Yesterday morning I woke up to a knock on my door and Khim calling to me from the other side, "Rita baby, its time please wake up." (Rita is the name I have adopted since everyone struggles to pronounce Rachel) It was 5 am and the weather was perfect for viewing the Annapurna range from the World Peace stupa in Damside; in the monsoon season it is difficult to get a clear view of the Annapurna range. I dressed quickly and met Khim downstairs where he was waiting with a bottle of water for me. First we took a small boat (more like a canoe) across Fewa lake, on the other side was the beginning of the trail. My knowledge of this hike was limited to what I have read in my Nepal trekking guide, and I wasn't really expecting such an incline. Khim explained to me that we were taking a different route than most people, a faster route. Faster means straight up the mountain! It felt a lot like the first 1/2 mile of the trail head from Teton Canyon, except for it was about 6 times as long. It was a great way to wake up, that is for sure! We reached the stupa around 8 am. The view was incredible, the entire range was visible and we had the whole place to ourselves.
View from the top
World Peace Stupa
I am so fortunate to be staying with a Nepalese family. Khim is a highly sought after trekking guide in the tourist season and he knows all the secrets and tricks to enjoying this beautiful area. We are planning on doing a five day trek in two weeks; either to the Annapuran Base Camp or Jomsom, depending on the rain.
Also, a few days ago Abiskar (my host brother) took me to a Buddhist monastery that is situated on the top of a hill, just on the outskirts of Pokhara. I was just in time for the 5:00 prayers (?) It started to rain while we were inside listening to the chanting. This was such a beautiful experience, I could have stayed here all day.
I am loving all the colors and patterns... just so much visual stimulation. My eyes are seeing so many new things. I am having a hard time recording it all. I wish I had more time to sketch. I was able to find some simple watercolors in the market yesterday with the help of Abiskar. I messed around with them for a little while last night.
I caught this little one playing hooky with his cats.
Also, I am addicted to this food. What it is, I do not know. All I know is that it is really spicy, cheap and NOT Dal Bhat :) I buy it from a man who comes by the shop every afternoon with his food cart. Delicious.