valleys, waterfalls and rice fields: everywhere was so clean, so fresh and so natural it was hard to believe India was only a couple of hours away (for starters, the Nepalese know how to use a bin so the roads aren't lined with stinking great piles of rubbish which act as a home for dogs, rats and cows!). The view from our seats wasn't the best so, after a bit of 'buttering-up' of the conductor at a toilet stop, we were allowed to sit up on the roof amongst the luggage and take it all in for ourselves first hand. The numb bums from the bouncy road and blistered hands from holding on so tight were a small price to pay for such an amazing scene.
We arrived in Kathmandu later that night to meet up with Kate and Darren, the couple we'd travelled with in Goa, which was good ay?! (Kate's favourite saying!). Our first priority was to prepare for Halloween the following day, with the Canadian guys needing no second invitation to join us! Our first day in Kathmandu saw all six of us out on the hunt for props and outfits. With a limited budget (aided by a free carrot from the fruit and veg man on the market!) and improvisation skills tested to the full, we came up with these little beauties...
After a day of nursing hangovers (and finding a fleece for Charlie - Nepal was a LOT colder than India!) we all set off for a 2-day rafting trip on the Bhote Kosi river near to the Tibetan border. We thought we were in safe hands when our team of 6 was placed with the group leader as our raft instructor/guide... little did we know the guy was a complete lunatic!!
After a hard day's paddling we were loking forward to getting back to the camp site and relaxing for the night... to Charlie's horror however we turned up to find the site was on the other side of a 200m wide tropical canyon with a 160m deep sheer drop to the river below. The only way across? A feeble-looking metal bridge...
Considering she won't even cross the bridge at Farnham train station it was obviously a bit of a shocker for Charlie but after half an hour of tears, several 'will-she-won't-she' false starts and a little bit of 'tough love' from me, she got herself together and crossed the bridge at a snail's pace to the cheers of the rest of the group! The banter and teasing from everybody was soon cut short however on the following morning when we remembered that some of us (Charlie obviously not included!) had chosen to jump off of that bridge!
I had intially chosen to do a bungee jump but changed my mind at the last minute to the canyon swing. With my Shots shirt and socks and sandals to protect me (my feet were freezing, honest!)
Having carried a bit of a cold through the first day of rafting, and still recovering from the loss of breath the canyon swing (and climb back to the top!) had inflicted, I decided to sit out of the second day's torture... sorry rafting!
The crowded backstreets and the swarm of junkie drug dealers which came out at night to pester you - one of whom was beaten by the police one night after he had pushed Adrienne and been chinned by Rocky (AKA Kate and Darren)! - were getting a bit too much so we set off for a peaceful last few days in Pokhara. We immediately fell in love with this place and we have our first entry into the 'Tom and Charlie's We'd Like to Live Here, Yes Please! List'. The town is so quiet and laid back with a beautiful backdrop of the Annapurna range of the Himalayas on one side and Fewa lake on the other. The town was also sold to us both personally by (for Charlie) the Nepalese children who are the cutest little things she's ever seen and (for Tom) the guys selling hand-crafted wooden flutes who play 'Tequila' whenever they see people taking an interest!