Nepal – Bartering & Paragliding in the Himalayas…luckily…not at the same time!

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On the way to our next stop ‘Pokhara’ we stop at a massive suspension bridge along the way. Apparently it was built recently as the villagers on the other side were isolated and had to take a very long journey to get across. A local man campaigned to get it built and it was pretty impressive considering the houses and shops all around are all still made out of wood. No good if you don’t like heights though…
We really enjoy Pokhara. Yes it had beautiful views…yes it had hot showers…yes it had ATMs…but what we most enjoyed was the shopping! It is so cheap!
As soon as the bus stopped…we were off into the land of bartering! Apparently they consider it rude and disrespectful if you don’t barter with them and just accept the first price they say ( nothing has a price on it) I was up for that!
Great bargains were purchased by all! I got a beautiful silk scarf, a silver bangle of the ‘ all seeing eye’ and some baggy Nepalese pants….well…’ when in Nepal!’
Later after another beautiful sunset, we stroll down by the lake that lies beside Pokhara. Here I spotted one of the most interesting things, it was a man ( I think he may have been Japanese) wearing a face mask. Now…of course this is not interesting as you see a lot of tourists wearing the medical type white masks over their nose and mouth…but…this one… was made by Addidas! Yes, you can now buy your very own branded face mask…interesting I thought…Addidas had caught on and producing a product for the masses…not sure we would wear them in England but let me know if you spot one?
We strolled along the sort of prom area and I get asked ‘ are you Croatian?’ again, interesting I think? I’ve been asked if I’m from the Netherlands a lot and if I am Irish and ( sorry if this is not at all interesting for you but it’s never happened to me before…) I have been told…yes TOLD…” You are Scottish” very interesting… I’d love to have the Scottish accent but just don’t think I have…what do you think Lou?
We stop at a beachside garden bar…a nice place full of lots of lovely…Mosquitos… Yikes! And we try a cocktail…it was meant to be a mojito But out came ‘ pond water’ in a glass with leaves on! Yuk…put me off cocktails…errr…for a while anyway!
The following morning we get up at the crack of dawn again and we are off to watch the sun rise over the Himalayas…wow it’s not everyday you say something like that!
First bizarre sight of the day was a dog which belonged to the hotel, he was small, chubby and fluffy (2 of these dogs rarely are over here) but most importantly it had a bindi…the cutest thing…a little dog with a bindi!
Anyway…We get up really high and hike the last few hundred metres, I know we have reached the top as…it’s packed!! And that hill top…that morning was home to one hell of a lot of cameras, videos, tripods oh and face masks! ‘The Himalayas better get ready’ I thought…the paparazzi were in town! And as soon as the sunlight started to show on the highest peak…people started cheering and clapping…it reminded me of Ibiza, by Cafe Del Mar…when everyone claps as the sun sets…just a lot colder! Ha ha
On the way back down the mountain in the daylight, there are so many coaches, cars and trucks that we couldn’t get through…so we (not sure who was in the front…tut tut on you…) go down into the gulley( gutter) at the side of the road so we can get past…bad move…I emerge with the biggest load of light brown shit stuck in the groves of my my boot…EVER! One by one everyone joins me by the side of the road trying to get the muck off their own shoes…delightful! Now the reason I tell this story, is to share a little knowledge with you about this wonderfully diverse country i am in…India…if people need to go…(Go for a number 2) then they go…and this may be at the side of the road…We have witnessed this several times now. So…there you go, I stood in shit…human shit…
We stopped in a supermarket for water a little later on and I end up buying red bull as I’m so tired and need wingssss! Lucie seemed to be at the counter a while, so we went over…she was asking the man to ” help me…I need to use my small notes in Napoleon” errr I was confused…never mind the man behind the counter…it turns out Lucie had created her own currency from the land of Napoleon! Following this it was very hard for me and several others in the group to say ‘ Nepalese’ we all kept saying ‘ Napoloean’ money… Errr inside joke….errr you had to be there….it was very funny…to us…it will forever be to me…the land of Napoloean people and Napoloean money…good times x
Also during our time on Pokhara…we decide to go Paragliding…a big van with a load of men drove past us as we were waiting outside the paragliding office, there was even one guy hanging off the roof and music blaring out… ‘idiots’ I thought to myself…then yeap…they turned round and the guy in the office shouts ” there’s your ride girls!”…shit… I’ve already paid and signed all the paperwork that says it’s ok if I die! We can’t back out now!!!
We climb to the highest spot…there are already about 20 parachutes out there flying around the sky. My instructor was John from Korea, Inga had a nice Croatian instructor and Rene and Lucie had Nepalses instructors. We all run and jump off the cliff into the open air strapped to our instructors…woo hoooo! Lucie was last to go with the main man (owner) Sam…
We did some tricks in the sky ‘ the Roller coaster ‘ John called it…not for the faint hearted. Whilst up there we were also competing with lots of Eagles …who could go the highest…amazing being so close to them up in the sky…I really do need new words…

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