Sunday, 4 October 2015

Walking, Tibetan refugees and boating!

So Saturday we decided to have a mini adventure, and walk into old Pokhara.

We started with a small morning hike to get some more views of the lake and of Old pokhara before heading down to the villages. It was me, Maren, Lutie, Ana (a spanish girl who Lutie met through volunteering) and Alana (Australian) also a volunteer.

Once we got back down to the villages it was so nice to see the 'real nepal' it was Saturday so its a day off school and work for the Nepalese but even on a day off they are working away tending to vegetable gardens, doing housework, washing, children playing in the streets etc. Ana took us to her homestay family as we were in the area and then we headed onto the highway yowards Old Pokhara. Once there we were embraced with beautiful old Newari buildimgs (like the buildings in Bhaktapur) and narrow streets with slightly less traffic. It took us a good 2 hours to get there and we stopped off at a temple along the way. We did want to go to a village called Bhalam but it was a further 2 hours walk and by the time we had lunch it was 2pm and we still had to walk back and checl out the Tibetan refugee camp. So we decided to skip it and start the walk back. We headed a different way and saw more of old pokhara which was lovely, stopped off to buy cheap cosmetics and clothes which are half the proce as the ones sold in touristy lakeside!

We reached the Tibetan Monestry by about 4pm. It was debated that we were in the wrong place as it was where Lutie and Aland's orphaned children went to school. But then we realised they were Tibetan orphans and that there was a monestry as well as the school, so surely it was the regugee camp? So me and Ana went to check it out and aure enough it was one of the camps. Though now they are more like housing complexes/communities. There was indeed a Tibetan school, a Tibetan Monestry and the housing was behind them. On the basetball pitch there were some young monks playing ball and there were goats and sheep munching on grass. It seemed everyone was pretty happy to see us, waving us in, saying hello. So we didn't feel too much like intruders. One old woman in particular was so kind and took it upon herslef to give us a tour around the complex. She tool us to all her neighboura houses, told us about the school and showed us that, then took us into the monestry where we met some monks and Ana found out that we were welcome to join them for meditation one day. Then she invited us back to her house for tea. Her husband was in the house too and they both made us feel so welcome! Their house was the most simplest house but all you needed. One room with two beds, a table and 5 chairs, some cupboards and on the other side was a small stove/gas set for cooking. That was it and they were happy enough. At one point we had a sheep come bleeting at the door wanting some tea with us! We asked alot of questions and their english was relatively good. We found out that their families had climbed over the himalayas into india and then up into Nepal in 1949. Both their families settled in Mustang and thats where they met. They had no children. The woman was 7 when she came over so she doesn't remember much but she and her husband had never been able to return to Tibet. Though they had been to India various times to see the Dalai Lama who they had a shrine to in their room. They still speak Tibetan and also Nepali plus a little English. We then asked what their jobs were and the woman said she used to sell jewellery but not so much anymore as she had to have an operation on her knee and so cannot walk to Lakeside anymore to sell. So she mainly sold outside on the main road, or within the complex. So we asked her if she still had any jewellery and she lovingly got some out for us to look at. After some of us bought some we then decided to head back. Said our goodbyes to the girls at their Orphanage and then me and Maren headed back to the hostel to shower, skype and eat.

The next day our legs were achy after a solid 8 hours walking so me and Maren went to Yoga and meditation which i found quite hard with my stiff legs. Then we chilled, went for Vietnamese coffee, and met Ana at 3.30pm after she finished teaching to hire a boat on the lake for the afternoon. It was the perfect time, not too hot and the sun was beginning to go down so hopefully we would catch sunset. So we hired a boat after negotiating the price down to 200 each for 2 hours. Then we began our paddle out, which was way harder than it looked! Especially as the current was pulling us the wrong way and most of the time we were zig-zagging rather than going in a straight line but we managed to eventually get far enough into the middle for us to just sit there for an hour or so and take it all in, read, chat and Ana had a swim. Getting back in the boat was the hard part and we almost capsized! Lol but Ana managed to get in without too much hassle. Then came the long paddle back to shore and we moored up way further down than we should have! On the walk back we were accosted by a man 'claiming' to be our boatman that we hired from but me and Maren didn't recognise him and chose not to trust him. He kept insisting it was him and why we didn't recognise him and not to worry. But we weren't convinces. Ana eventually came back after changing into her clothes and as it turns out...he was our boat man! Haha. She luckily recognised him and we apologised for being rude but we didn't want to give his boat away to someone else and wanted to be sure. But he laughed it off and found it pretty hilarious which was good! We then went back to the hostel and ate and chilled - the evenings aren't much as we are always too tired to go out and everything shuts at 11pm anyways. Especially when most days the sun, cockrills and dogs wake you up at 6am!

No comments:

Post a Comment