10.03.2012 25 °C
It’s just like I imagined, it’s basically India on a hill! loads of back packers, hikers and grungy looking tourists. It is very misty in Nepal at this time of year which means visibility is impaired so you can’t see the mountain range or Everest, I did see this from the aircraft which was stunning. Some of the group are taking a flight over Everest tomorrow, I can’t justify this one! So giving it a miss, would have been a big tick to see the highest point on our planet!, elevation 29,029 feet versus Kathmandu at a mere 4,600 feet!
The day after we arrived was a public holiday, a Hindu festival called ‘Holi’ or ‘Festival of Colour’. The festival is celebrated by people throwing scented powder, perfume and water over each other. It symbolizes the end of the winter and coming of spring. We were pre-warned by our agents that if we went into town we would have no choice but to get involved, so we ventured into town with caution…..
We had locals throwing buckets of water at us from balconies, people smearing our faces with a powder paste, kids throwing water bombs at us!! It was hilarious for the first hour then I stopped playing! enough is enough…….. I was wet through, freezing and felt like I was on a battle field looking for the sniper. This little kids jumped out of an alley, he was about 7yrs old with 2 huge water bombs, he pointed at me, I instinctly turned into Mummy-mode, held my hand up and said ‘NO, don’t you dare’ in my scary voice. He looked me straight in the eye, thought about it for at least 2 seconds then absolutely drenched me!! Little shit.
On Thursday we paid for a mini hiking tour so we could walk through the hilltops of the Himalayas. Most of the group were a little hung-over, not me though! up hill was a little struggle as it was actually quite hot and high altitude. It was lovely to see a much calmer, peaceful village environment and a lovely spring feeling in the air. Kathmandu is crazy, crazy a little too much for me!
We visited two Hindu temples today, the first one was in Changunarayan, we walked into the court yard whilst a goat was being killed as a form of sacrifice, they cut off its head and put it on a metal dish with some flowers! Lovely!
Had lunch in the mountains, we probably should not have had a biggish lunch half way through a trek – we all felt a bit sleepy and decided to cut our remaining hike from 2 hours to half hour!! Light weights……………
we went Pashmina shopping instead, that will please Simon, NOT! I didn’t realise how many different grades of Pashmina there are, I am glad we went to this wholesaler as you really don’t know what you are buying on the streets, it was amazing feeling all the different varieties. We did some negotiating, not hard enough though! But I am exstatic about my purchase.
Let me tell all you mums out there the ‘KUMARI’ story! It’s a selection process for Hindu girls between the ages of 5-7, they have to be perfect in every way e.g. almond shaped eyes, long fingers….there is a criteria list. They are selected to become a ‘Kumari’ which is a child virgin which is sacrificed to the gods. She is locked away in a tower with a guard, she only has a small window to look out of, she is worshiped by everyone! until she has her first period and then she is booted out!! It is a huge honour for your family!!
Was allowed to sit in the flight deck for take-off from Katmandu, which is a very dangerous airfield!! really exciting, saw Everest proudly poking it head above the clouds.
Any way must dash of to India x