Nepal

Adventures in Nepal XVI: International Mountain Museum

January 27 was an eventful day in the Covid-19 saga. A prominent virologist in Hong Kong gave a three-hour presentation on YouTube basically warning everyone that the new virus was way worse than people thought. First cases popped up in a few more countries. The first confirmed asymptomatic transmission was reported in Germany. In the US, the Surgeon General dismissed the coronavirus as “low-risk” and urged Americans not to worry about it. The President was likewise unconcerned.

Emma and Elizabeth were following the news, but at that point it was an interesting story to monitor as it unfolded rather than something to actively worry about. This was they day they visited the International Mountain Museum.

They wandered for a bit, trying to find a bus going in the right direction.

Eventually they found a bus and got to the museum.

Adorable girls are adorable.

The museum grounds are lovely.

Blep!

This mandala is made entirely of colored sand!

Too sexy for my beads.

More derpy taxidermy.

Is…is that a Yeti?

This is a really pretty museum. I’m keeping this post reasonably short, but the girls took billions of great photos here.

There is a temple inside the museum.

Outside, a scale model of Mt. Manaslu and Machapuchare (Fishtail Peak, the highest point in the Annapurna range) lets visitors try their hands at mountain-climbing.

This was the girls’ last full day in Pokhara. On the 28th they returned to Kathmandu to begin the long journey home. I am so glad that they got to share this experience before the virus surged and the lockdowns started.

To be continued!

Categories: Animals, Artwork, Covid-19, Friends, Health, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | 2 Comments

Adventures in Nepal XV: Sunday Drive

Elizabeth has spoken fondly of “the family next door” to where she and Emma stayed in Paljorling Camp. Pressed for details, she just says that they’re really nice. This family next door is still kind of a mystery for me.

On January 26, the family next door took the girls out for a drive around Pokhara.

Scenes from an SUV window:

Elizabeth liked the narrow, winding roads.

They visited Pema Tsal Sakya Monastery.

The Family Next Door:

The monastery sits on a hilltop, with sweeping views of the surrounding area.

Moobs!

The colorful cloth squares are prayer flags.

RAWR!

The Prayer Wheel.

I like the peacock embellishments on the gray building.

Back in the SUV. The view out the window is mustard crops; mustard oil is a popular condiment in Nepal.

Horsie!

The ubiquitous Phewa Tal

Pretty wall

This is the room Emma and Elizabeth stayed in at Paljorling Camp. So cozy!

Meanwhile, on this day the U.S. confirmed three more cases of Covid-19, bringing the nationwide total up to five confirmed cases. No one was worried yet.

To be continued!

Categories: Artwork, Dragons, Friends, Holidays, Life, Love, Nepal, Travel | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal XIV: Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave

The stream called Pardi Khola flows from the Phewa Tal Dam and rambles through Pokhara before running underground, over Patale Chhango and through the sacred Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave. The waterfall and the cave are a short walk apart, each with their own colorful entries to lure in visitors.

After Emma and Elizabeth had seen Patale Chhango, they did some shopping before visiting the cave. Emma was searching the shops for a particular item her mother had requested. Elizabeth wanted to find a Tibetan restaurant for lunch, having developed a preference for Tibetan food over the spicier Nepali fare.

The fancy red archway in the next pic is the entrance to the outer temple at Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave.

Walk past the archway and continue around the corner, and you can look down into the temple courtyard.

There are four Tibetan settlements in Pokhara. One of them, Tashi-Ling, is just up the road from Gupteshwor Mahadev.

Colorful mural on a city street.

Lunch destination acquired!

Yum!

After lunch they returned to explore the temple and cave.

The temple architecture is really beautiful.

This is a statue of Lord Vishnu sleeping on the coils of the thousand-headed serpent king Ananta. But to me it looks like Trump having a bad hair day.

Adorable Elizabeth is adorable. Moo cow!

Going underground:

Signs were posted requesting that people not take photos inside the sacred cave. Emma and Elizabeth mostly complied with this, but they (and everyone else in the cave) did get this pic of the stream flowing in from Patale Chhango.

This awesome Ganesha stature was near the outer temple exit:

More to come!

Categories: Artwork, food, Friends, Holidays, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal XIII: Patale Chhango

On January 25, Emma and Elizabeth went to see a waterfall.

Interesting backstory: a Swiss couple with the surname Davis went swimming there in 1961, and the wife drowned. English-speaking visitors started calling the place “Davis Falls.” In the Nepali language, this is commonly pronounced as “Devis.” Also, “Dev” and “Devi” are popular names in Nepal. So now, when you try to find out what the waterfall’s actual damn name is so you can write a blog post about it, you find the waterfall listed on various sites as Devi’s Fall, Devis Falls, Davis Falls, Hell’s Falls or its Nepali name, Patale Chhango, which means “Underworld Waterfall.”

The girls took a colorful Pokhara bus to their destination.

Just a guy out walking his water buffaloes.

A theme park has developed around the waterfall…

…featuring a scale model of the Annapurna mountain range…

…assorted shrines and tributes…

…a “luck pond,” or what we would call a wishing well…

(try to land your coin on the little platform in the center for good luck)

…some fun photo ops…





…and a traditional Nepali house.

Adorable Emma is adorable.

Finally, down to see the falls.

The stream flows from Phewa Tal, eventually forming a tunnel in the rock and creating a semi-underground waterfall that you can only see from a certain angle. Here’s a pretty section of cliff wall along the descent:

The stream in its deepening bed:

First glimpse of the fall:

There it is!

Shortly after the fall, the stream flows into Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave…but that’s another blog post.

Back up to the surface.

Bonus pic of the friendship bracelets from the Tibetan weaver:

To be continued!

Categories: environment, Friends, Holidays, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | 3 Comments

Adventures in Nepal XII: Quest for Fruit Snacks

The only notable activity on January 24 was a search of the Pokhara markets for a particular kind of fruit snacks that Emma wanted Elizabeth to taste. Once the snacks were procured, our young heroes returned to Paljorling camp to relax.

This was the day that China’s entire Hubei province went into quarantine. In Vietnam, the first confirmed incidence of human-to-human transmission outside of China was documented by the WHO. The second case of coronavirus was confirmed in the US.

This is a short post, so here is a bonus random water buffalo that the girls saw roaming the streets near Sabita’s house on their way to Disneyland.

To be continued!

Categories: Animals, Covid-19, food, Friends, Holidays, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | 2 Comments

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