Days are passing and we keep ascending. There are three main altitude signs: nights getting colder, prices raising dramatically and the germanization of cows till they become yaks.
After a few days we entered the land of the Gurung, declared “peace area” where killing animals is forbidden by law, which make it a very popular destination among asylum seeker goats. The Gurung people are amazing, they usually have 2 legs and 2 eyes, they speak Gurung, wear Gurung clothes and spend their days doing Gurung stuff. For more info on the Gurung http://lmgtfy.com/?q=gurung
Finally we are able to see the Manaslu, the mountain that gives the name to the circuit, sadly famous this September as an avalanche took the life of 12 people, 4 mules, 3 yaks, one Real Madrid supporter and someone reading “The Alchemist”.
Fact: On average one tourist a year is killed by a yak in Nepal, Darwinism at its best.
After a 9h journey in a fully packed bus with people on the roof top through mountain trails I would think difficult even for a 4wd we reached the circuit starting point.
We enjoyed our first breakfast with the Nepali James Bond on TV. He does pretty much the same stuff as the original one but with some funny Bollywood style dancing in between.
Soon we start to say goodbye to the Western life style: showers, hot water, electricity, phone signal… Plus my toilette paper roll sadly passed out after a fatal fall into a water bucket and no way I am spending more money in another one!
On the first part, while ascending slowly, the trek goes along a tropical river gorge. The landscape is beautiful and we can spot some animals such as monkeys and some plants, marihuana among them, shit lots of it, true story.
Food and accommodation are very basic. Delicious dal bhat is served everywhere and soon it my main fuel having it at least once a day. Dal bhat has rice, lentil soup and veg and potato curry and the best thing you can eat as much as you want. For most of locals food consist on two dal bhat meals a day.
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Paulo Coelho. This is yakshit as pretty much everything he writes. Please note that this is just my irrelevant opinion. Don’t want to offend his fans, actually I respect them, as I do respect “beliebers”, even a bit more as at least they are able to read simple texts.
When you want something first you see if it is possible, work hard on it, do your best and if you are lucky you get it.
It seemed that trekking was the thing to do in Nepal so I decided to give it a try, Having read that the Everest Base Camp trek is full of tourists, the Annapurna Circuit spoiled by road works and Mustang way to expensive I wanted to go for something different. I did my research and the Manaslu circuit seemed what I was looking for. The problem: you need to get expensive permits and at least two people and a guide. I put a lot of effort into making it work within a reasonable budget. I posted on the internet and some boards around Ktm looking for a partner and sent a lot of time in the agency to get it low-cost, one day I even had breakfast and lunch there… And finally when I was about to give up I got an email for Sam (my trekking partner). So this is finally happening against my sprained ankle will, let’s see how it goes.
OK, it is gonna be 17 days instead of 7 years. And the Nepali Tibet as you can’t go to the Chinese one. And I am not Brad Pitt (I am much more handsome). Still the you get it…
For different reasons I end up spending more time in Kathmandu than I wanted. During this time I made some improvements, being able to cross the road one my own was my biggest achievement.
There was one street in the city center I loved, why? It was full of goats, hundreds of them all around, such a beautiful view, some of them even travelling on buses rooftops. Later I learnt that there was a festival happening and they were to be murdered at temples, so sad 😦
From the few nearby sites I visited from Ktm Bhaktapur was probably the nicest, a pretty medieval town with a very charming atmosphere. I was there before the goats holocaust. As a part of the same festival a lot of things were happening: streets lighted with lots of candles, people singing and drumming around, strange rituals at temples and much more… As I didn’t do any previous research on the matter all seemed quite random to me. I felt hypnotized as in a David Lynch movie, without understanding most of it. Anyway, I guess you shouldn’t expect a lot of logic when it comes to religion.
3 seconds is nothing… that’s what she said. I think they are usually enough and when falling from a suspension bridge over a 160m gorge 3 seconds felt too long to me. I always was very scared of heights and barely could get some sleep the night before. I know this is an irrational fear as it is the one I have to snakes, have others more well-founded: working, black c___s… Anyway I thought that doing bungee could help with this and I don’t know if it did but can tell it was awesome! After that I stayed at the last resort, a pretty cool place for chilling out on the beautiful Bhote Koshi river gorge, where next day I went for some rafting.
Worth mentioning as well was a visit to Patan, almost a suburb of Kathmandu only separated by a river. Patan is a bit touristy but a really nice place with a lot of temples worth seeing. Have to say didn’t check many of them as I spent most of the time at the main square chatting with some locals, specially lovely Sanu, who was working there as a ticket counter to pay for her studies. Sanu brought me some food and insisted on me coming back so she would cook some special Nepalese meal and will start knitting a nice bag for me.
Today I decided to indulge myself with some western luxury and spent 10p in a toilette paper roll.
I was not planning to write that early, but I felt so overwhelmed by the amount of likes and comments on my first post that I decided to go for a quick post.
As I don’t have that much to tell, the main reason for this post is to say thank you! Dhanyabad as they say here, my 2nd word, can even say it with the funny head tilt the locals do when they have no idea what you are asking about. At a new word per day looks like Nepalese is making its way to my cv.
Apart from that I arrived yesterday in Kathmandu and things are running smoothly apart from a couple of scams, but I am learning…
The most remarkable thing I have seen so far is the monkey temple. As you can guess it is a temple with monkeys around. They get food from tourists and spend pretty much their time scratching their pinky balls, sounds like a good life plan eh? I felt a bit hungry when there so tried to steal a banana from one of them that had a bunch but the fucker was definitely faster and probably smarter than me, fail.
When visiting the main square I found out they where having a kind of rocktober festival. Ticket was £1 so I decided to check it out, what could be wrong? Well, the music was not that bad but… they didn’t sell beer, wtf??? I can’t get a beer at a festival but I can’t walk 2 min on the street without being offered any kind of drugs and prostitutes… ok, got it.
Tired of being a wage slave for too long I decided to take a break and do the (2nd) thing I like the most for a while: travelling. It was about time to spread my awesomeness to other parts of the world.
So, where I am going to? Asia. So far I only have a flight to Kathmandu booked, will get there on Friday the 12th.
For how long? Will see, till I get tired or run out of money (most likely to hapen the 2nd one). Approx will be back when next summer comes to Europe (not Britain!).
What after? No idea. I don’t give a fuck. The future Julio will deal with the concerns of the monetary system and all that crap, poor bastard haha.
This blog is gonna be mainly about this trip. Really, have no idea what I am going to write about and how often. Actually, I know myself a bit and there a lot of chances I will abandon this enterprise quite soon as I did with many others. Quoting Bukowski “my ambition is handicapped by laziness”.
As you can see I started the blog last minute and didn’t have time to work on it. Hopefully at some point I will sit a couple of hours in front of a computer and make it look nicer.
Probably the main reason to write this blog is to get some relief for the loneliness that for sure I’ll feel sometimes and somehow be in touch with friends, so write me bitches! As well to be able to check it in a few years time and feel ashamed about the stupid things I wrote.
OK, previous paragraph was bullshit. This is just about uploading photos of me drinking beer on the beach to make you jealous.
I will try to keep writing in English
to reach more people to have an excuse for my absoulte lack of writing skills and general coherent thinking. I apologize for the mistakes as this is not my mother tongue. Sometimes though I may consider switching to any of the other 7 languages I fluently speak (what? you don’t believe me? my CV doesn’t lie!).
Finally, for the very few of you that kept reading till here I promise next posts will be shorter.
Namaste! (yeah, I learnt a word in Hindi – Nepalese, I should consider adding them to my CV).