Trip Start Sep 01, 2011
36Trip End Ongoing
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30 hours after leaving both Hanoi and Siem Reap, we arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal.
One hour later, we obtained a "visa on arrival" for 25 dollars.
Draped along the greatest heights of the Himalaya, Nepal is where the snowny mountains meets the Indian plains. It's a land of yaks and yetis, stupas and Sherpas, some of the best trekking on earth and the nicest people.
Stepping out of the airport, we realized we had no guidebook once again, no idea of the value of the local currency nor a place to go.
We found with the help of Arjuna ( a german guy who's been more than 15 times in India in the last decade) a really cheap hotel ( 4 dollars for a room, the cheapest we had ever paid so far in our trip) in Chhetrapati near the tourist area (Thamel)
ONE IMPORTANT THING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NEPAL:
Not only being one of the poorest countries on earth, Nepal is a country that also struggles severely with power shortage. It has been a growing problem for years.
Everyday, the power shuts down, (randomly for those who do not have the timetable) and only comes back on, 6 hours later for a few hours.
It is always a funny moment when the power shuts down and you hear everyone (including us) shouting "No!!!!!!!!!!", knowing that it will not come back for another 6 hours.
We spend 7 days in Kathmandu, we wanted to go trekking but we couldn't even afford the cheapest ones. Especially Bhutan (same as Tibet, you need a permit and a tour) was too expensive
Since the beginning of our journey, we had written down everything we bought, we kept track of everything, each purchase separated into different categories.
We had left Australia sooner for a lot of reasons, but mainly because being so expensive, we couldn't afford it anymore. We had been extremely careful, but we figured that the worst would be to end up broke in India, and we had promised ourselves when we left Paris that no matter what, we would NEVER ask our parents for financial help.
That's why we slept on the streets and on the beach the last nights in Melbourne.
We wander if it was that lonesome night on the street or the acknowledgement afterwards that our parents will never know because they will never asked, but the Road was starting to get pretty lonely...
We haven't talked to our father in 9 months, and our mother skype with us twice in late october (5 months ago)... that's it...
We received no calls for Christmas or the New Year..
Lack of interest or fear of knowing? We wonder...
It's starts to get sad when you constantly hear people on skype in internet cafes, your friends who have their parents every week on the phone or the older people you meet, who tell you:
" Wow,doing this at 19, your parents must be so worried? " "Euh..."
There were probably other factors as well that added to our depressed moods:
all this time, we had been travelling without a computer, a phone, a mp3 (we wondered then " Can you really live without Music?"; we were really sick for days, we couldn't eat; we couldn't read (no power); a little post-australia depression as well maybe; the room was really dark and cold ( 6 degres at night and our window didnt close...) (it's always interesting how weather can alter your emotions); we were still waiting for the answers of the universities we applied to in Montreal; at that time in our journey, we still didn't know if we had to take another gap year in order to pay for university..
One of the only highlight of our trip was talking with arjuna for several hours when the power ran out. That guy has had so many incredible experiences, you can see he has really lived! He's been in india where no tourist had ever been, he stayed several months in a tibetan community in india, he met personnaly the dalai lama, he went on a roadtrip from Germany to india, passing through Iran and smuggling a car into Pakistan... ahah
He inconciously reminded us that as Hilary Cooper said :" Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breaths away. "