01 Jan 2015

Nepal by findingmomo

11/18

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Had an appointment at 9.30 a.m. but it was pushed back. While I was waiting a Nepali man came into the shop and offered some celebratory snacks to the staff (because New Year's Day!), and very good-naturedly offered me one as well. It was really... sweet. Haha.

After waiting for some time I headed to a patisserie just across the road for a light breakfast. The place was actually full, so I figured it couldn't go too wrong. Got a croissant and a cup of black tea.

Wasn't expecting much when I bit into the croissant, but it turned out excellent. By excellent I mean it was a warm, buttery, crispy, flaky dream of a croissant.

The best part? The total bill came up to USD0.55. Crying tears of gratitude.

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We're standing on the edge of a takeoff point, waiting for a nice juicy thermal to hit so we get a good lift for take-off. The weather today is cloudy and the lack of thermals make for flying conditions that are less than optimal.

After strapping me into my harness, Becca coaches me on how to feed Bob, who'll be flying with us. My anxiety is palpable, so a French paragliding instructor helping to check our set-up offers some wise words of advice: Look into the horizon. Don't look down.

I fix my gaze on clouds in the distance, and begin running on command. I run as fast as I can, moving my legs even when the ground beneath me has given way to nothingness.

The views are splendid. I'm giddy with adrenaline.

Can't think of a more amazing and unforgettable way to start a year.

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I'm on the other side of Lake Phewa from touristy Lakeside (confusing, I know). It's really quiet and laidback here.

I spot a restaurant I vaguely remember reading about on Tripadvisor, Samay by the Lake. Order fish momos and veggie curry. Instead of rice I opt for samay bhaji, a Newari staple consisting of flattened rice and roasted soybeans. Funky.

Food here is pretty okay. Fish momos were a little too salty, though I suppose most people would be sharing them. I sat next to a table of affluent Nepali girls who kept looking at me curiously. Don't think it helped that I was seated at a table meant for 9. It was also a little too chilly to be sitting outdoors, but that view was hard to resist.

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Having decided that I've walked enough to earn some pastries, I head back to Cafe 17, where the only baked item left in the glass display is their apple pie. I get masala tea to go along with it.

The apple pie is so good. I might be in love with this place. The owner of the cafe, Raj, recognises me from that morning and offers to help me take a picture haha.

I try to get some reading done - that's one of my favorite books, btw - but it's hard to focus. I settle for a comfortable compromise between journalling and spacing out.

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After a short rest at the hotel the plan was to walk back to touristy Lakeside (I know) for dinner at one of the Korean restaurants I'd passed earlier (I know). Because it was raining I ended up at the Tibetan restaurant right across the road from the hotel.

In addition to my usual dal bhat I wanted to get a soup to warm myself up so I went with the thukpa. Forgot a thukpa contains noodles and ended up with two meals in front of me. Felt too guilty to let food go to waste (especially here in Nepal) so I ate everything. I've even progressed to eating the dal bhat with my hand. The friendly uncle running the restaurant was mightily impressed :)