First days in Nepal

5th day in Nepal.

I travelled to Nepal 8 years ago but I just stayed in Pokhara for a few, days so everything is a kind of new and intense for me. Crazy is the word . I have spent the 3 first days in the tourist neighborhood of Thamel as a first contact with the country. The cultural shock has been strong the two first days. The rest of the days as well.

Thamel is something like a group of long and narrow streets ( with even longer and narrower ones hidden in each corner) marked out by short buildings where people, motorbikes, taxis and other vehicles converge with barely order. The horn is an essential tool for any driver. It’s a kind of warning.

Pollution is a palpable fact. Many people wear masks, not just tourists. That kind of pollution, that must be a mixture of dust, smoke and other substances, cover all the buildings of a brown and grayish atmosphere; if you reach to look through it you realize of the architectural riches of the city.

Right now I’m in Ilam,in the east of the country, known for its tea plantations. It is a rural area with almost a tropical vegetation . It took me 18 hours to get here by bus, a “luxurious” bus ( quotation marks are important) that went all way long through roads running along cliffs . It scares but it is cool.

Up to this point, here some of the best experiences:

A colonial style garden very close to Thamel. A haven of peace requerid in such an intense city. There, I was listening a drum’n’ bass session, by Danny Bird.

Is ironic to write this as a cool experience but it was funny to see how an “improvised tourist guide” asked me for 40 dollars to buy food for his family just for walking me in downtown during half an hour. ( I guess he had a deal with the shop assistant to get the half of the money back). Finally, I gave him much less money but I liked the way he managed it to take me wherever he wanted. Brilliant.

I will post an illustration.

It was a crazy trip. Too much for a western guy like me. It was awesome. (I think this is my favorite experience).

It is gorgeous the way most of the houses are decorated with plants and flowers.

PD: About the earthquake …. there are some piles of rubbles that I guess someday were buildings, but the city keeps alive, dynamic. Everything moves!