A trip to Nepal: Kathmandu, Pokhara and Bhaktapur

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Before jumping into the diary of my trip to Nepal, I have to tell you that it has been a couple of interesting weeks since I came back to Colombia and here’s a list of what a did the previous one: 1. Meeting with some of my friends and flatmates that came back from India, 2. Feeling successful about being a little bit more creative with cooking (and with a veg diet), 3. Watching the football (Soccer) game on Wednesday, 4. Running in order to escape from crazy guys yelling cause their team won, and 5. eating some Colombian candies I spotted in a little store at midnight (and now I’m actually craving them again). After all that I realized: I’m finally moving on. Life’s really good at this point and I’m feeling happy and thrilled about the things to come, and I’m very grateful for that.

Now, here’s a list of the things I really loved the most about my trip to Nepal, which I made in October, because I had the pleasure of not dealing with the FRRO (foreigners registration office) but instead, I had to get a new stamp on my passport stating I left the country at any time before 180 days (a perfect excuse for traveling).

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Kathmandu

1. Our first stop was Swayambhunath, also known as the “Monkey temple”. It was the first place we visited as soon as we arrived (exact same day) and we enjoyed a really beautiful sunset. The view of Kathmandu from the top is amazing, so don’t miss it. You need to go up a few stairs, but totally manageable. Beware of the monkeys if you open a package of any food. A few ladies were attacked for carrying bananas.

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2. Next day we went to Durbar Square. If you are wondering what is up with me in those photos above, I was trying to avoid getting pigeon shit on my hair lol. It was burning hot when we left the hostel, then it was pouring, that’s why the flip-flops. The square is quite colorful and due to some Hindu festivities, there was a lot of people getting in line to get into the temples. I particularly loved the ladies, wearing their best-red-festive sarees for the occasion. So beautiful. We were also lucky enough to witness a wedding ceremony in Durbar Square that day. How gorgeous is that bride?

 

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3. After Durbar square, we went to Boudhanath for lunch and to do some shopping. Even though the rain didn’t stop in the afternoon (and it never did during our trip to Nepal), we had a lovely time. I loved that monk wearing pink Crocs, it was one of the highlights. The restaurants and cafés around the temple serve some delicious food, and it was nice to get in there and feel warm for a second. That night we met with the rest of our friends who took a flight a day later, and we had an amazing dinner with the most delicious apple pie in the world. 

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4. So this trip to Nepal was perfectly planned weeks before, but everything changed when we were told it was better to spend another day in Kathmandu because of the heavy rains. October in Nepal is supposed to be, “perfect weather”, but there was a cyclone that affected everything. We decided to spend the day exploring Pashupatinath, to check the temples and to learn about the burning ceremonies. It was a lot more organized than in Varanasi but still quite shocking. In my opinion, Pashupatinath was the most beautiful place we saw in Kathmandu and we wouldn’t have visited it if it wasn’t for the bad weather.

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Pokhara

 

1. We arrived in Pokhara late at night after an entire day of driving. The next morning, we went for our first hike and crossed the lake in one of those little boats, with rain pouring down on us (it seemed like it was following us) and Ola, the polish, was throwing hearts of pineapples to the fishes while we laughed hysterically. We took a hike to the Peace Pagoda, and I may look happy in the photo, but I cried and complained the entire way up to there (I’m super bad a hiking but I try to force myself). My reward for completing the hike, was to getting bitten by a leech, being soaked for hours and a group photo that DOES NOT INCLUDE THE PEACE PAGODA. We ended the day in a small restaurant at the top, and finally, we took a cab to go back to the hostel and get a well deserved hot shower. 

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2. On our second day in Pokhara, we went for a walk in Sarangkot. The views were really beautiful, and the hike was quite easy, mostly flat the whole time. We walked for around 7 hours. We ran into some cute kids on their way home and we couldn’t resist asking for a photo. I remember that I was carrying in my bag a snickers bar, water, and Pepto Bismol chewable pills, You never know, hahaha. And guess what? Like every day during this trip to Nepal, of course, it rained. We found shelter in this house and had a chai and a nice conversation while we waited for the rain to stop.

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3. The next day I went for a short hike with the girls and Juanito, while the rest of the guys decided to rent bikes and explore on their own. I made the terrible mistake of going in FLATS and of course, they were destroyed by the end of the day. When we were almost at the viewpoint, we found some cute little goats and we were taking pictures and hugging them. The owner tried to sell them to us for 2k Nepalese rupees each. The views from the top were beyond beautiful. This was our last day in Pokhara.

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Bhaktapur

 

1. The last part of our trip to Nepal was in Bhaktapur. We took a van leaving Pokhara in the morning and we arrived there after midnight. The driver took a wrong way, and somehow,  we didn’t pass through the main entrance of the town. We literally knocked on the door of the first hostel we found, to spend the night. The next day, we found out that we didn’t pay the ticket to visit the village (oops!). We were sightseeing all day and visiting the temples. In the afternoon, we took another van to go back to Kathmandu.

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