Camels

The way to Jaisalmer is long but definitely worth it. Probably the most beautiful town I saw so far in this trip.

At some point I wanted to experience the real Indian culture and went for a Bollywood movie. Ok, the truth. I was tired of walking and sat on the cinema doorsteps for a break. Then a hot chick came and asked me – are you coming to the movie? – mmm… ehhh… mmm… sure!. The movie plot was easy to follow despite of being in Hindi without subtitles: a lame love story with plenty of cliches and dancing / singing. The best was to see the locals behavior becoming crazy for example when they kiss. I am not gonna recommend that movie but another Indian one with a completely different style, Salaam Bombay from Mira Nair.

The day after I went to the dessert to ride Sonia Gandhi  She was 8 years old, very quiet and strong, and what I like the most, she was able to walk and poo at the same time pretending than nothing is happening. It was though and left me with sore legs and bum. She was cheap but the experience a bit disappointing. The dessert was rather boring. They told us we would go to a non touristy part with lots of dunes. There were very few small dunes where we slept and wind turbines everywhere. It was so non-touristy that when we set the bonfire a boy form the next village came and try to sell us beer. Well, at least I’ve got a real camel and a silent night under the stairs. Being India I wouldn’t be surprised getting two dudes dressed as a camel or tuk-tuks in the dunes.

Moustaches

The time for Rajasthan has come and the first stop was nice Jaipur with the wonderful Amber Fort.

Pushkar is a pretty small blue city around a sacred lake. A big festival – camel fair was happening with lots of people and events. I scored a tent in a hotel rooftop at 100 rupees per night and the best, the place had a swimming pool. First night I met my “roommate”, a big white monkey with black face. I thought bringing food wouldn’t be a good idea then as he seemed the kind of friend that crashes at your place forever, drinks all your beer without asking and leaves without offering to help with the rent. Actually during the nights I was a bit scared like Chris Griffin with the evil monkey.

True there a lot of things worth seeing in India but there is only one that made me to come here: Pushkar moustache contest. Days were passing and, while waiting for the big moment I was enjoying the many events in the program: camel dance, turban tying contest, rural sports, popular music, spiritual walk (this one was amazing, will upload some pics)…

Finally there was time for the EVENT. Barely couldn’t get any sleep the night before. I was so excited about,I put on my best clothes for the occasion (well, the clean ones) and have to say it was up to my expectations. . Such beautiful moustaches! A few guys have event to roll it and tie it to their heads. The time the unrolled it was magic. The winner had a moustache that goes a long way beyond his feet. He didn’t shave for 27 years! I have no words, he is my hero. That’s a life with a purpose. Meanwhile most of us waste our lives doing meaningless stuff: studying, working, traveling, family… That guy clearly does not give a fuck about such things. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wS5xOZ7Rq8

Ancient Sex

Don’t worry, I am not gonna post grannies doing naughty stuff. There is plenty of that on the internet and you know where to find it.

Kahjuraho temples are mainly famous for their sculptures depicting sensual ladies, kamasutra positions, tantric sex, 9 people orgies, animalism and much more…

Nowadays life is very easy with the internet providing lots of porn but think about 1000 years ago, there were not even magazines so they had to spend lots of time working on the stones to inspire people. Hard work no doubt.

The horse, best friend of man
The horse, best friend of man

Love

When one of his wives passed out, some important dude decided to build a mausoleum in her memory. That’s the story behind the Taj Mahal.

Some people claim that was the most romantic gesture ever. I say bullshit, just a rich guy whim. Ordinary people do much greater things for love but they don’t get the acknowledgment.

This is for me the most romantic present ever http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhwbxEfy7fg

Ok, the palace is very beautiful but overrated/overpriced in my opinion and didn’t like Agra at all.

24hr burning people

India started with a 10 hour bus drive from the border. The way was interesting as the fest;val was still going on. Everywhere they were carrying images of Hindi gods in tractors and behind them jeeps or trucks with huge speakers playing the Indian dance greatest hits and people dancing as crazy. It looked like a rave but without booze or drugs.

Finally we arrived to the sacred city of Varanasi, full power India and touts world capital. Travellers love or hate it in equal proportion. I liked it a lot but wouldn’t stay there for a long time.

Our guest house there was overlooking the main burning ghat, where lots of corpses are cremated day and night. Yeah, I like the smell of burning flesh in the morning.

They bring the corpses there corpses there in kind of processions through the narrow streets and they burn them with wood throwing the ashes into the Ganges. Pics not allowed.

Cremation is the usual thing in Hinduism but why so much fuzz with doing it in Varanasi? Well, they believe in reincarnation and a lot of people go to die to Varanasi because if you do so apparently you get to be a porn actor in your next life.

The ghats of Varanasi are full of people, lots of shadus and touts among them. As well plenty of cows, dogs, goats… Ashes from corpses cremated in other locations are brought to the Varanasi as well. The corpses of shadus, babies and people killed by holly animals such as cobras or cows are thrown straight to the holly river without being cremated.

Rubbish, mud, flowers, lighted candles, animal depositions and anything else you can imagine go straight to the quiet river waters. And then you see the lots of people (and some cows) swimming there WTF???

The views, smells, people and performances happening in Varanasi made for an experience my senses will never forget.

Fact: the concentration of fecal bacteria in the Ganges along Varanasi is 3000 times over the safety limit. Only?

Nepal

So finally it’s time to leave Nepal. I had an amazing time so feel a bit sad. It’s a great place for doing adventure sports with good prices, gorgeous mountain views’ good food and friendly people.

Apart from the party at the lake and a very few occasional beers and raksis my liver had a well-deserved holiday. Enjoy bitch, busy times coming soon in Thailand.

Elephants

Chitwan national park was a bit disappointing as I spotted zero rhinos which are supposed to be the main stars there after the elusive tigers. Going around looking for rhinos reminded me of this funny Monty Python sketch.

True that I spotted a lot of other animals: crocs, monkeys, boars, deers, birds… even an eagle catching a snake … and many, many tourists.

The most enjoyable was the elephant bathing and riding (got one just for myself). What about elephant shagging then? Sorry I don’t go for fatties with unless I have at least 7 pints and I have less than 5 min for the last bar closing hour.

One of the nights there it happened to be my birthday, luckily there was a festival there and the lodge owner birthday as well so I got candles and some entertainment.

Trunk
Trunk contest. Epic win

Helicopter

Once done with the trekking I went back to Kathmandu to meet Sanu. I stayed at her sisters’. I don’t remember the name of the town but sure I was the only foreigner there. They were extremely kind and I had a great time feeling at home there.

My next destination was Pokhara, supposed to be nicer and quieter than Ktm. People were more laid back there and they slowed down trying to sell me stuff so I thought I finally could have a rest. I was wrong. I became barbers’ target. Apparently shaving after the trek was the thing to do there. They were looking at my beard same way fatties look at burgers or catholic priests at children. Every time I had to explain them than shaving would make me look as the kind of guy who does give a fuck about things and that was clearly not the case.

One night I was invited to a party by a nearby lake. It was fun, but I didn’t choose the best time for the only occasion I did some drinking in Nepal. Next morning without almost any sleep I went paragliding. It wasn’t easy, an helicopter was flying inside my head and I had to hold the vomit. The experience was great and the location perfect being able to see the Himalayas, including the Annapurnas and the picturesque Machupuchare.

Trekking thoughts

The descend from the pass took as about 5 days and not much happened. It was good to see how to be warmer at nights and enjoy a glass of raksi in the evenings. I had a lot of time to think during this time so here some random thoughts/experiences:

  • The Manaslu circuit was still not very touristy though we found more people than expected. A lot of new lodges are being built so in 1-2 years it would be spoiled and not worth any more. By that time probably there would be a Starbucks at Everest Base Camp.
  • There was a big misspellings contest among lodges. The winner was Paris for porridge.
  • After chopping a chili with your hands it is advisable to wash them before going to the toilette.
  • Porters are heroes. You see those small guys carrying stuff way bigger than themselves through difficult trails sometimes on flipflops… and they are very fast. Nowadays they are supposed to be allowed to carry more than 25kg but some were taking much more. They do their job for only around $10 a day, which is still 5 times the salary of most Nepalis. Tourist should take care they are not overloaded and have proper clothes
  • Friends are like potatoes. If you eat them, they die.
  • People have very basic live conditions up there and live walking distance days from roads, basic health care and electricity. For getting an idea you can check this interesting movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0210727/. It is set in the Dolpo-Mustang area. A bit too americaned for my taste but still worth seeing with amazing landscapes

Takshi delek! (namaste in Tibetan)

More Yaks (beginning Nov)

More days passing and we start to find some white shit (not the good kind of) in our way. There are stupid yaks everywhere. The fucking dal bhat cost 5 times more than the first day. It’s freezing at  night and my socks stink big time.

OK, maybe things are not that bad. Last night didn’t get a blanket so I am negative. I still love dal bhat and yaks, well, lets face it, they are probably not the smartest creature in earth, but at least they are a bit ahead of reindeers.

Have to say that the views of the Himalayas on a full moon night with the starry sky above are breathtaking (yeah girls, I can be sensitive as well) And feeling the cold wind when peeing outside make the views even more enjoyable.

The sun usually hides behind the mountains around 3pm or before and then there is not much to do or it is too cold for doing anything so after a bit of reading or playing cards 7-8 pm is bed time.

Yak shagging is the best option but being stupid doesn’t make them easy so a lot of sweet-talking is required, but the reward of a warm night if they let you sleep over is worth the worth it.

Finally the day to cross the pass over 5.1 km has come. Sam was sick and have no other choice than taking a horse. It was not easy for me to keep on with the pace as the lady owning the horse was very fast. She was drinking raksi (local wine tasting like vodka with water). Thinking about that lady boozing from 6 am will make me feel lame when I have beer for breakfast in the future. Anyway didn’t find very difficult going up the pass, but going down was hell, especially for my ankle.

Nepal or Germany?
Nepal or Germany?
Definitely Germany
Definitely Germany