Published on September 4th, 20131
Drizzly Nepal (a.k.a. All Is Not Always Rosy for We Wanderlusts)
First, let’s get one thing straight. I’m an eternal optimist at heart. It’s a personal choice, and one that I still struggle with in ughy times. But in every case, I believe we always have a choice. We can look at our momentary circumstances in a negative, defeatist light, or… we can choose to find the (sometimes seriously elusive) positive in any given set of (otherwise seemingly utterly) disheartening circumstances.
And furthermore, we have the power to mitigate those acky circumstances and/or opt for a totally new Plan B. First of all, remember – things could always be worse. That’s my first line of defense against a missed plane, a lost passport, a stolen stash of cash. Easier still, is the disappointment of a rainy day, week, month.
To be sure, traveling is fraught with risk – especially the off-the-grid, open-ended traveling style I favor. And nobody can promise every destination will prove fabulously awesome. Nor even halfway meet our lifelong expectations (though these – expectations – are ever a squirrely lot and more often than not, prove a mistake, so I try my level best to hold none whatsoever when entering a new land).
And such was the case when I descended into the Land of Everest. No expectations, save the small hope that the weather would prove benevolent and allow me at least one clear morning’s glimpse of those legendary Himalayas. For I knew going in, that late August/September is still the tail-end of the monsoon season in Nepal, so I was clearly taking my chances.
Happily, my first week here proved rain-free. Indeed, a good bit hotter all around than I expected from the Land of E (there go those duplicitous “expectations” again), but otherwise blessedly no rain. Clear skies (to view those fabled snowy peaks) however, so far have proven elusive. In Nagarkot (a most sublime hamlet perched at 7,000+ feet) I did momentarily glimpse a smidge of the mighty Himalayas, but the fickle clouds swiftly smothered the peaks leaving me gazing at but cottony wisps.
And here in Pokhara (allegedly) surrounded by the mighty Annapurna range including no less than three of the World’s 10 highest mountains? Sadly, not only shrouded in clouds, but so far each day has proven perpetually rainy from morning til night. ;(
I did find an earthcache at nearby Devi Falls. And I managed to get all the way up to the Peace Stupa (well o.k. I didn’t trek the entire way up the mountain, but those last bazillion steps proved plenty of cardiovascular challenge for this lass “of a certain age”). There again, it started to rain at the Stupa so I had to carefully position my camera lens beneath an umbrella to get aerial pics of the distant lakeside town of Pokhara down below.
And though I surely hadn’t planned on scaling Everest at my dodderin’ age (or even EBC for that matter), I HAD hoped to at least do a 2-4 night trek whilst here in Nepal. But… with lightning and thunderstorms each evening (the thunder so loud it sounds like the entire GLOBE is SPLINTERING!), uh… suffice I’m not too keen on sloshing up slippery mud trails and risking electrocution – even for the honor of trekking the mighty Himalayas.
I’d also half-hoped to stumble upon some budget overland trip to Tibet, else, a swift trip into Bhutan or perhaps India (Darjeeling, Sikkim) but… suffice the visa hassles and costs pose a bit more trouble than I believe such excursions are worth, so I’m content to just chill here in Pokhara/Kathmandu for the duration of my stay. I’d also planned to splurge on an Everest fly-over ($185 for an hour) but presently that too looks like a waste of rupees as no doubt the majestic E will be shrouded in clouds.
So that leaves me… here in Pokhara, with intermittent electricity (exasperatingly, though Nepal is 2nd only to Brazil in World hydro-power, suffice the country is fraught with daily power outages both morning and night), and little to do but peck here on my little netbook (and then upload when juice returns) else read my beloved Kindle (thank goodness my new Paperwhite is back-lit and the battery lasts for weeks!)
And so you might ask, what does this long, dreary monologue have to do with “optimism”? Simply to say that this nomadic romp ’round the globe ain’t always one big happy love-fest. Sometimes things don’t work out quite as gleefully as you’d hoped, but…
I can honestly say that – even as I peck here under the eave of this cafe amid the Pokhara drizzle – I’m still one hellava lucky lass to be doing it in a land as exotic as Nepal.
And with that, I leave you with another gaggle of pics of some of the Nepalese sights I’ve witnessed since last I pecked.