Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pokhara - Lost in the Rice Paddies

On the walk back to the hotel upon arriving in Pokhara, I noticed a baby monkey being played with by the locals. So, what else do you do when you see a 6 week old wild and potentially rabid monkey? Well, you go and play with it, too. Robyn, want a new pet?

The next day, I rented a bike to tour the city and the rural areas of Pokhara. At first, I came across a film production. It looked really interesting, then I started asking questions only to find out that these actors and actresses were the most famous in Nepal. Just watching them shoot a film brought me laughs. It was lightly raining out, and when they would shoot one scene with the actress running and jumping for joy upon the slick mountain, she would slip and fall over and over again.
I continued on my bike adventure. Pokhara has a giant lake next to it where one can go boating, hiking around some of the trails, or even biking around the lake. Well, I wanted to bike around the lake, and that's exactly what I did. Only I didn't end up back in Pokhara. I simply went up some rice paddies, and continued to go up more and more rice paddies until it was around 6pm and starting to get dark. I was far away from home. Luckily, some kids mucking about the paddies found me, and I was tired. Of course the kids wanted to take the bike for themselves to ride around. I said sure and let them ride around. I was too tired to worried about them fall because the brakes didn't work. One thing I've learned out here: never expect brakes to work on a bike. Thus far I'm 0-2 on working brakes on bikes.
Well, luckily the kids brought me to their small village home, fed me, and prepared a place for me to stay the night. The family is not well off at all. They would be considered poor by any western standard. But the family still welcomed me in and took care of me. Of course the next morning I left with little sleep and plenty of mosquito bites, but that's all part of it. Waking up bright and early by the kids pulling me out of bed was met by a sun rise lighting up some of the highest peaks in the world.
I finally made it back to Pokhara. I took a nap, then got back on the bike to further venture the city. I made it to where the more local/non-tourist area is situated. I visited a local Tibetan Camp and monastery. In Marpha, I befriended a Tibetan woman who told me one of her sons lived here. So, I went and had a small chat with him. Small because he spoke Tibetan, and I didn't. Nonetheless, it was really nice meeting him and getting to know his lifestyle. Basically, the monks wake up early, meditate, perform chanting, eat, meditate, study, and perform more chanting. What a life!

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