Bye bye India
28.05.2010 - 30.05.2010 33 °C
yesterday we left India. As you might have notice in the undertone of my previous posts, India wasn't just cool, easy, relaxed and hassle free. Actually, it was far from that. Nevertheless, the 3 1/2 week we spend there were a great experience. Heat wave in India is really hot (read in Nepal Times yesterday that dozens of people have died in Rajasthan) but quite an experience. The food didn't always get accepted as Western food, but the Inidan tea (Chai) is really good. The people are not always that friendly, but I'd also be doing anything for money if I were in their position.
Anyway, we left India. An 8 hour trainride from Varanasi to Ghorakhpur where we stayed the night and got to chat with two Korean girls that just returned from Pokhara, Nepal, the place we had as first destination in mind. They recommended a travel agency for trekking where we just inquired for a 5 day trekking. They also mentioned some restaurants and guest houses that they found were okay. As we don't have the Lonely Planet of Nepal (why don't we have the LP of Nepal?), this info was pretty useful.
Next morning we took a taxi to the border, where a friendly guy helped us through all the procedures for exiting India and entering Nepal. First thing we see on the other side of the border, a dustbin..... Typical! We obtained a bus ticket for the 8 hour trip to Pokhara and prepared for an interesting trip. Lots of green, nice hills and mountains, much more women in the street (think gender equality is higher on the agenda here then in India) and a drop of rain here and there. Crazy bus driver, lot's of almost collisions, but we arrived safely and in one pice in Pokhara. Checked into our hotel and ordered ourselves a well deserved steak and Everest beer for the enormous amount of 5 euro, of which half was for the beverage. I love this country ;-)
As mentioned be, we're doing some inquiries for trekking today and try to leave tomorrow morning for some good views of the Annapurna. The city is nice, the weather is much cooler than in India (still around 30 degrees), the food is good and the people are friendly. A big contrast with India, it definitely is, and it puts all experiences in India in a different perspective. An interesting trip so far.
Also, the Nepalese are crazy about football and some of them are even sad that Van Nistelrooy is notgoing to the world cup this year. Also, friendlies are shown on tv here and WC schedules are practically found in every bar. Reassuring for the start on the 11th of June, although Lhasa, Tibet, might not be the best time to try to catch a glimp of the opening match. Our Nepalese visa expires on the 12th of June and hopefully we'll be in Tibet by then, fingers crossed that we get there without to much trouble.....
Next post will cover our trekking experiences (leeches are apparently very active these days, but if that's the only thing, I guess we'll manage) and maybe even some meditation session stories. On the other hand, a steak and a cold beer get me quite relaxed as well, in some sort of trance even. We'll see, we'll keep you posted.