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  • Writer's pictureHannah Bywater

Nepal - A Dream Coming True

Nepal has been high on my bucket list for so long. Ever since traveling to India six years ago I have wanted to visit Nepal. My parents, my papa and some other friends have shared amazing stories from their time in Nepal and I am excited to be here to have my own. As usual I came here without any plans. My friend Chris has many contacts here in Nepal and arranged for me to get picked up from the airport in Kathmandu. I am so grateful for this because I was so lethargic after my 31 hour commute from Canada. I have flown long distances before but this one was something else. I had a 14 hour layover in Washington DC overnight and to save money on the hotel I decided to sleep on the floor of the airport. Usually I am pretty good at sleeping anywhere but I could not sleep. There were announcements going off from the intercom, the LED lights were shining brighter than ever and loud machines kept going by cleaning the floors.

Following that sleepless night I had an incredibly long flight to Delhi, India. With my luck the flight was delayed and I had 30 minutes to get up to my connecting flight. If you have ever been to the Delhi airport you would know that this is next to impossible. Although I had already been through customs and security in Toronto, Delhi has additional security. Luckily there were only three people in front of me, or so I thought. It was as if the security people were moving in slow motion. Looking at the faces of the other travellers, I was not the only one unimpressed with their performance. Even though I had expressed concerned of missing my flight they did not change what they were doing. It felt like forever before I got through security. At this point I thought I was S.O.L. I had five minutes to get to my gate. I started running as fast as I could but felt very discouraged because I couldn’t even see the sign to my gate, it was so faraway. Thankfully somebody drove by with one of those golf cart looking things and drove me as fast as they could to my gate. He said something in Hindi on the walkie-talkie and then told me not to worry. From where he picked me up to my gate was 1 km away. I would have missed my flight if it weren’t for him. All of this to say I’m grateful that Chris arranged for me to get picked up at the airport LOL. They drove me to my hostel that I booked last minute and I could not help but going straight to bed.

I woke up early the next morning and watched the sunrise on the rooftop. I met a friend from Germany who was also a guest at the hostel. We made plans to hit the city together and go to visit Patan. We decided to walk to Patan which took us about an hour and a half. Along the way we stopped for lunch, this was my first meal in Nepal. I ordered chow mein, veg momo’s and masala tea. It was a lot of food that came to a total of Rs.170 which is less than C$2. In the tourist area the prices are a bit higher but still very affordable. This was exceptionally cheap. After filling our bellies we continue to Patan. This is a historical site with many temples and beautiful museum. We spent the entire day walking around and learning about the history here. In the late afternoon we finally had a break we enjoyed some fresh juice on a rooftop patio while watching the sunset. There was no way that either of us were going to walk another hour and a half back to the hostel so we ordered a cab. After a beautiful day with Louisa I was happy to get back to the hostel to relax.

The next day I decided to go out and explore some more. I decided to start the day by going to Swayambhunath Mahachaitya , the monkey temple. I couldn’t see it from the rooftop of the hostel and my new friends told me it would take 25 minutes to walk. That sounded wonderful after my long walk through the city the day before. I enjoyed walking through the city, the streets are very narrow, the buildings are very high and the architecture is very unique. The traffic is pretty crazy but it isn’t anything I am not used. Once I got rolling, my Google maps showed that I would just be going straight for 22 minutes. I put my phone in my pocket and just started walking straight. I was walking straight for quite sometime before I realized that more than 22 minutes have gone by. I pulled out my phone to see that I was now one hour away. I am still unsure of how that happened but it did. I thought about walking but decided to try out this new app that I downloaded called Pathao, it’s like Uber but in Nepal. It was very easy to use and for only Rs.80 I rode on the back of somebody’s motorbike all the way to the monkey temple. Easy-peasy lemon squeezey. To get up to the main temple you needed to walk up 365 stairs. I’m glad I took a motorbike because if I had walked I would not have made it to the top. The temple was beautiful and the view form the top was amazing so it was definitely worth the climb. I enjoyed my afternoon here walking around admiring everything happening around me. I am not a religious person but I do appreciate the different practices, especially buddhism and hinduism which are both very prominent here in Nepal.



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