Arriving in Tamghas and staying for a week, becoming a local celebrity as I am interviewed by journalists and an article appears in the newspaper! After a check-up for the van, spending nice and interesting time with the crew of hope clinic and doing some more work on the van it is time to move on. Straight to Kathmandu, to meet up with Sini and her kids after 3 years. For the following month I am living with them in Patan area, mostly relaxing and ticking things of my long-wanted-to-get-done-list! Of course watching the Dutch WK2010 football matches in between. Even made a special t-shirt with the kids! Today they left on holidays to Finland and I can stay longer in the apartment….super! But change of plan for now; as I am joining Mara and Martin tomorrow in a 2,5 week trek into the mountains, to return to Kathmandu later!
Hello from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal!
Last time I wrote my story in Tamghas, a small but relaxed town in the hills located in central Nepal. Only planned to stay for a day (or two), which turned into a week! Through the bank manager I heard
about Rob, a Kiwi who set up a disability center in this town. NL on my number plate…it links me to New Zealand a lot of times here ;-) He thought I would love to meet a fellow country man! Went over anyway and spend some nice and interesting days with him and the rest of the crew (Ganga, Kedar and Nina). Even parked the van nearby; this made me the local attraction for the kids, who kept banging on my van at 06.00 in the morning for a chat or offering me flowers! So sweet but exhausting…after a few days, when I take the van into town for a big service check-up, I choose to park the van on the police compound, surrounded by fences, in the hope to gain some privacy, away from the lovely but very curious locals. Well, the kids got replaced by curious police men……
So I decided to finally make the curtains for window and door….and while I'm at it, also put all the decoration back into the cabin! Mira, it looks all fun and colourful again now! Nina and I even fixed the sliding door, with the police men watching and keeping their hands in their pockets ;-)
Ganga was so impressed with me driving around in the van by myself, that within 10 minutes she made a few phone calls and the day after I have 5 journalists in my van for an interview. I made it
into the local newspaper and on the radio ;-)
After a week it is time to move on. Playing badminton (yes there is even a huge badminton hall there!), going for a hike, meeting the mayor, visiting the local boarding school, being guest at a birthday party, having food at with Ganga’s auntie…before you know it a week has passed! I could stay here much longer as well, but time to move on!
Although Pokhara is the next place of interest, I choose to by-pass it for now and go straight to Kathmandu. Sini and the kids will go on holiday to Finland a month later and don’t want to miss out on them. Takes me 2 days to get there, once down the hills the road is smooth and pitched again,
what a nice change to the headache road I had to do before! 2 days later I am reunited again with Sini, her son Anttoni and daughter Olivia! I had to find my way to their house in the dark through the busy roads without a map…cannot recommend it! But the smiles and cheers of the kids (who still recognized me after 3 years!!) made up for it. Compared to their place in Finland this apartment is huge! I even have my own bedroom…Can park the van in the backyard of the landlady! From the first moment it feels relaxed and fun to be here. During the day (when the kids are at school and Sini at work) I have the place to myself. Giving me time and space to finally cross things out of my long-wanted-to-do-list (that feels great!). In the evenings and weekend we turn the van into a cinema, drink a wine on the terrace, prepare ourselves for the WK2010 (yes, also in Nepal we watch foottie!), watch Castle series and play cards…I even don’t have to cook food or clean up as Didi is coming every (work)day to do this for us!
It should not come as a surprise that my visit grew longer and longer as time went on…Sini and the kids loved the company and I loved to be here. We celebrated my 36th birthday in style with a good meal, wine, presents and even a birthday cake! Thanks guys ;-)) I spend most of the days at the house, not feeling like sightseeing at all. Only one day I did the tourist thing and went to see Durbar square
with its old temples and the only living g oddess in the world. Very tiring to dodge the tiger balm sellers and turn down the tour guides…not to mention backpacker area Thamel with its overload on souvenir shops and restaurants… The next day I am happily back at the house, updating my network sheet while drinking a cup of (not-self-made) tea ;-)
The only times I am out of the house, is to meet the kids at school, see the WK2010 Dutch football matches, meet up with Apu (my CS friend from India, the world really is small!!) and meeting Nina (girl I met in Tamghas)! What a life! The kids love the van a lot, sleeping in it is not enough! We have
to make a road trip together, so the last weekend before they fly to Finland we pack our stuff and are off! 2 days of driving, river swimming, rain shower, cards games and unfortunately also another break-in into the van! The lousy thieves take the radio without the case!!! and some other not-valuable items… bit annoying to miss some of the stuff, but luckily nothing important is missing! Knowing that a police report can take all day, I decide not to this time.
Time flies when you are relaxing and having fun…Already one month we have been living together!! Which means it is time for them to go to Finland…Sini, being the amazingly relaxed person she is, offered me to stay at her apartment while they are away. For several reasons I took up on the offer, at least for some time longer! This morning our ways parted again when they jumped into the taxi to go to the airport! When and where will we meet again? Sini, Anttoni and Olivia, thankx for your hospitality and great moments! Enjoy Suomi!
Now the original plan was to stay for a week or so longer to do a few things, but as always my plans can be altered at any moment. And so they have ;-) This afternoon I met up with Mara and Martin, a couple I met in India before. We go for a sightseeing walk in Patan, the area where I have been living for the past month and not explored yet! Nepal, the country where Buddhism and Hinduism go
hand in hand… Over a cup of masala tea they tell me about their plan to do a low altitude trekking (without guide), wild camping along the way. Why don’t I come along? As I have not seen the Himalaya up close yet, not spend any time in nature and really love to spend more time with them, the decision is made quickly. When are we leaving?.....Tomorrow! for 2,5 weeks….
Time to pack my bag, park the van (luckily it can stay in the backyard!) and lock the apartment! Kathmandu, I will be back later!