Nepal

After having on hour of sleep between Friday night to Saturday morning, somehow I managed to go up, get ready and get myself to the airport for a weekend in Pokhara. I knew that the airplane would be tinny but I wasn't so nervous about being in a small aircraft. Maybe because I knew it would only be about a 40 minute flight. But I was at the airport in good time as usual to not increase my nervousness, which is not needed at all here. Because everything went in under five minutes with checking in and security check, so there I was waiting for two hours in a tinny airport and it also got to be one and a half hour delay on top of that. I could have used those hours for some sleep. Anyway, once I sat down on my seat I felt asleep and woke by the flight attend saying that we were landing.

I decided to walk from the airport to my hotel to sweat out yesterday's intake. Also, that way I got to experience more of Pokhara. This city was so different from Kathmandu, which so many had told me. The traffic was less and more structured, the nature was stunning and the atmosphere here was so harmonic. It felt like I was in another world. And the hotell I picked was so great, I really have the talent for picking them. Big, clean room with a view to the mountains and a roof top facing the lake. The only thing is that I once again got a room on the 4th floor, as I also have back in Kathmandu. Is the universe telling me that I'm getting flabby maybe.

Saturday's sightseeing got to be a visit to Devi's fall and a cave near to it. The waterfall it self was cool since the fall just went down in a big hole in the ground and disappeared. But the fences around it took away the experience of the waterfall. But it was still a nice sightseeing spot with some funny figures to photograph with and some shopping. At one place where I bought some bracelets I thought that one of the sellers looked liked Jackie Chan, or that he could have been his father, so I just had to take my photo with him. Everyone laughed when I screamed out "Oh my god, you look like Jackie Chan".

On Sunday I wanted to go paragliding, but the weather wasn't so good. So the agency said they would call me once the weather cleared. So I went to a restaurant with a lake view and had an early lunch. I sat there for a few hours just watching people passing by.

If your ever travel to Nepal I highly recommend to go to Pokhara. I felt so much tranquility here and also so much inner peace. And just sitting enjoying the nature and watching people was so calming.

Around lunchtime I got a call that they were ready to take the car up to the top, so I headed over to the agency. About an hour drive later we were on the top getting ready for running of from the mountain out in the air. The instructor asked me if I was ok and that I shouldn't be nervous, because I was so calm and wasn't saying much. But no, nervous or afraid isn't something I get. I was just taking the view in and was glad I was doing this.

Up in the air is was great, the landscape and the feeling of just floating in the air was magical. However!!! I get emotion sickness for just sitting on a normal swing, so with all the swinging to the right and left really made me nauseous. I didn't at all think this would bring out emotion sickness.
And when the instructor asked if I was doing fine and if I wanted to do some tricks, I said "yeah I'm fine, yeah of course". And I just kept on chewing my gum intensely and focusing on my breathing, because no way I would puke up in the sky all over us nor ask to go down. "If you gonna take Vienna, take Vienna".

After the paragliding I got back to the hotel to get some sleep, struggling hard not to vomit. I crashed and slept for some hours.

In the evening I forced my self up and I went to the lake and got a boat for myself and of course a guide that row the boat. Mostly I just sat and enjoyed the moment and we stop at a little island with a mini temple, but when the guide told me about this waterfall nearby I asked politely if he could take me there. He said it would get dark in half an hour, but I just smiled so big and said "pleeeeease". And so I got to see another waterfall. Not a big one, but not less beautiful because of that.

I ended my weekend in Pokhara with dinner and live performance with cultural dancing and singing. I really like Nepali dancing, it's so subtile.

When leaving the restaurant the rain was really poring down. So far I haven't witness the heavy raining so much, because it usually take place in the night when I'm already asleep. But now I got the see how much rain that can come and how it just drown the streets. And my roof top had kinda turned into a pool. It was an cool experience, however every time this happens it causes damage to the street and the people living here.

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Nepal

What I had planned and wish to do on Friday couldn't take place, so I took the opportunity to visit the big Boudha stupa and do some shopping. I am starting to get a bit tired after three intense weeks with not sleeping well, there are so much noice in this city 24/7, so I needed this day. I started by having a massage, my shoulders and arm was killing me. The trekking took a toll on me and day by day the pain had just gotten worse and so intense. My arm started to feel numb at times. But after the massage, it's all good tho.

After the massage I took the cab to Boudhanat to see the stupa. It was really big and amazing. And the peacefulness you got by walking around it was just what I needed. After that I had lunch on a rooftop in the burning summer sun where I had one of the best nacho plates ever. I've been craving it for so long and never would I thought I could find it in Kathmandu and if I would, I wouldn't expect that it actually would taste good. With some food in my tummy I went shopping for the first time here. I found a few nice things and my favorite purchase was a singing bowl. They are so cool and I think that I haven't even heard about them before.

In the evening my plan was to go to "Cafe with no name", to see live music with Aidan and have a drink or two. There wasn't any live music tho, but that was ok. This place is highly recommended to go to if you are in Kathmandu and wants to escape all the noise, the intensity and the crowd. They have cheese platter, cold white wine and jacked potatoes among many other things. And all the profits also goes to orphan children. It can be a bit hard to find tho, since it's located in a small alley. But defiantly worth finding.

Next day, Saturday, I had to get up at 6 am, so I wanted to take it easy that night. But Adrian had told me about this cool place called Buddha bar, so I thought we could check it out for just one more drink. However, one to two turned to four. Buddha bar was sooooo cool! Great variation of good and fun music, cool atmosphere with couches where you had to take your shoes of and climb up on. I just love that, it makes you feel more relaxed and really gets you into a chill mode. The bar closed quite early tho and by now I should have gone home since I hadn't even packed yet. Can you believe that! Since I usually pack weeks before flying some where. This country have changed me, as I was hoping and expecting it would. I feel so much more relaxed after being here, less worrying and less controlling with plans.

I was in such a good spirit and enjoying the night, so we found the English pub where, once again I said "just one more drink". But not so surprisingly, I happens to become more than "one more". Until 5 in the morning we stayed up, drinking, laughing, being silly and just having a blast. When we finally decided to get going we stopped for a wrap at the only place that still was open on the street. We sat down just at a random place on the street and that moment was so interesting. The street of Thamel was almost empty, however a few people was up. Some just walking their morning walk, some fetching garbage and some maybe also on their way home. Even tho I only got to sleep one hour, it was so worth it.

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Nepal

Through out these weeks here in Nepal I got to visit so many places, meet so many people and learn tremendously many things. There hasn't barely been any time to rest, so therefor not enough time to write on my blog after each happening. And also, the internet isn't working whenever I wish too. So my blog posts will come a bit delayed. But now I'm sitting in a restaurant in Pokhara, a city that's about an hour flight distance away from Kathmandu, and having some chill time. I am about to go Sarankot, a mountain are, to paraglide. But the weather is not so good so I'm waiting for it to clear and get a call from the agency to see if the activity will take place. I truly hopes so, since that's the main reason why I got here.

Anyway, here's a post about the visits I made to the children's home that "Gatubarn i Nepal" have and are supporting so they could be founded and exist. Eva, one of the women in the Swedish organization, whom I'm only met once so far is such an amazing woman as well as an inspiration. Not is she only inspiring me but also the people who works here and all the kids that has a better life thanks to her big heart and her dedication to make sure that these children gets a better life.

In the second week I visited the girls home in Gokarna. The place is run by Julius and to his help he has his wife CinniMaya and as well Basanti, whom takes care of the household and the cooking. I spent a few hours there to get to know the girls and to hear about their home. I must say that the hopefulness and dreams these kids have is fantastic. They all study so hard, now have dreams about what they want to become in the future and are talented in singing, dancing and music. Just being here with them gave me so much hope for the future, because they all had an auro that for me said that life can be good and life is a gift.

The house they live in is has several floors, a big garden where they plantvegetables, rice and have chickens. They also had two cute rabbits that ran around in the garden. One of them wasn't that into having it pictures taken tho. And the view they have from their home was mind blowing of course, since I could see the mountains.

In the third week I went to Nayabasti, Jorpati, where there is an orphan home for both boys and girls. There I got to meet Dolma. I was blown away with her dedication, knowledge and motivation as well as her hard work. Not only for the children but also how she tries to inspire and educate teachers and parents to make a difference in the way of educating and raising.

In the beginning the children were a tad shy but once we started to talk they loosened up and after a while we were dancing and singing together. Just as the other children at the previous home, these smaller once also inspired me and brought so much joy to my soul. If I would ever have a doubt in my life that I've choose the wrong education or wrong track in my life, children like them will verify that I'm on the right path.

The girls were just amazingly good at hola hops. But this little kiddo just blow me away! I only filmed her for a few minutes, but honestly she went on for about 20 minutes without dropping it once.

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Nepal

On Tuesday before I went away to the mountain village Maghi Gaun, Bimal whom organized so I could go there, asked me if I wanted to come to a wedding reception the following day. I was honored to be invited to an occasion like that, so I said yes. I've only met Bimal twice at that time, but from the very first moment when we shock hands he has been friendly, welcoming and forthcoming. Meeting people like that means tremendously when being alone in a country so different from yours.

I went to the wedding along with a few people, and among one of them was Adrain from Australia. We had such a good time, we ate and drank and had so many interesting conversations. I also got to meet Bimal and Madhus family, so many friendly souls that was glad to have us there and of course got to see so many beautiful women. With their dresses, sparkling jewelry's and charismatic looks they all looked like princesse from a Disney movie.

When the reception was over around 11 pm, Adrian, me and this local guy walked back to Thamel, the tourist area where I'm staying. We felt that it was too early to call it a night and I wanted to have just one more drink.

I spotted a bar that had karaoke and I wanted to go there and sing. This place had the coolest walls I've seen in a bar, a bit psychedelic. The picture doesn't make it justice tho. Lucky for everyone, there was a pool table there as well and I forgot about the karaoke. I like to sing, however I know I'm a terrible singer. Can't hold a tone even to save my life.

This night ended up that we stayed to closing time and Adrian and I kicked as and won both games we played against Nepali people. We were the pool champions! Didn't think I would go out partying here, but it's a pretty cool party life in the alleys of Thamel.

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Nepal

Tuesday I got to visit the mountain village, Maghi Gaun, in a rural area. In distance it's not so far from Kathmandu, but because of the bad roads it takes a while to get here. But definitely worth the trip. The landscape is beautiful, magical and contained views that I've so far only seen in movies. I just got blown away by the mountains, the river and everything that grow here. To get to the village itself, we had to cross a long bridge. And that was an experience itself that made me feel alive.

I've been trying to find a spot in Nepal where I could do my "natasha pose" but haven't found a god spot until now. It wasn't optimal, because I couldn't lean my back. But this had to due, because the surroundings were just perfect.

I went to this village with Madhu. He's the brother to Bimal, whom a man that the organization have worked together with in order to support the village in its development. Once we arrived we got greeted by their sister, her husband, their two daughters and grandma and grandpa. Just after we had been there for a few minutes, one of the girls came and she was bleeding much from her hand. She had cut her self previously that morning when cutting grass. And when she now had pumped some water, she triggered the bleeding in her hand. While we were patching her up I saw something on the roof, a snake. The snake was just laying up there having a rat for lunch. It was so uncomfortable to watch, but I made myself watch it all. Facing your fears it's the only way to get rid of them.

The nature here, as I mentioned, is just amazing. The fields of crops, the nature and the humbled people living here truly lifts the village despite their simple houses and lack of material things.

Gatubarn in Nepal has provided with many goats for the village and it was nice to see with your own eyes how money have come to good use.

Despite that the village was simple, the homes was poorly build and the accessibility to water, electricity and so on was limited... the people I met was still so humble, joyful and appreciating. Everyone I met was smiling and welcoming. And the children were just too adorable. It makes you stop for a second and look at what you have, and start to appreciate your life instead of always striving to have more.

Nowadays the village have a well and a waterpump system, thanks to Gatubarn in Nepal. That way children doesn't have to go far, several times a day, down to the riverside to fetch water. This also means that they now instead, have the time and opportunity to attend school. However, due to electricity shut down that happens, the water pump isn't always working. But it is a big step forward.

When going back home the traffic was terrible and we had to walk some. And we had to walk over this bridge that was a bit broken. Of course I stumbled in the beginning at a broken part and my hurt jumped up in my throat. All went well though, but it was a bit scary. But a bit of danger just gets the adrenaline going I guess :)

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Nepal

Today I got to hang out some with the children which are sponsored so they can attend school. Tomorrow they will have an exam, so I help them studying and questioned them. I'm so impressed with their memory and their English.

Afterwards Bijaye showed me to Patan, which is the third largest city in Nepal. We walked around by the temples that where still intact. As many other buildings, even this area got destroyed from the earthquake. But they are working hard to build it back up, like it looked before.

I got so impressed to see how hard they are working to make the temples look like they did before the earthquake. By hand they're carving every small details. The will to hold on to cultural and historical aspect is infinite.

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Nepal

This morning I had another walk around the village to see how the "solar safe water systems" that had been donated have been used. SSWS, solvatten "is a combined portable water treatment and water heater system that has been designed for off-grid households use in the developing world. It is an easy, innovative solution that gives access to clean, hot water to impoverished people throughout the world. Thanks to its durable design it is also the cheapest method to obtain clean, hot water". http://solvatten.org

These are some of the children that gets sponsored so they can attend private school. They were supposed to have a big test today, but it got cancelled because the teachers had went on a strike. So they all went back to church, and had a class in the Sunday school studio.

After being in the village in Shantinagar, the church group was going to another town to a family. They often go to family's home to have a mass if the family's are unable to go to church. While they were having mass, Bijaye showed me around in the mountain of Nagarkot. Stunning view! I could see the Himalayas mountain from here.

Before we headed back to Kathmandu, one of the guys from church took me to Bhaktarpur. I actually had no idea where or why we were going there when they asked if I wanted to go. I just said yes. Which I often do here, I found it easier to just go with flow and just have half plans. Bhaktapur is an ancient city next to Kathmandu. We went here to see temples. However, this area got destroyed a lot during the earthquake in 2015 and you could still see the aftermath of it in the city. They are still working hard to rebuild the city and the temples.


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Nepal

So, now I've been to the monkey Temple once again. First time it felt like we rushed through it, so I wanted to spend some more time there. That way I could take even more monkey pictures. Also, the first time there I missed to see the three Golden Buddhas that where located in front of another entrance. So yesterday, after my hike, we headed to the temple. I don't know what it is, I just get so glad when I see monkeys and they are my favorite animal.

This is the walk up to one of the entrance to the temple. Monkeys running around everywhere. Some don't mind getting their pictures taken, some prepares to go for attack. But as long as they have something to eat, they stay quite calm.

At the top of the temple there is the Swaymbhunathe stupa. A stupa is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics, often the remains of Buddhist monks or nuns, and is used as a place of meditation.

These round things, in the picture with the girl, should be spinned for good luck. The stupa at the top also was surrounded by these. And if you go around the stupa, in a circle going left, and spinns all of them it will bring you great luck according Buddhist tradition.

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Nepal

Yesterday I decided that I wanted to go for a hike today, Sunday, so a gave a call to Karma. Karma is the chairman for our local NGO organization and he also has a trekking and hiking company. He told me that it could work out and that he would call me in the morning and we would meet and talk more. So I wasn't sure at what time or where I would go, but I trusted it would work out just fine. So I went to bed and set my alarm at 7 am.

I woke up at 6:58 by myself and saw a missed call from Karma. I called him back and he said that he would come to my hotell and wondered when I could be ready. 8 am I said optimisticly. I rushed to get ready and met him at the hotel restaurant. He had brought a guide for me, Ram. We made some plans for a day hike today and next weekend I might go on a trakking for 3 days. Ram and I took a cab to a mountain and I said by to Karma. Both are so friendly and spoke well English.
(Hey mum! I didn't go of wandering by myself this time, I had Ram whom was my private tour guide).

The hike started with buying tickets and leaving your ID to the military guards. That way, they would know that something has happened if you don't turn back to collect them by the end of the day. And also twice on the hike they had check points, where you showed your tickets. That way they could somehow track where you was last seen. At the very beginning a saw a baby snake, and I feared that it would be more. But Ram said that the snakes are in the jungle and not on the trail. Lucky me!

The first part of the hike was a 2 hour walk up a lot of stairs. With the weather of about 26 degree Celsius, 80 % humidity and being about 2, 400 meters over the sea level it might have been the toughest thing I've done. Never have I sweat like that! It was dripping from me and my heart was beating so heavy!! Imagine doing a cross trainer session in the sauna for two hours, I haven't done it myself tho. But I would guess it would feel like this. The mountaintop you see in the picture underneath is where we walked towards too.

At the top there was an old Buddhist temple. We stopped there to take some pictures and catch some breath. As always, the feelings I get inside when reaching the top is still fantastic and so worth the struggle.

After having a little break and taking tons of pictures, we headed down. This time a 3 hour walk on a road that circle it self down to the entrance gate. On our way down there was a path with several hundreds of worms, in the size from 20-50 centimeters long. Disgusting!!! And it was like this for probably 20 minutes. I didn't take any pictures of that, cause I really didn't want to relive that with having pictures of it in my phone. But here's some beautiful jungle photos. I totally wanted to swing around like Tarzan when I saw all the lianes... but I stopped myself from doing so. Probably better of. What was great about this hike was that it wasn't anyone else hiking, since it's not really tourist season now.

On the way up Ram said there was leeches. First I barely saw them because they were tinny, then he got several on his shoes all the time and I only a few. But it didn't bother me much. But on the way down, I felt something wet in my shoe. Stopped to look what it was... and there they were! These small little bloodsucking fellas! And in both shoes!
And later on after we left the mountain and we had eaten at a restaurant, I stood up and felt something wet again. And even more blood this time! Funny tho, it looks very bad but it actually didn't hurt anything.

Here's just random moments that caught my eye, but totally normally occasions over here... Some peacocks in a cage, a monkey drinking some water not minding about us at all, cows chilling on the road, an adorable little girl hanging around and an interesting set-up on a bus.

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Nepal

I was up really late yesterday taking on the phone, so I slept until 1 pm today. Well needed tho! Once I had breakfast and showered I decided to do some local sightseeing. I searched the web and found a tower not far away, Dharahara, also called Bhimsen Tower. It was supposed to be 213 steps to the top and providing a view over Kathmandu valley. So, I headed over there. However, once arriving... the tower wasn't a tower no more. Just the base was left. Later that evening I learned that it got destroyed in the earthquake in 2015 and 60 people died.

I few minutes after arriving to the tower, the rain started to poor down. But I bought myself an ambrella and kept going to a park area. The positive thing with the rain is that the street that normally is crowded with motorcycles, bikes and people, almost was empty. So I could walk in my Natasha speed and get to my destination faster.

This "park" which I wanted to reach, wasn't what I was hoping for. But I found it to be beautiful in it's own tragical way. It doesn't look much for the eye, but I could see the potential of it. If only some money and work would be put into making the park bloom it could totally be a tourist attraction that would produce new money for the city.

I headed on to a place I past a few days ago, Garden of dreams. I didn't know at all what it was, I had just seen the sign and it sounded nice. And it sure was. Not a very big garden, but very beautiful and a contrast to the rest of the area.

I finished my day with dinner at the hotel and had a nice conversation with someone from the staff. I love taking to natives, it's the best way to learn things about the country you're staying in. Namastē.

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