A Palm Tree in Pokhara

Excerpt from an email: Nepal continues to be wonderful.  This morning we flew a 25 minute private charter flight from Pokhara (Annapurna region) back to Kathmandu. We flew at 11,500 feet, higher than some clouds, and stared straight into the faces of some of the world’s tallest mountains. I felt like I was on another planet. The mountains are HUGE and their snow covered peaks were of course beautiful against the bright blue sky.

A few days ago we bussed (7 hours) to Pokhara, from Kathmandu.  It was a wonderful journey through the countryside and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.  It is amazing to see how many poor people live shanty after shanty.  Many homes are windowless and have roofs made of corrugated sheets of metal.  Many have livestock at their front doors and don’t have running water. Villages often have a public spigot, where one can fill a jug of water to take home, or where one can modestly bathe (by covering their body with a sarong).

In Pokhara, we marveled at the Annapurna Range, a massive section in the Himalayas. Several of Earth’s tallest mountains are there, and we learned to recognize and call them by name. I enjoyed the warmth and humidity of Pokhara’s days, and was surprised to see a tropical palm tree silhouetted against these massive mountains.  (The fuzzy bits in the picture are actually clouds!)

Yesterday we hiked over eight miles, up and down and up and down.  The trail was mostly a dirt and rocky road, and sometimes stone steps led us up a steep hillside.  Again, cows, dogs, chicken, goats, sheep and children run wild.  A water buffalo charged past me, only 15 feet away, and I was prepared to escape its path should it change course.  We also enjoyed a several hour hike the day before.  My muscles are not sore, and my boots are great.

At a Tibetan Refugee Camp, I met a woman who wanted to teach me how to weave on her loom.  I was atypically shy about sitting down with her, and at that moment I was better at buying a handmade rug.

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