Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kaleidoscope of sights, Temple and Cultural Rights in Nepal

Kaleidoscope of sights, Temple and Cultural Rights in Nepal
By Peter Beckingham

Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is a kaleidoscope of religion, nationality, and architectural wonders - and everything is within reach of 30 minutes by plane from the most amazing mountains I've ever seen, the Himalayas.

We arrived in Kathmandu from Abu Dhabi after a four hour flight comfortable using Etihad Airlines, immediately greeted with the arrival of the troublesome procedures. There, my visa photo can fly from the hands of immigration officers, exit the terminal window to the runway, but fortunately was arrested by officers Etihad ground. After passing through customs, we waited 20 minutes to travel agents arrived. As we learned later, the city of Kathmandu is not for those faint of heart, or looking for luxury five star class.

But after this minor difficulties, we arrived at the hotel Yak and Yeti, Kathmandu is one of accommodation is high class, get into a comfortable room overlooking the gardens and swimming pools (one full of water, the other empty) and found a bar near the center town to celebrate our arrival in Nepal. Next, we ate curry at an Indian restaurant where we were entertained by two singers Nepal exciting.

The next day, we had just embarked on a tour around the city. Our travel agent to pick up - we thought he was late again, but it was the time in Nepal was oddly 15 minutes slower than most of the time zone - and immediately we were taken to various places extraordinary. Bodnath temple, built with the architectural style similar to neighboring Tibet, from the roof you can see beautiful scenery and colorful surrounding communities. Next we stopped a little long in the Hindu religious sites, Pashupathinath, final resting place for those who passed away. Our Nepalese guide gives an explanation of the funeral ritual. He brought me very close to the volcano is very hot, place the legs of humans that have not burned and skull shape that can still be seen. Ashes were then sown in a slow-moving rivers that are considered sacred.

After the place smelled of death, we are ready for a light lunch of fries and sauce at a cafe with a beautiful view near Patan, filled with temples and palaces built in the 18th century. We walked toward the square that busy after lunch, stop by and stop at several temples before returning to Kathmandu. Once there, we walk for an hour enjoying the Durbar Square, where we see more temple, and ended the day in the hills, looking at the city from a distance - and yes, visiting another temple, looking at monkeys swimming in the pool nearby.

After around Kathmandu exotic and dusty, the next day we went to the Himalayas. We left Kathmandu with little fear of facing the tracks for three days to Annapurna, and after a 30-minute flight up the Yeti Airlines, we arrived in Pokhara, the foothills of the Himalayas. There shrines and concurrently the leader guides the track, Rottna, with porters who kept smiling, greeted us. Our Porter continued to smile maybe because we actually take the minimum amount of clothing required for trekking. He just had to carry 10 kg of goods than the goods that should be taken another porter, assisted by several donkeys, which can be up to three times our luggage.
peak of Annapurna south of himalaya

Our first day trekking, we pass through beautiful valleys and along the riverbanks - which made us surprised - through many small villages. We meet the farmers, school children and parents to our first nights accommodation in a small village Tikedungha. There we enjoyed dinner with a dish of rice and chicken, followed by local wines that can make the eyes water, along with several walkers from Europe and America, as well as the guides and porters. Our accommodations last night for $ 5, then not surprising if the bathroom facilities that we have been quite simple. At least the bathwater warm, although we never used to the squat toilet.
small village Tikedungha

The next day, we were off again at 8 am. The reason is we have to climb 3000 stairs on the side of the mountain. After that, the path we passed a little flat and we went through more forests and villages. After walking for 5 hours and stopped several times, we arrived at Ghorapani, we stop that afternoon, after a strong storm passed. Even so, our guide insisted that this storm was a sign there will be sunny the next day. Where we live is simple, but it comes alive because of yak meat steaks and local liquor. We went to bed early that night, hoping that we could see the sun rise tomorrow at 5 am after a cloudy afternoon.

Ghorapani trekking

Currently, we have reached an altitude of 10 thousand feet and the next morning, we saw a warning on the risk of altitude as it passes through a kind of monument for visitors from Australia who suddenly died without warning. We climbed for an hour before dawn and were greeted by cool weather and clear skies at the top of Poon Hill, incredible views of the eight peaks of the Himalayas.

 Poon hill treking

Our guide is correct, the night before the storm turned into a clear sky in the morning.

Then we went back to the lodge for a breakfast of eggs and bacon before running again for 8 hours to our starting point. Steep gradient seemed sharper as it goes down, we feel the movement of the muscles which have not we think there is. Finally, after one hour taxi that make goose bumps and very rickety - and feel very proud of our trekking skills - we arrived at the Fish Tail Lodge in Pokhara. The next day we spent the morning see the amazing views from the hotel and walk to a clothing store and a book before boarding an afternoon flight using a Yeti Airlines returned to Kathmandu to spend another night there.

That night, we met an old friend from Sydney at a vegetarian Indian restaurant that serves good food and quiet. He retired from the British Consulate and spent three years in Nepal to learn the language and absorb the local culture.

On the last day, we see more mixing of cultures in the small streets and alleys are amazing in Bhaktapur city, with 18th century temples are maintained condition and another cafe on the roof to enjoy the atmosphere. After returning to Kathmandu for the more busy streets that are still repaired and little cakes and tea in the hotel lounge is civilized, it was time to go to the airport and saying goodbye to friends, travel agents and Kathmandu.

Six nights are the trips that are too short, but enough to give a sense of culture and stunning scenery of Nepal. We could buy better clothes trekking, useful in the Philippines or in Europe, we are pretty sure to come back and feel the tracks are longer (five or six days) to catch a glimpse of the world's highest mountain, Everest. We are realistic enough to know we will not get to Base Camp, but sure enough to get through the track is longer in one

Path with the most beautiful scenery in the world.

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