31 Dec 2014

Nepal by findingmomo

10/18

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This teahouse serves an inconsistent masala latte - just last night it tasted like a Starbucks Christmas drink but this morning it's practically masala flavoured water :,-(

Short one-hour walk back to where we started at Nayapul Crossing, where a van will be waiting to take us to Pokhara. I chat with Mahesh and then Sumit about the problems Nepal faces.

It's crazy that a country so rich in resources should be so underdeveloped. Mahesh says there are 36 political parties in the country jostling for power. Politicians make short-term promises to please the electorate, knowing that before the ruling party has a chance to implement its policies they'll be voted out at the next election. Bribery and corruption are rampant from the municipal to the cabinet level. Having given up on the government, people are apathetic about trying to change the country, preferring to leave for greener pastures.

How did this get so intense? Haha. Here are pictures of some things I saw along the way.

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After an hour's drive we're back in Pokhara. The major roads are closed for a street festival so we have to take a detour to Hotel Third Pole, where our porters unload our stuff.

Lunch is at a cafe near Purna Yoga's office overlooking Lake Phewa. I order Nepali grilled fish. The filleted fish arrives covered in a brown sauce that makes it impossible to photograph appetizingly. It is pretty good though a tad salty.

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I had to make my way back to Purna Yoga for a New Year's Eve/ farewell dinner. It was a 3 kilometer walk, and I didn't realise the area near Hotel Grand Holiday would be so dimly lit and so suburban. I was the only foreigner out on the streets as far as I could tell, and I wasn't comfortable taking out my phone to check the map.

I made a turn onto the main road, which was crowded with honking vehicles carrying people headed for the street festival. It was when I reached the border of Pokhara (huge "THANK YOU FOR VISIT" banner ) that I realized I was epically lost. Went into a travel agency to ask for directions, and the guy kindly helped to point me in the right direction. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared at all.

Ended up being 45 minutes late for dinner - and worn out from an unplanned trek - but hey, at least I got there.

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After saying goodbye to everyone I hitched a ride with Mahendra, the boss of Purna Yoga, back to my hotel.

It was my first time riding on a motorbike haha. Felt pretty amazing to whiz down a bumpy road, the chilly winter wind nipping at my face.

Back at the hotel I couldn't get wifi in my room on the fifth floor (the modem is in the lobby so the signal weakens the higher up you are -.-). I went downstairs to the third floor and sat on a chair outdoors in the dark. The sound of music and partygoers by the lake traveled to me in the night as I counted down to midnight at Singapore time.

3, 2, 1. Happy 2015!