First off, yes I’m fine, in regards to the acts of terrorism going on in India at the moment. I’m far from it, and we’ll definitely and incidentally avoiding New Delhi and Mumbai and all those risky places upon our return in a month.
In the beginning we thought we’d only be in Pokhara for a night, then a day, and due to a few changes in became 4 or 5 days. In contrast to our first days here, when we did lots of errands and city stuff, like laundry, post office, grocery and supply shopping, internetting, trying to get to the farm and going up the wrong mountain (really bad directions), the last two days have been more fun and leisurely.
Bonnie and I took a row boat out onto the lake, and a man on an island we rowed to told us about the “boat toilet” out in the distance on one of the shores, so we took off towards the white-looking trees and discovered tons of birds perched atop this cluster of “bird shit” white trees. It was so funny. Then we took pics of ourselves with the sunset-peach mountains behind us, and spent the rest of the night uploading our pics to Flickr (check it out! flickr.com/photos/anthonyp), writing cards, having dinner at the spot we frequented across the street, and watching Babe II: Pig in the City (genius, sick dark twisted genius.)
Yesterday really felt like a “day off”, and boy was it nice. It was also Thanksgiving so we wanted to take it easy and eat good food. In the morning I took a walk to explore the new neighborhood, and I found a nice little Stupa (or temple/shrine) on a tiny little island I got over to by way of a ‘hidden’ staircase off the road. I just sat and looked out on the quiet morning lake for a while. It was a perfect day, warm with clear skies, crisp fresh air. I realized that Pokhara is like a Rio di Janiero or San Francisco of Nepal, beautiful and relaxed, a pleasant jewel of a city. I read that there’s nowhere else where a plateau meets with such huge beautiful mountains so suddenly as here, and off in the distance was the Annapurnas mountain range so clear and high above us, like an unbelievably painted wall so close to us. This backdrop makes the view from our roof, or from just about anywhere in town, seem like a fairy tale.
Next we went down to the immigration office and got Visas extensions so we can stay another 15 days in Nepal, so that we can visit three farms here instead of one or two, with enough time without rushing or taking any public transportation. We had lunch at a beautiful Zen Japanese restaurant, where we got to wear different slippers around and eat yummy organic veggies. Then I went cruising on my fully UNloaded bike, and it was just heavenly. My friends were still feeling under the weather so I made two runs on their behalf to the post office, where I spoke with all the postmasters and got to stamp the envelopes myself. I managed to rile up Bonnie and Cara to take a bike ride around the lake, and that was sweeeeeeet! Beautiful beautiful beautiful, especially outside the tourist areas with all the hotels and sky-diving places. I was so moved that I took a 10 minute handheld video of my ride back, and despite it’s bad handheld shakiness, to me it’s worth a million words. (I’ll post it on Flickr eventually!)
We looked around all day for any Thanksgiving-y comforts, and not only is there nothing resembling any American holiday dishes, there aren’t even any Americans. Sure, there are tourists and white people, but they’re from anywhere but. It’s kind of amazing. So the best thing we came up with was Japanese food (again). It, too, was yummy and organic, but it was no smashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry and pumpkin pie! [Tummy grumble, seriously!)
I wish I could write about TODAY right now, but now I’m on the farm (it’s Amazing!) and I need to get some shut-eye for my first big day! Let me say, though, that today was freakin BIG, and so was this freakin mountain! OMG, seriously, so big! PS- I’m sleeping no more than 10 feet above two buffalo. Yes!!
All my love limitless love, right at you!