A Travellerspoint blog

Namaste

a quick to let you know

Namaste everybody,

just a quick message. Also in Pokhara we are having problems with electricity. We will try to upload every day a page on our travelblog, but just to let you know not to worry.
We are both doing great, nice weather, nice temperature. Wonderful people around us, nice food.

I could say as sub heading: travelblog from R & R from P.P., meaning travelblog from Renske and Rita from their Pokhara Penthouse. We have a room on the top floor of Mountain Villa, the hotel next door to H.E., a big balcony, lakeview, big room with double and single bed, en suite bathroom, room service to bring our coffee.
So, as you can see: we are thik cha (very good) derai derai kushi very happy and healthy.

Next blog I will download some pictures again, most be possible, because we allready have about 200 pictures.

Namaste, subha ratri (sleep well) peri betaun la see you soon.

R & R (Gursha and Sanghita

Posted by Sanghita 08:54 Comments (0)

Bakthapur

sightseeing

sunny -17 °C

Thursday, 14 February 2008
Bakthapur
We both slept well this night. Around 8.30 we got up, shower, breakfast and 10.00 to Himalayan Encounters (from now on H.E.). The guide coming with us, his name was Kiroj Man Sing. A very nice guy and a great talker. He studies Buddishm and Sociology, so except from the touristy information he could tell us a lot of other interesting facts.

Although I was in Bakthapur before, it was like the first time. We entered from a different street, so I saw everything from a different angle. It was about 45 minutes drive from Kathmandu to Bakthapur, with a private car.

On the way at the petrol stations, we saw a long line of motorbikes. Kiroj explained that, with the elections coming up, the government is creating a shortage of petrol. To get more voters, in their propaganda they promise no problems concerning petrol.

Bakthapur is known for the woodcarving, all the buildings, the doors, windows, are showing this craft. The population of Bakthapur is 60.000 people. Nepal total 23 million, Kathmandu 2.5 million.
In Bakthapur the people are 65% Hindu, 20% Buddhist.

The main difference between Hindu and Buddhist is: Hindu believe that they had many lives before becoming human. As a human they are striving to do as good as they can (karma), to accumulate as much as they can (of good behavior, favors) for their next life. That way they will come back as human again and not as animal.
Buddha also believes strongly in good karma, but for THIS life, to reach enlightenment, Nirvana This life.

The average age of the people living in Bakthapur is higher then in Kathmandu (pollution, slower life tempo). For the men it is 61, for the women 59 years.

At our question about the elections Kiroj said: "we don't know what is going to happen". The Maoist are communist, so the literate people will not vote for them, they will understand that it will mean no progress, but going back. The non-schooled people will most probably vote for the Maoist, that is why the Maoist is focusing their campaign in the countryside and the remote villages.

Most of the people think that buddishm is coming from Tibet. Kiroj told us that the Princess of Nepal was Buddhist, when she married the Crown Prince of Tibet he followed her religion. That was when Buddhism became THE religion of Tibet.

The Buddhist Chant (Mantra): "Om, mane padme hum". Hail, Jewel in the Lotus.
First take a long breath in, on the way to exhale, try to say "OM". Again inhale, holding the breath, "Mane Padme Hum", exhale at the last word "HUM".

Many pictures from the pottery square, where we bought an elephant, and Renske got a frog for good luck.
Sitting on the roof Terrace in the sun, overlooking Bakthapur, watching the people down on the square. Here Renske tried her first Momo (vegetable), and she quiet liked it. I tried two momo;s, but then it was pugju (enough) for me, still remembering the bad momo with food poisoning form 3 years ago.
A group of schoolchildren passing, the local tempo;s (3-wheel tractor), colorful people .

In the Royal Palace Kiroj took us to the "Royal Jacuzzi", a pond where the king used to bath. The builders did not know how a crocodile looked like, so the 'tab' of the bath turned out as a crocodile with a trump and a goat in his mouth (called crocifant by us).

After Bakthapur we still had time enough, so Kiroj took us to Swayambunath (Monkey Temple). The view over Kathmandu was fantastic, it was a sunny day.
This stupa is important for both Hindu and Buddhist. The pylons on the site are from the 17th century, the stupa itself is older, but unknown how old exactly. The story goes that on the spot where the stupa is, a lotusflower is buried. Lotus is the symbol of Buddhism.

Around 16.15 back to Thamel, overfilled with information and impressions, the both of us.
A day like this with guide and private car is cheap for us: 1500 Rupies for Kiroj (17 euro), 1800 rupies for the driver (20 euro) for a whole day.

There is a problem with electricity in Kathmandu. Many hours during the day we have no electricity (also reason why we can not email so often). This is because the water in the rivers is very low, so there is no power enough of the stream of the water to get electricity.

In the evening we met Gelu, we went to a traditional Dahl Bath place, where Renske had her first Dahl Bath. Afterwards for a drink to a bar in Thamel, where all the trekkers from the Mount Everest meat, the whole place was covered with "footsteps" written with comments and names of the people who 'made it'.
A bit later also Dill (manager of Kathmandu office) joined us and they took us to a local karaoke place. Another experience, but soon we had enough of the singing of the ladies (it sounded like she also had a bad momo for lunch), so time after a nice day to go back to the hotel.

Posted by Sanghita 08:25 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Kathmandu

13 feb, 2008

sunny

Tuesday, 12 February 2008
Bahrein – Kathmandu

Wake up call at 08.00. Slowly, slowly getting ready, breakfast. Waiting in the lobby at 09.30, the transfer took us to the airport at 10.00. Walking around, window-shopping, coffee. At 11.25 to the gate and at 12.00 we were boarding. Again a quiet flight, I slept a lot.
Luckily this time there were no fights on board of the plane, everybody was calm.
4 Hours later we arrived at Kathmandu.
I already had my visa-apply form ready so I could walk straight to the no-visa-passport control. Visum in my passport, a few stamps, 23 Euro and we were on our way to collect our luggage.
Outside Nindra was waiting with a sign of Himalayan Encounters with our names on it.
With a taxi in chaotic traffic, a 20 minutes drive to the Kathmandu Guesthouse..
For me it was like coming home, like I had my last coffee in the garden there yesterday.
Checking in our room was a bit confusing, we ended up with 2 double rooms, tomorrow we will change that into only 1 room. 20 Dollar a night, with garden view.
The weather in Kathmandu is great: a very clear sky and we went out only in our sweaters, no jacket needed.
A short walk through Thamel, then to Northern Field. to have a nice diner, sitting in the garden next to the burning fire basket, conquering two Everests (beer). The Nepali people are again so friendly, polite. The waiter was asking hundreds of questions, and also telling us a lot of things.

nepal__10_..feb_016.jpg

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Renske did not sleep very well, she is having a big time jetlag. I did sleep very good. Around 9.30 we were drinking our first coffee in the garden.
Passing the office of the Himalayan Encounters (.H.E.) where we made a little bit a plan: today going our own way in Kathmandu, tomorrow with a guide to Bakthapur and then Friday with a tourist bus to Pokhara.
Through all the small streets, packed with people walking, on bikes, in CARS, to Durbar Square. Made some nice pictures on the way and on the square. While we were sitting on a roof terrace in the sun there was suddenly a lot of noise: a parade of Maoist, celebrating their legality. (picture).
Watching the young men of Kathmandu sitting on the steps of the pagoda’s, talking, playing games, just watching the world go by.
The women were sitting on the feet of the pagoda’s selling vegetables, fruits,anything.
Back to Thamel, back to Northern Field, but still we could not send this email, because there was no electricity.
Tonight we will go for diner there and plug in the laptop to update our travelblog.

Namaste, Suba Rathri (good night) and soon more.

Posted by Sanghita 08:36 Archived in Nepal Comments (1)

Kathmandu, here we are

it;s so good to be back

sunny

Friday -8 February 2008. /Saturday 9 February 2008
Athens. At Zoe and Andreas.
On the flight from Heraklion to Athens I was sitting next to Ka. Maria. A lady from Agios Nikolaos, where she is having a jewellery shop. Having a nice conversation about different subjects. Than she asked me were I was going in Athens and it turned out that her sister, who she was going to visit, was living in the same area.
We decided to go together with the metro ( 5 euro) to Panagitis, where her sister was going to pick her up and they would drop me on the corner of Pericleous.
Arrived around 16.00 in Zoe’s house. A nice relaxing few days with Zoe and Andreas.
Unfortunately I had to work a lot of hours in the computer, because I received a test project just before leaving, which – when I pass this test – will give me a very nice opportunity to make some extra money on the computer during the season and next winter. Bad timing, but an opportunity I could not walk away from.
While I was working on the computer, Zoe was also working, trying to finish an order of one of their clients.

Sunday 10 February 2008.
Athens.
Around 11 in the morning walking to the church where the bus to the airport stops. About 10 minutes later the X94 came. Only 3.20 euro to get in half an hour at the arrival/departure hall of the airport.
First to the business centre to connect to the internet to send my project. With a few late nights typing I finished on time the 100 pages required. Around the 20th of February I can expect a reply whether I ‘ve got the job or not.
Around two o’clock Renske arrived. Straight to the bus stop and again with the bus to Athens (2 x 3.20 euro).Half an hours. Super nice house, truly Zoe style.
(Rita’s 10 minutes walk from the bus stop to Zoe’s house, is of course half an hour exercise, in the rain and with heavy load on the search for Zoe’s house.
Arriving there time for coffee, a wine, mezedes. Mimi – Zoe’s mother – passed by to say hello. We stayed at home for the evening, having a nice diner, with some drinks and around 1 o’clock made the beds for a good sleep, thanks to the wine.

nepal__10_..feb_001.jpg

Monday 11 February 2008.
Athens-Bahrain.
At 9.30 out of bed, shower, coffee. Woke up Andreas around 10, so he could make Zoe’s coffee and leave for work. Again, but now with Zoe – also an early morning person like us – another coffee, ready to face the world and walk to the main street for the bus station. Arriving at the main street we decided to grab a taxi, which could drop us of at the busstop going to the airport. Again it took us half an hour to arrive at the airport.
There we could check-in our luggage immediately, so we only were left with one hand luggage backpack each. 14.30 we took off. The plane was almost empty. Renske had a seat at the window at the emergency exit, I had a seat on the other side at the window, with six empty seats between us.
A quiet flight, something to eat and we slept a lot.
After 4 hours we landed in Bahrain, got our voucher for the hotel (The Carlton!!!) and then had to wait about an hour, before they transferred us to the Carlton.

Indeed it was the Carlton, but in a downfall state. Just arriving in the room, the reception called that our diner was ready: a small buffet, some left over salad, white rice, something that looked like spinach, with filling but with the flight to Kathmandu in our mind we better left it. So, a plate with French fries and something fishy. Coffee as desert and than we went to the fifth flour, where like an announcement in the lobby told us, was a coffee room, a disco and the Hawaiian Bar. And again an experience:
There were some Ethiopian girls, written on their faces that they were more than just a waitress. We had a glass of wine at the bar and then it was really time for us to make a quick exit to the room.
I wanted to charge the battery of my laptop, so we called maintenance for an adaptor. The plugs here are the three pointed (English) plugs. The maintenance man came, put his screwdriver in the top whole so that my to pins of the plug could go into the two bottom ones. And Eureka: it worked!! (Children, don’t try this at home).
After a nice shower time to go to sleep, with the rhythm of the “disco” at the background.

Posted by Sanghita 08:34 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

from before

what happened to make this travel come true

-17 °C

Because of the generosity of a dear friend of mine I can go back to Nepal.
As you all know she and her daughters founded officialy the UCAN (United Children's Aid for Nepal).
They are already succesful with raising money and materials.

Also thanks to you all I can support the children in Nepal.
The day in Rudi's bar ended up in the amount of 450 Euro.

nepal_rudies_bar_001.jpg

My tickets are booked, travelinsurance arranged and the money for the children of Nepal are on a separate bankaccount. The total is 1450 Euro (also the money raised with selling the book).

Posted by Sanghita 01:49 Archived in Nepal Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

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