Monthly Archives: May 2013

Mustang in Lonely Planets Best in Travel 2013 List

The other day I was so happy to read the following article and I am sharing it here. Yes, Mustang, the picturesque town in Nepal has mangaed to get on the list of best places to travel in 2013 list.

I have never been there and I hope to go there in the near future. Here are some information regarding the place.

Only a few years ago it was “nobody’s been there”, now it’s heading towards “last chance to see”. The completion of a road connecting Mustang to China in the north and the rest of Nepal to the south will make all the difference.

Lo Manthang, or Mustang as it’s usually called, has been dubbed “little Tibet” or “the last forbidden kingdom”; though politically a part of Nepal, in language, culture, climate and geography, it’s closer to Tibet. The remote region is north of the Himalayan watershed and on the Tibetan plateau, and just south of the border with “big Tibet”, the Chinese one.

Life in Mustang revolves around tourism, animal husbandry and trade. Apart from nine kilometers between Chhusang and Syangboche (just south of Ghiling (Geling)), it is bisected, as of August 2010, by a new road linking it to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to the north and to the rest of Nepal to the south. Plans call for these final nine kilometers to be linked within the next few years, at which time the road would become the lowest drivable corridor through the Himalayas linking the Tibetan Plateau to the tropical Indian plains. The highest point would be 4660 m at Kora La on the Mustang-TAR border. Currently, the easiest and only widely used road corridor, from Kathmandu to Lhasa via the Arniko Rajmarg (Arniko Highway), traverses a 5125 m pass.

The below is an excerpt from the October edition of National Geographic magazine.

“Mustang, a former kingdom in north-central Nepal, is home to one of the world’s great archaeological mysteries. In this dusty, wind-savaged place, hidden within the Himalaya and deeply cleaved by the Kali Gandaki River—in spots, the gorge dwarfs Arizona’s Grand Canyon—there are an extraordinary number of human-built caves.

Some sit by themselves, a single open mouth on a vast corrugated face of weathered rock. Others are in groups, a grand chorus of holes, occasionally stacked eight or nine stories high, an entire vertical neighborhood. Some were dug into cliffsides, others tunneled from above. Many are thousands of years old. The total number of caves in Mustang, conservatively estimated, is 10,000.

No one knows who dug them. Or why. Or even how people climbed into them. (Ropes? Scaffolding? Carved steps? Nearly all evidence has been erased.) Seven hundred years ago, Mustang was a bustling place: a center of Buddhist scholarship and art, and possibly the easiest connection between the salt deposits of Tibet and the cities of the Indian subcontinent. Salt was then one of the world’s most valuable commodities. In Mustang’s heyday, says Charles Ramble, an anthropologist at the Sorbonne in Paris, caravans would move across the region’s rugged trails, carting loads of salt.”

Mustang has an average elevation of 13,000ft and is located to the north of the mountain giants of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna and is therefore north of the main Himalayan range and geographically is part of the highlands of Tibet. It is a vast high valley, arid and dry, characterized by eroded canyons, colorful stratified rock formations and has a barren, desert like appearance.

Naturally, most of the history is now a matter of legend rather than recorded fact, but it seems clear that Lo was once part of Ngari, part of Tibet and a rather loose collection of feudal domains. It was incorporated into the Tibetan Empire under the most famous of the Tibetan kings Songtsengampo. It was an important means of crossing the Himalaya from Tibet to Nepal, and many of the old salt caravans passed through Mustang. By 14C much of Ngari became part of the Malla Empire, whose capital was Sinja in western Nepal. It became an independent kingdom in its own right, under the rule of Ame Pal, the founder king of Lo in 1380. The present royal family can trace its history 25 generations back to Ame Pal, and the city of Lomanthang, was the centre of their power.

Well known, intrepid explorers such as Professor David Snellgrove and the Italian scholar Guiseppi Tucci visited Mustang in the 1950’s and it has largely been their tales of a Tibetan like arrid region that has fuelled interest in the area.
If you love nature or trekking, I am sure you will love it there so do make a plan to go and visit this beautiful place.

Enjoy some amazing photos from Mustang.

Climbers and scientists follow a trail above the Kali Gandaki River in Nepal’s remote Mustang region. More than 60 feet above are rows of unexplored man-made caves dug centuries ago. There may be thousands in the region.
© Cory Richards/National Geographic

To reach a series of caves dug into a cliff 155 feet above the valley floor, Matt Segal scales a rock face so fragile it often breaks off to the touch. Linked by a ledge, the 800-year-old caves, empty now, may once have stored manuscripts.
© Cory Richards/National Geographic

Dusk falls over the temples and homes of Tsarang, once the region’s most important town. In Mustang, where the centuries have not disrupted the traditional rhythm of life, the caves offer clues to a time when the remote Himalayan kingdom was a hub linking Tibet to the rest of the world.

Mustang (1) Mustang (2) Mustang (3) Mustang (4) Mustang (5) Mustang (6) Mustang (7)All the images below Credit: Gilles Sabrie for The New York TimesMustang (8)The Kali Gandaki riverbed in Kagbeni, Nepal. Most trekkers enter Nepal’s Upper Mustang region at Kagbeni. Mustang (9)North of Kagbeni, trekkers make their way along a high trail near Samar. Last year, nearly 3,000 tourists entered Upper Mustang, according to government statistics. Mustang (10)Farmers harvesting in the village. Mustang (12)A nomad’s necklaces. Much of Upper Mustang is desolate, inhabited by about 5,400 people.Mustang (11)A view of Lo Manthang, the walled capital of Mustang.  Mustang (13)A closer view of the capital. Mustang (14)A man appears at his window in Lo Manthang. Mustang (15)Shadows of people on horseback appear in the barren landscape around Mustang’s capital. Mustang (16)Just to the southeast lies Yara. Mustang (17)A farmer stands in fields near Lo Manthang. Mustang (18)Locals haul baskets between rows of prayer wheels. Mustang (21)Another view of Yara. Mustang (22)Tashi Kabum, a cave temple near Yara, opened to the public only a few years ago.Mustang (20)Inside the cave, a fresco representing Chenrezig. For Tibetan Buddhists, Chenrezig was a bodhisattva embodying compassion.

You may also like:

*Manakamana Temple *Cheers to new year 2070 *Zoo visit in Nepal
Advertisements

Our Story: LOVE – Part 9

This is a continuation of my previous post. Please read the previous posts here, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 , Part 6 , Part 7 and Part 8

The first time I heard the words “I love you” from AS I really couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to say so I was quiet for a while. As we were on the phone, AS was worried that he might have misjudged the situation and thought I was offended.

At my end, I had butterflies in my tummy and it seemed my heart stopped and was bursting with so much happiness. I was so happy and confused at the same time that I didn’t know what to say for a while. I wanted to scream aloud with happiness but my parents were in the same room asleep so I couldn’t do anything like that. Instead I said, “I love you too.”

As I uttered those words, tears wear running from my eyes. I was sure they were tears of happiness but I couldn’t hold them back. Something I never thought could ever happen to me had just happened, AS just expressed his love for me. I’m sure there are plenty of you that have experienced that wonderful moment of utter joy in the knowledge that the person you will spend the rest of your life with has just committed himself to you.

Sitting on the bed in the hotel in Sikkim, I could have never thought I would ever hear those words ever but there I was holding the phone, crying like a baby.

I could hear the relief in AS’s voice once he heard those words. I knew he was crying as well even though I couldn’t see his face. For a long time, both of us were silent and I could feel that AS was really happy as well. When he spoke again he told me that this will be the best day of his life forever.

I was so glad that we had reached that point and after some serious conversation started asking silly questions.

Me: So tell me honestly from when did you love me?

AS: From the first day I saw you at school.

Me: No way. Come on tell me the truth.

AS: I am serious.

Me: Then why didn’t you tell me before.

AS: I always thought I am not your type so held back.

Me: Actually a few of my friends told me that you like me but I always told them not to be silly. But I am just very happy that you told me finally.

AS: Me too. I was so scared for a while when you didn’t say anything.

Me: Ohoo sorry. I was just too surprised. Why were you worried anyway?

AS: I thought you don’t love me and saying those words I was going to lose our friendship as well.

Me: Ohoo I am so sorry. I was lost for words. I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I didn’t expect you would ever say it.

AS: I was planning to tell you when we met in Kathmandu in a few weeks. But I was woried you would be engaged to some random guy by then and I would be too late. I didn’t plan for it but it felt right to say it today. I am just glad with the result. M, you are my only love. I have never loved anyone like I love you and even all those year when we hardly talked, I always remembered you and loved you with all my heart.

Hearing those words from his mouth was the best of all. He felt at that moment like he couldn’t go another second without telling me how much he loved me. It was very authentic, and true to our relationship.

We talked for another couple of hours and both of us were so happy and it seemed crazy to hang up. I had so many questions for him and I am sure he did too. But it was really late for me and he insisted that I go to bed. We were still talking and I don’t remember when I fell asleep but the last thing I remember was his voice before I fell asleep.

The next morning when I woke up, the mobile was still on my hand. I recalled what happened last night and was beaming with happiness. When I checked my mobile, I had another message from AS that says,” M, I have never been this happy in my life. Thank you for being the reason for my happiness and I love you.”

The message doubled my happiness and I was just over the moon that whole day. As I was getting ready for breakfast, my phone rang. Without checking, I knew it was AS so I answered.

Me: hello (with big grin on my face)

AS: hello my love. How are you, did you sleep well?

Me: Yap I did (still grinning)

AS: So what are you doing today?

Me: Dad told me that we got the permit to go to Changu Lake so heading there soon.

AS: That is good news. Have fun and take care.

Me: I will. BTW there may not be network reception there so we won’t be able to talk.

AS: I am going to bed soon so I will call you when I wake up. By then you should be back.

Me: That sounds good. Sleep well.

AS: Ok take care. I love you M. I wish you were here with me so I can give you big hug.

Me: I know. I wish we can meet soon too. I love you too A. Hope your ticket will work out so I can see you when I get back to Nepal.

AS: Ok go now and I will call you later. Love you dear.

Me: Love you too.

I went to eat breakfast and went to explore the beautiful lake. For me everything was looking more beautiful, greener and more amazing. I was so happy about our conversation from last night and the next morning, I was literally day dreaming. Then I got another sms from AS. It made my day even better and then he sent two more before I got the last one that said have a good day and he is off to bed now. I send him a few messages with some nice words. At that stage, I was in an internal euphoria and I was not able to write many lovey dovey things. There were millions of things I wanted to write in those messages but always decided against them.  By the time we got to Changu Lake, I could see there was no reception at all on my mobile.

The journey there was very interesting. The ethereally beautiful kilometre long 15 m deep Tsomgo / Changu lake is nestled at an incredible altitude of 12,400 ft. TSO means lake and MGO means head in Bhutia language. The vast expanse of crystal clear water is situated on the Gangtok-Nathula highway and is revered by the Sikkimese as sacred. The Nathula pass was part of the famous Silk route connecting the plains of Bengal with Tibet and from thereon China.

Changu Lake (4)The lake is also of special significance for the Jhakris [faith healers] of Sikkim who congregate here annually on Guru Purnima from all over the state to offer prayers.

Around the picturesque Tsomgo Lake is woven a rich legend; Sikkimese folk-lore narrates that Tsomgo was initially at Laten, several km away from the present Tsomgo (lake). One night an old woman of Tsomgo dreamt that the lake at Laten would shift to Tsomgo. She was warned to leave the place as soon as possible. The old lady hastened to inform her other yak herder friends but they paid no heed.

She hurriedly milked her dri (female yak) and poured the milk on the ground for good luck and left the place with her yaks for Lhachungkar near Thegu. Just before leaving, she saw an inordinately fair lady with gleaming grey hairs, entering Tsomgo. Immediately the earth turned into water and formed Tsomgo lake. The two obstinate yak herders are believed to have been submerged in the lake along with their yaks.

In the times gone by, lamas (Buddhist monks) are said to have foretold the future by observing the color of the lake’s water. If the water had a dark tinge, it foreshadowed a year of trouble and unrest in the state.

Changu Lake (7)Nathula area has three lakes – Memonchu, Kupup and Tsomgo – and out of three, reports have shown that the Tsomgo Lake is heavily polluted. Tsomgo wetland is amongst the most productive & biologically rich ecosystems and also amongst the most endangered. This wetland is a lake complex joined by some other water bodies Manju I and Manju II.

Changu Lake (1) Changu Lake (3)

While we were there, we got an opportunity to ride a yak and go around the lake. It was one of the most amazing things I have done and my parents were happy about the ride as well. The ride was slow but very interesting as the Yak owner was trying to direct the obstinate yaks in the right direction every few minutes. Some paths were so narrow that I was scared that both the yak and I would fall off.

Changu Lake (2)

The lake was so bluish green and beautiful. The air was crisp and pleasantly cold and we saw lots of snow melting around us.

Changu Lake (6)I have to say it was one of the most beautiful places I have seen.

Changu Lake (5)After we were done we went to the main area. There were several shops selling snacks, souvenirs, warm clothes and snow boots along the periphery of the lake. We had our lunch (momo) there, bought some souvenirs and got back in our jeep to get back to hotel.

Changu Lake (8)On the way back, when we reached the area where there was mobile reception, I got 3 messages in my mobile one after another. All of them were from AS and all of them were equally heart melting. I guess I had not had those feeling for so long then that I felt like crying reading those words. But I had to stay composed in front of my parents.

As soon as we reached the hotel, I messaged him back and when we all had dinner and everyone went to bed, he called me.

Again we talked for hours. He gave me the good news that he would be coming to Kathmandu on the 1st of January. It was a relief because I was booked to go back to Sydney on 15th of January which meant we could spend 2 weeks together. I was not even sure what the future held for us at that stage but I was ready to give it a go. I hadn’t felt so good about anything for so long that I was scared to think it might just be a dream. But every time I spoke to AS, he made me feel so good each and every moment that I began to relax and was slowly accepted that good things were really happening to me. All of the things that were happening were real and AS loved me.

Every time he utter those four words,” I love you M”, I was over the moon. I have to be honest; until this day when he utters those words to me, I can feel the same feeling I had the first time. I know it sounds crazy but I love him more every day and my life would be empty without him.

We talked about so many things that evening and I fell asleep while on the phone.

I will continue more soon. Until then, take care.

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

Go to Part 10

You may also like:

*10 Questions from Yatin on my “Our Story “post *Our Story : The Beginning – Part 1

*Our Story: Good friends again – Part 4

I’m Addicted to Game of Thrones

“Winter is coming.” Yes, that line is all I want to hear now and I am hooked to my TV and I know I’m not alone.

I know I am late catching the boat as most of you already watched the whole first two series before 2013 but for me, this was a new discovery.

When my husband suggested watching this series last year as he had read the books, I brushed him off saying I won’t like it. I am not the fan of movies like Lord of The Rings (too long for my liking) and Harry Potter.

But last month we were running out of TV series to watch so when he suggested Games of Thrones again, I decided to give it a go. And that got us hooked until we finished seasons 1 and 2 in a month watching many episodes back to back and wanting more every time and catching up to the third season.

OMG, they are doing a great job finishing each episode on a cliff hanger.

AS has read all the books, he knew what is going to happen next while I have no clue but both of us are addictive to this so that we keep waiting for the next episode. I am not sure what we are gonna do when season 3 will finish and we have to wait at least 6 months (or is it a year) for series 4 to start.

I love the whole setting of this series and all the killing and deception and love and above all, all the characters who I think portray the characters they are playing perfectly. The locations are so nice it made me believe that we are in the medieval period. I definitely want to go to Morocco and Iceland now and find these locations.

**SPOILER ALERT**

Please don’t read further if you haven’t watched the series and plan to watch it.

The series, set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos at the end of a decade-long summer, interweaves several plot lines. The first follows the members of several noble houses in a civil war for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms; the second covers the rising threat of the impending winter and the mythical creatures of the North; the third chronicles the attempts of the exiled last scion of the realm’s deposed dynasty to reclaim the throne. Through its morally ambiguous characters, the series explores issues of social hierarchy, religion, civil war, sexuality, crime, and punishment.

The only complain I have in the series is so far is the death of Ned Stark. I can’t believe that the character so strong and so important was killed because of an order from a stupid king. Actor Sean Bean has been the face of Game of Thrones since its inception. Not only was the scene both poignant and heartbreaking to watch, but I didn’t think there was any chance we’d see the show’s central character make his exit in the show’s first season. I was shocked when I watched that episode and I was so disappointed that I felt like not watching any more but then I went for more.

I have to admit the author keeps the story going by having other minor characters step up and assume the protagonist role while also introducing some other great characters. I really wish I didn’t have to wait so long for each episode to come out.

Right now my favourite character is Tyrion Lannister. Despite his size, Tyrion is so sharp that he slices through every situation with the exact words and phrases he needs to survive. I really hope he won’t die soon. I was almost sure he was killed in the battle of Blackwater but was glad to see him alive in next episode.

George R.R. Martin., the author of the ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ Series — the basis for HBO’s Game of Thrones is currently writing for seasons 4 and 5. Hope he will write faster so we all can satisfy our hunger for this series.

I am thinking to read the books as I think it will be more interesting to imagine while reading the book.

If you are still pondering the idea if you want to watch the series I suggest you to watch episode 1 from season 1. If you are like me, I guarantee you that you will be hooked.

Are you watching Games of Throne? Who is your favourite character?

Take care till my next post.

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

You may also like:

*Life in a day *The Hunger game *The Man Who Sued God

My first day without car

As I wrote in my post yesterday, I had a car accident and I know it is not a big deal but my day is turning out to be so much more interesting.

One of the problems of not having a car for me is going to work. My work is not very far from my place but catching a public transport takes twice as much time so I was looking for alternative transport to go to work.

I have to admit it is laziness on my part due to which I don’t want to think about public transportation as the first option. Anyway when I was talking to one of my colleagues at work I found out that she lived near my place. She offered to pick me up for next few days. As she was new, I didn’t want to bother her but she was happy to offer me a ride. It was a kind of relief for me as well as I don’t have to wake up too early to catch a train and a bus to get to work and she seemed happy to help me.

So this morning as we had planned I reached the pickup point and waited for her. I thought I will let her know that I am here so decided to call her up. Imagine my horror when the number was unreachable. I tried a couple more times and I still could not reach her. I must have noted her number incorrectly. I waited for around 20 minutes and still there was no sign of her. I really didn’t know what to do that point so called work to see if anyone had her number.

As she is new, no one had her number. I really didn’t want her to waste her time looking for me but I couldn’t do anything at the same time so I decided to catch the public transport to work. I would feel horrible if she was looking for me so I left a message at work to let her know that I was catching a train if she called. For a Friday morning, my day was not looking good.

To top of all this, the insurance company called.

The lady: Hi, Can I speak to M, please.

Me: M speaking.

The lady: I am calling regarding the accident that happened yesterday.

Me: Yes.

The lady: So you are taking full responsibility of the accident.

I could not believe my ears but I should have expected something like that looking at how the day was going.

Me: I am sorry but I don’t take any responsibility as it is not my fault. I am on the train right now so I will call you when I get to work.

After that I hung up. I was really horrified but then I couldn’t do much at that time. I know the lady who called is just doing her job and it is the other driver’s fault.

Anyway, I came to work late. The colleague who was to pick me up, called and I realised I typed her number wrong. She forgot to take the piece of paper she wrote my number on at work so she couldn’t reach me either. She was very apologetic and felt sorry for the situation. I know it was not her fault and the situation sucked and there was nothing we could do.

Anyway I called the police. They gave me the incident number which I am to give to the insurance company.

I called insurance company as well. I told them what happened this morning and now our claim is under dispute which means both of the drivers will tell their side of the story. Then, they will investigate and will let us know the outcome. I know it will be a while before this will get settled. I also called the car repairer and he said it will take at least two weeks to get the car fixed. So I guess I need to start becoming realistic and catch a train to work to save me from more headaches.

I am sorry I am complaining about my first world problem here but I blog about my everyday life and here is another day in my life.

You may also like:

*Incident, not ACCIDENT, Thank God! *Accident prone ME *I had a car accident:(

I had a car accident :(

First of all sorry if this post sounds a bit down but I am not in a very good mood right now. This morning, coming to work, my car was hit by another car from behind just 5 minutes away from home. I am thinking that writing about it will make me feel better so hence the post.

I was travelling on the left most lanes on a three lane road heading to work. The car before me slowed down to turn left so I slowed down too. But the car behind me didn’t slow down but instead decided to change lanes. Everything was good but he misjudged his timing and he hit my car on the right side of the boot with his front left of the car. All I heard was a loud bang and didn’t know what happened for a while.  You know the first few seconds where you are shaken up and you don’t know what happened.

After that initial shock, I gained my composure quickly and got out of the car to check what happened. As I have written a post before here “Incident, not ACCIDENT, Thank God!”, I thought it might be just a small incident like before. But to my dismay, my car was badly damage and not drivable. The first thing the guy from the other car said to me after he came out of the car was ,” You braked.”.

I hadn’t and we both know that but I was not in a situation to argue with him. We moved the car to a side street so we wouldn’t block the road. After I parked the car the first thing I did was call AS as he was nearby and I didn’t know what else to do. I was still shaken up for a while but the other driver seemed aright.

He said he would call the tow truck and we can call the insurance company. I also called one of my friends just to check what to do as I have never been in this situation before. He advised me to call the police so I did. I reported what happened and they said they will be there in a while.

In the meantime a tow truck company came and gave both of us, the drivers, to fill information about each other’s licence and car. I took photos of the damage of my car and his car and took photo of his car rego and licence. The tow truck driver dialled our insurance company and I talked to them. I had to explain to them what happened exactly and the guy on the line told me, it seemed like it was not my fault so I didn’t have to worry. The other driver had the same insurance company so the guy wanted to talk to the company as well. So I passed the phone to him.

In the meantime, AS was there and I was much relived. I really didn’t know what to do and I was still shaken. I was just glad he was there.

After we finished with the insurance company, the police were still not there so the other driver suggested we should go as he already agreed to what happened. I thought that is a good thing at least I am not at fault. The tow truck driver told me the same thing. If there is no dispute then it should not be a problem and we don’t need the police.

I told them I had already called the police and I need to call them again to let them know that they need not come. So I rang the police again and told the operator what happened. The women on the phone told me we had to wait for the police as it is an accident. I told all of them that and we waited.

After a while the cops came. There were two of them so they each took statements from us separately. When I was done with my statement, he said, “Looks like it is not your fault so we will send him the ticket and send you the incident number for your insurance.” I was happy that it will be solved easily but then in a minute he came back and told me I have to ask you a few more questions. He said the other driver told them that he was travelling in the middle lane and when I changed lanes, he hit me from behind so it is my fault. What and A**hole. Seriously I couldn’t believe he said that to the cops after all what he told me.

I didn’t know what to say but told the cops that he even asked me not to call the cops as he said he admitted that it was his fault and his insurance will fix my car.

Anyway the cops left and they told me they will contact me with the details on what will happen next.

I am really annoyed that I had an accident and it was not my fault. I am annoyed that the driver didn’t own up to his fault which means it might take it longer to get this resolved.

I am just glad that I waited for the cops to come. I least I have everything recorded now so even if things go wrong in future, the cops have the photos.

Lesson learned from this accident, never trust anyone. Call the cops no matter what the other person does and always be aware that they can change their story. It is best to take photos or video of the damage and position of the cars before moving them.

I had to call a friend from work to pick me up and I am not going to have a car for another 2 weeks. It will be really annoying and it will restrict our plans on the weekends. I am just not very happy and not in a good mood today.

I was reading yesterday in the news that Michael Douglas was telling in an interview that he got the cancer because he had all the good things in life and something bad was meant to happen. While reading that yesterday, I was thinking why can’t we have good times only and why bad things need to happen so often.

Now I understand his logic as well. I have to admit everything around me was going very well so something bad was bound to happen and it happened as a car accident. The best thing is that I am OK and not injured so I am pushing myself to think positive. I know that I am annoyed and irritated right now with the whole situation but doing my best to look at the glass as half full.

I am not even sure if this post has a proper flow but I had to write it and here it is.

Take care everyone.

M from nepaliaustralia

You may also like:

*Incident, not ACCIDENT, Thank God! *Accident prone ME *Dilemma

Our story : The Proposal – Part 8

This is a continuation of my previous post. Please read the previous posts here, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 , Part 6  and Part 7

As I boarded the plane to Bhadrapur airport, I was just relaxed and excited to start the holiday. But at the back of the mind, I knew that it would be impossible to keep in touch with AS via chat. The flight was not long and it was still afternoon when we touched down at Bhadrapur airport.

Our guide/driver was there to pick us up and it was going to be another couple of hours in a car before we crossed Nepal India border. He was going to be with us for the next 10 days throughout our trip in India and Nepal. We planned it that way so that we wouldn’t have to travel in public transportation and we would know we are safe with him.

I asked the guide if they have prepaid sim cards with data plans that I can buy easily. He told me that prepaid sim are easy to get but data is very expensive and the speed may not be very good. I decided to get the sim anyway and send AS a message with my new number.

That day we reached Darjeeling late at night. All of us were very tired after a long flight and the ride after so went to bed early. I was watching TV while my parents were asleep and my mobile rang. I was surprised and picked up thinking that it was our guide but it was AS. I was happy to hear his voice and glad he called.  He had just woke up and decided to call me before he went to work.  He told me that he was just checking the number so he could send me messages later. We talk very briefly and hung up. I went to bed after that.

The next day was fully planned with sightseeing in Darjeeling so we got up early. As I woke up and checked my mobile, I had a message from AS.

It said, “Good morning. Enjoy your day and have lots of fun. Will call you later.” It was a nice way to wake up in the morning. We had breakfast at the hotel and went out to see the beautiful Darjeeling.

For me Darjeeling was meant to be the clean, green and beautiful place but was a bit disappointed to see so many people and so much pollution. But I have learnt travelling to so many places not to be disappointed from any place but to do and see as much as possible.

So we visited the Peace Pagoda. The place was not only peaceful as the name suggested but beautiful, clean, elegant and impressive.

Darjeeling (5) Darjeeling (6)

We spent some time there and then went to Bhutia Busty Gompa Monastery. From there went to a temple nearby and then visited Darjeeling Toy Train museum.By then it was afternoon so we had lunch and after lunch went to ride the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

Darjeeling (2)

We took the Joy Ride which was a 2 hour ride starting from Darjeeling Railway station, stopping for 10 min in Baptesy Loop and then going to Ghoom station. There it stopped for 20 minutes where you can visit the small Museum and then the train comes back to Darjeeling Station. The coaches were very old. It was a novelty and was interesting.

By the time we were back, the sun has set so we met our guide at the train station and went for dinner. I was having great time with my parents and my parents were enjoying the trip as well. As we were going to view the sunrise at Tiger Hill the next morning, all of decided to go to bed early and were back at the hotel by 7.30pm. As I was about to get ready to sleep, my phone rang.

It was AS who had just woken up. Because of time difference I was not expecting much communication with him but it was nice of him to call. We had our normal chat for a while. I am not even sure what we talked about after that but he was talking to me while getting ready for work and having breakfast. And then I was still on the phone when he went to work. Only when he was at his office, we hung up. I didn’t realise at the time that I was on the phone with him for over an hour.

After I hung up, my mum asked me who I was talking to and I just told her that it was AS. She didn’t ask me anything more so I went to bed.

Next morning, I was up again at 4 am to watch the sunrise. It was really cold but we had our quick breakfast and hopped into the car to go to Tiger Hill for the amazing sunrise. It was worth the wait when the sun finally rose and the sky turned orange. The view was astounding and as the sun rose, the mountains became visible and their colour changed from red to orange to yellow.

Darjeeling (1)

After sunrise when we were going to the tea garden, AS called me again. We had a short talk as he was going to bed. I wished him good night and we hung up. The tea garden was really nice and we had a great time in Darjeeling for next few days doing all the touristic things.

My parents and I enjoyed every moment we spend together.

Darjeeling (3)For the next few days, AS called me in the morning and evening and send me text messages in between.

I was wondering at that point if AS meant anything more than friendship but again the same thought kicked in that there is no way AS would think of me as more than a friend and I would look silly if I thought anything else as well.

Darjeeling (4)

From Darjeeling, we went to Sikkim. I really liked Sikkim as it reminded me a lot of Kathmandu. Even though we were in India, I didn’t feel like I was outside Nepal while we were in Darjeeling and Sikkim as everyone there spoke Nepali and we didn’t have any language problem.

Every time AS called, I would tell him our plan for the day and he would update me about his flight ticket issue. Then we would talk for hours about anything and everything. One of the topics we always talked about was marriage and finding a suitable partner. As my parents kept bringing that topic up every now and then, I needed someone to talk about it and AS was perfect as he was in the same boat as me.

I am sure he must have spent lots of money during that period as an overseas call doesn’t come cheap. From time to time I would tell him not to call so often but I loved his calls too. I have to admit, all the talks and texts had made us very close. I really liked him and was so glad I had someone to talk to.

One evening when AS was on the phone, I was telling him about our plan to go to Lake Tsongmo or Changu Lake, a glacial lake in the East Sikkim,  some 40 kilometers (25 mi) away from Gangtok at altitude of 3,780 m (12,400 ft). We were having bit of trouble getting a permit to go there as it is China – India border crossing. Everyone had told us that it was a beautiful place so we really were looking forward to going there.

As we were talking, the topic changed from my trip to our school days. We were laughing remembering silly things we did in school and how it was so much fun going hiking and going to libraries. There were so much of memories from those days.

It was very early morning for AS so he was just walking in a park near his place. He was describing me how the sun had just started to rise and how beautiful it looked. He was really into the moment and describing very thing he could see and taking me there with him. I was lying on the bed after dinner as it was evening for me. When I closed my eye, I could imagine everything he was describing. I can’t remember how long we had been talking for but it was the first time, he said the words that stopped my heart. I really couldn’t believe what I heard.

He said, “M, I love you. “ 🙂 🙂 🙂

I will continue soon so do come back. Till then take care.

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

Go to Part 9

You may also like:

*10 Questions from Yatin on my “Our Story “post

 

*Our Story: Back to Sydney – Part 3 *Our Story: Good friends again – Part 4

 

Learn Nepal Bhasa / Newari – Chapter 15

Please click here for previous chapters.

English

Nepal Basa

Appetizing Saa-i-khwaah wah-gu
Bitter Khaa-yu
First course Chha-sa-raa
Mouth watering Ii chu-ku chuku wangu
Piping hot Chu-inn chu-inn puu-gu
Second course Ni-sa-raa
Sour Paauu
Spicy Paa-lu
Sweet Chaa-kuu
Taste Sa-waah
Tasteless Nyaa-lu
Tasty Maa-ku
Very salty Chi-nwah
I do not eat meat. Ji laa ma-na-yaa.
I do not drink alcohol. Ji ay-laah-ma-twa-naa.
Is this liquor homemade? Thaw ay-laah chhee-ay da-ye-kaa tah-gu khak laa.
This yougurt was delicious. Dhau ta-sa-kaa saah.
It was a pleasure. Ta-sa-kaa nhyai-pu-se chwa-na.
Sahuji, please me a cup of tea. Shauji, chyaa chha-guu kap bi-yaa di-saa.
Not too much sugar please. Chi-ni ya-kwa ta-yaa di-I ma-te.
One cup without milk. Chha-guu kapay du-ru-ma-ta-ye-gu.
We will sit down here. Ji-pinn tha-na chwa-ne.
Do you have something to eat? Na-ye-gu chuu du laa?
Please give me a packet of biscuits too. Biskut chha-pu-ri naa bi-yaa si-saa.
How much do I owe you? Dhe-baa gu-li ju-la?
Here are the glasses. Gi-laas tha-na du.