1. Nepal From Megan, Nancy, Patrick, and Phoebe As one of our friends put it, Nepal was an assault on the senses. Here is info about our trip in the form of a glossary.
2. ATMs: You think automatic tellers are available 24 hours? You think you can get cash at the airport? NOT. Before getting money, you have to check if there is electricity there (it is only on a few hours per day each place in the city) AND it has money. Bridges: Driving (or even riding) is a bit of an adventure. Based on the gaping holes in the concrete, some people think bridges are for driving over. Scary. Baked goods: amazing!!! A welcome change from other trips. Fabulous croissants, banana bread, whole grain breads, muffins, etc.
3. Cell phones: used for calling and texting even in the jungle (not iphones or other smart phones).Photo: Durbar Square (palace)
4. Clay pots: Bhaktapur. Megan and Phoebe at the potters wheel Phoebe This is Megan, not Nancy (you can’t tell, because there is no height difference)
5. Complimenting the Chef: at Tiger Mountain Lodge Pokhara. If you are cute and 8, you are invited to the kitchen for a special lesson to make macaroni and cheese with the chef, while you are served a plate of fudge. This was followed by a napkin folding lesson.
6. Cremations: ideally occur within 1-1.5 hours of death at the river that meets with the Ganges. The old age home and hospice are conveniently located quite close by. When someone dies, a representative from each house carries a piece of wood and walks with the family to this holy place at the river. After the help of a hired worker, they build the pyre and the son and/or wife circle the body three times with a fire stick in hand and then light it. The practice of the wife jumping on ended in the 1920/30s.
7. Drivers: make sure to go with the right one. Unscrupulous drivers (hypothetically?) may give you a lift and then try to get money from your touring company and then you are at the airport without your plane tickets and in a bit of a conundrum. Hypothetically, it might all work out okay as the “real” driver realized what probably happened and came to the airport with tickets for the short flight to fly by the Annapurna range including Mt. Everest….VERY COOL
8. Mt. Everest: Amazing. After countless iterations, kids tire of parents saying “That is the highest place on the entire earth!!!!” Eight of the mountains in the range are among the 14 highest in the world.