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There are moments when we decide to turn a life corner, thus changing the course of our destiny. It can be for the better or for worse. However, I truly found a new life highway in the ancient streets of Kathmandu and the rolling hills of Pokhara, As I went about discovering these enchanting cities of Nepal I created another new beginning. They are and always will be, magical to me.

1945486_13846143163950 While waiting at the gate to board my plane, returning to Dubai, I randomly listed down some notes of my expectations and my observations during the course of my travel. I am going to rate these from 1 to 5 (5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest):

Laid back  / Organic Food / Friendly People / Rainy / Conservative / Int’l TV channels available / Rough roads / Nature at its best / Less crowds / No Mc Donald’s / No KFC / No Starbucks / Cheap local food /Excellent Massages / Cold and damp

Observations during the flight to Kathmandu: A definite score of 1 – Passengers were listening to their music without headphones, with no regard whatsoever for other passengers people. You felt the atmosphere of a public bus en route to the outskirts of a small town, deep in the hills. This fostered the impression that this was how it was going to be like from the start of my journey until the end.

1945486_13847897285491 I know the basic rules of travel. I know I should not be judgmental and instead be respectful. That should not stop me from being alert and trying to be wise. I truly wanted, on that journey, to embrace the culture, understand the people and bring home a lot of captivating
photos. The trip started in a rather interesting fashion.  The cabin crew sprayed a non-toxic spray required by KTM. I have no idea how to rate that event. But, must admit it made me wonder if the plague was about to visit.

Touch down – Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu: 2200H A few passengers, unbuckled and stood up to collect their carry-on luggage from the luggage bin, as the plane was still on the runway. haste was evident! This went on until one of the crew commanded them to STOP, go back to their seats and fasten the seatbelts. Got to rate that event as a number 5, because if Nepal was that good, and people wanted to get there, that bad, it had to be a great experience. As soon as the seatbelt sign was off, it was pandemonium. Everyone wanted to get off the plane and I mean ASAP.

Completed and submitted the visa-on-arrival form, 1 passport size photo, paid the 15 days visa fee of USD 25, queued for about 10 minutes and voila! Visa was issued. Rated this as a great 5, unusual.

There was only one luggage carousel working and it took about 20 minutes before my bag appeared in sight. I noticed that almost all of the bags and boxes were tightly sealed with a web-like network of ropes. I thought that was strange. Later I discovered the truth. 1945486_1375201754437 There is a reason why they guarded the bags in ropes.. Turns out this was a 5.

 

Checked in at the hotel Manaslu, 3 stars. Clean and centrally located. Charges USD 1 per litre of mineral water. It was an adequate #3.

I opened my luggage and “whoa” it was truly ransacked. My canon digicam was stolen. This was a terrible event because the cam had sentimental value as it was a present from my elder brother. In hindsight, it was my fault really. I had been naive by leaving valuables in the check-in luggage. A cardinal rule for travellers. The experience was a # 1 for the experience and for my stupidity.

1945486_13853175462049So the whole duration of my trip, I completely relied on my phone to capture moments and memories.Rate this a # 3 because maybe we do not really need a camera in travels.

Before breakfast, the next morning, I walked around the hotel garden and poolside, smiled when I saw a particular plant that resembles an umbrella. I had not seen them for quite some time and it reminded me of my childhood when we used to play and pretend it’s a brolli. The potted flowers are so beautiful and they looked healthy and happy. I thought that it was a sign that I’m gonna love this trip. My rating went back up to #5

The first stop of the day was at the Pashupatinath Temple. Walked up 1945486_13750115782819 the steps to get a good view of the famous site and saw a few bodies being cremated and another being prepared by the relatives for the ritual. That was an interesting #5

Next was a visit to Boudhanath the Stupa Boudha.

Commerce is available everywhere which I don’t think is a bad thing.

 

 

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