Departing Kathmandu

Departing Kathmandu

We left Kathmandu around 7:30am, but it took almost two hours to get outside the city limits. It appears that there is only one main road that leaves the city, heading towards Pokhara and traffic was horrible.

We stopped at a couple of schools on our way. Since school wasn’t in session due to the upcoming elections, I was surprised to see the children dressed in their uniforms and awaiting our arrival. It appears that even though the Nepalese are extremely poor, even those in the villages have cell phones and word of our impending arrival was spread like a wildfire. The children made garlands of flowers for us and I had so many around my neck, that I could barely open my mouth without inhaling flowers. The children are adorable and love seeing their picture on my digital camera. The mothers and some fathers were all peering in the barred windows, not wanting to miss anything.

After visiting the schools, we took a cable car up a mountain at Manakamana to a temple. While Som, Ball and Uma received a blessing, I had fun photographing the many monkeys running around the temple. People were giving them loads of fruit, which the monkeys would grab and run off to eat. The babies were the cutest, crying for food, but not given preferential treatment by the adults.

We finally reached Pokhara around 7:30pm. It’s only roughly 115 miles from Kathmandu, but between stops and the extremely poor condition of the highway, it took us that long to get there. I was exhausted from the long day in the van, so went straight to bed after dinner. Uma and I shared a cottage that was quite charming and, thankfully, had a western toilet. I don’t mind roughing it, but squatting over a hole in the floor to do my business is not my idea of fun, especially when there’s no toilet tissue, so having the convenience of a western toilet was something to be thankful for.

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