At the Foothills of the Himalayas: Nepal

 

One day when I was a child, my brother came back from a long journey to Asia and paid me a visit. He brought me that ring said to be from Nepal. There was a prayer on it. He told me it was a prayer used by the bouddhists: Om ma ni padme hum. I wore the ring for so long until it broke. I then told myself that I needed to make my way there one day and discover that fascinating country that created my childhood dreams…

Smiles are contagious and everywhere. Honking in still there with pollution and smell, but to be honest, I am so happy to be there that I don’t even care! The fresh air from the Himalayas tries to make its way through the smoky streets. Book stores, trekking stores, crafts stores  and tons of cheap yummy restaurants… the little neighborhood of Thamel is full of merchants selling goods to its visitors. It feels good to feel safe  amongst these friendly and honnest Nepalese. We take a few days to catch up on some sleep and explore the town and its sights.

After well rested and fed, we hit the mountains, the foothills of the Himalayas! Manik will be our guide for the next 3 days. Trekking the mountains around Kathmandu and staying at the tea houses was an amazing experience. But what made the most of my trip was to listen to Manik’s life stories. A little poor man with an humungous  rich heart.  We spent our last night with Manik drinking a horrible rice wine chased by discusting mini dried bony fish. A respected moment with sharing of life.

After 45km of trek, we go back to Thamel.  Manik throws a warm invitation to us to come have lunch at his place with his family. We accept happily and make our way to his pad the next morning. We are surprised to find that his place is actually a 8×9 room where he lives with his wife and 3 sons. A small habitat for a man that works so hard in his life. He teaches us some buddhism and cook us an amazing meal. He finishes by giving us present, a white scarf, sign of respect and good luck. And that, we will need it by crossing the border to our next destination: Tibet, China. 

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