‘Namaste.’ Meaning, ‘the divine in me see’s the divine in you’ or simply ‘hello’ as traditionally used by the Nepalese. The trek begins in 2 days from Besi Sahar, a very small settlement east of Pokhara which is where I am currently. I wanted to make a post prior to the trek as, it seems from all of the reading I have done, no one really writes about their experience in Nepal outside of their ‘trekking’ adventures…
Nepal is the 14th poorest country in the world… Flying into the Kathmandu airport I looked out the window to see building on top of building in every direction for as far as the eye could see. The first night was spent in Thamel, the tourist ghetto of Kathmandu. The 30 minute taxi ride from the airport was an eye opener in itself. I don’t think I was quite prepared. Having spent time in Bali, my capacity to perceive and predict what I thought Nepal would be like could only be compared to my experience there. There are some similarities: traffic, religion, locals pushing for their business, etc – however the extent of the poverty and overpopulation (and result of that on the environment) was simply jaw dropping. We drove past a large opening in a river and it was completely polluted with garbage. Piles everywhere. Huge piles – you almost couldn’t see the water. There were people down there walking in it. I can’t get the picture out of my mind. It makes me feel horrible… When I was in Bali, I could think of answers, you know. ‘If I could set up a physical therapy practice here I could help this entire group of people.’ Or if I volunteered with such and such a group, this would change and look what we could do! Here, my first glimpse of the city of Kathmandu, was overwhelming…there are so many people and such an effect on the surroundings that I can’t imagine where one would start. My brain feels like scrambled eggs. The 8 hour bus ride from Thamel to Pokhara just cemented the feeling. In 7 hours time, you could barely tell we even left the city. Each town the same, with the same shops outside, selling water and candy and people just watching. I’m overwhelmed, but wanted to write before it all sinks in, and before my current impression becomes positively persuaded by the undoubted beauty and power of the Himalayan mountains.
This is ALL part of the adventure. It’s not all beauty here, like you see in the photos. The people are welcoming and nice yet the city dwellings and environment are in a condition almost impossible to imagine if you do not see it for yourself. I apologize for not taking pictures but couldn’t bring myself to do it.
In two days, the trek begins. Thank you for continuing to hold space and send love!