A Travellerspoint blog

Nepal

Rafting on the Lower Gandaki

5 days 3 nights in the wild

sunny 30 °C

Today we met up with Simon and the kids and Moit and Angelee for our 5 days rafting on the Lower Gandaki section....
For the trip we have 2 people rafts and 1 gear raft, with a total of 6 guides.... who will be 2 in the safety kayaks (go ahead of the group to see if there are issues with rapids ), 1 on the gear raft, 2 on 1 people raft and the last one in the last people raft.
We set off from the hotel and picked up Angelee and Mohit who just flew in from Khatmandu... and then set off on our 4 hours bus trip to the start of the raft.
There we got all the rafts ready and the kids were playing by the river...
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This section is not frequently paddled so the trip is custom made. One guide had been there about 2 years ago, and Mohit about 10!!!
We are going to camp every night on the beach and the guides will be doing the snacks and diner and breakfast and lunch... we only have to do our own tents and wash our plates... easy!!!!
The section is a grade 3....well only on day 4 we will be seeing some grade 3 rapids, the rest of the time it is grade 1 and 2...
So we set off on our journey... the guide on my raft is Bruce and I am with Teo, William, Angelee and Moit. Simon is on the other raft with Anna, Hayden, Ed and 2 guides.
The views are awesome and the paddling pretty easy until the grade 3 rapids.. the guides are mega hot on safety so each of the 3 rapids we come across on day 4 they stop and check it out before taking us through it...
The camping is great even though I would have preferred a nice soft bed.. but the sand is not too bad.. we ended up only putting the top cover of the tent as it was too hot and the kids slept outside one night too...
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Every day we had a nice hour lunch.. and then stopped at the camp at around 4... the kids would play around and we had tea and pop corn .. then diner at about 7ish and then bedtime for 8....
We saw a massive snake crawl on the bank so we assumed it must have crossed the river .. which filled the kids with dread as they kept jumping in and out all the time....
We saw monkeys and kingfishers and more monkeys...
Every night we had the visit of the local people and it was nice to see them ... we were like attraction to them .. we got them to try pop corn and would give them the leftovers after the meals...
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We had lots of fun on the raft ... jumping in, back flips, front flips balance games and all... just very good fun...
We also had a fire every might and played card games non stop... we learnt 3 more games, bullshit and noses and high jack.... very fun!
I have attached some photos but the camera ran out after 2 days so I am awaiting for Simon and Mohit photos....

Posted by ealonso 21:34 Archived in Nepal Tagged rafting lower_gandaki_rafting paddle_nepal Comments (0)

Work in the silk factory - Pokhara

and how to keep children happy with a nice fire!!!

sunny 30 °C

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Today we got awoken early at 7.45 by our bus friend as we said we would help them today at the silk factory.... Today is a big day as we have to collect all silk cocoons and bring them to the governmental office to get them weighted so they can be paid. As I said before they by the caterpillars for 50 rupees a box and with that they aim to collect between 60 to 100 kg of cocoons which will then fetch 250 rupees a kg. All that in 40 days precisely...
The operations they have up in the mountain is pretty goo, they have fields of mulberry trees which provide the best nutrients for the caterpillars whilst they are growing...When they are growing the work is hard as you have to feed them every day and the walk up hill is tiring under the heat... The temperature is also crucial as too sold and they die, to wet and they die ... so precise science is required here.
It reminded me of when I was a kid and my mum brought back one day from school (as she was a science teacher) some silk caterpillars and we made our own silk cocoons... That was great....

So today we decided to take a cab to get up the mountain.... just let me tell you that this must have been the eeriest drive I have had in a long while. The car was the usual bashed up little car they all have as taxis, and the road... well.. let just say that it would not have been called a road anywhere else but here in the Indian continent......The road had massive holes, landslides had taken some of it off .. Bref weary and definitely not again!!! plus is cost me a bomb.

So anyways we arrived at 9 up there and the associate was already there... so we started to pull the cocoons of the leaves, newspapers and wherever they had attached themselves... It is fine in theory but there were a lot of dead caterpillars with those at various stages of decomposition so it was let say a little tummy turning!!!... You have to do 2 piles, one with the strong nice and clean cocoons and the other one with anything that has some silk in it .. so the silk cocoons not finished or partly finishes, the bits that holds the cocoons etc... The clean ones are nice to touch but the others are not so nice.. sometimes squidgy, sometimes stuck with some decaying caterpillars ... yuck!!!!

The kids helped for maybe 30 minutes and then they turned their attention to the fire our bus friend had made to prepare organic tea... So the kids were helping bring the twigs, and wood, and went to get the lemon grass and the mint... They were given a tube that helps blow on the fire... They went to collect the ginger we used for cooking and they helped with the lunch.

We had chicken with ginger, vegetables, bread and rice and it was absolutely delicious... even the kids liked it .. It was just a little spicy so they did not finish but they did well...

We left at 4.30 after a nice cup of mint tea and went the jungle way down the hill.. This is the quickest way and we were home by 5.30...

We had a fun day .. the kids smelled like wood and they were exhausted....and I managed to get sun burned on my shoulders .. just shows you how hot it is here!!!

Posted by ealonso 22:28 Archived in Nepal Tagged pokhara silk_factory organic_farming Comments (0)

Trek to the Silk Factory - Pokhara

sunny 30 °C

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Hi there today we studied in the morning and then after lunch met our friend from the bus to go to his silk factory in the mountain... We set off at 1 and went to his house to get his daughter, a bag with fruits and some water... We then went off, on a lovely path on the flank of the mountain through the jungle... and went up... and up ... and up... so much so that Hayden started to complain....
The views of the city were fantastic and we finally made it to the "factory".... as the kids said this did not look like a factory as it was barely a mud house... but when you stepped in... you could see layers and layers of newspaper under which thousands of silk cocoon were nested. The smell was strong and the heat was high... we saw some caterpillars which were lazy as they did not want to make a cocoon.. and we saw some cocoons that were already opened which means that the silk thread has been damaged and they are no good.
We sat down with the bus friend and his associate and looked over the mountain to the stunning views of the city... The associate had a welsh man staying with him for months and he had made a swing with which the kids played a lot...
We saw 3 ladies carrying grass on their back in the heat for the buffaloes... we then wanted a drink so went to a little village up in the mountain and had a drink... We then decided to come back tomorrow to help the associate sort out the cocoons to sell them... this will be fun ... so we'll let you know how it all went...
We took a different way down again through the jungle but this time on lakeside side of the mountain.. we passed through lots and lots of vegetation and picked up and ate a lot of nuts from a tree which fruits really look like Spanish chestnuts... it was again a lovely walk...
We stopped at a little cafe for a drink and then we headed off through the rice fields back home.. the sun was setting over the mountains and we got some great shots.. just fancy going for treks in the mountains now!!!

Posted by ealonso 09:38 Archived in Nepal Tagged silk_factory Comments (0)

Dashain Festival

Christmas in Nepal

sunny 36 °C

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Here it is, this is their big festival, the equivalent of our Christmas. Everyone goes back to their family to get a blessing, we receive tika (this rice coloured red that is placed on your third eye), you visit relatives with presents and generally relax at home.
We left Kathmandu just before Dashain so all the kids from Dallu were getting ready to visit their relatives... as you can see in the pictures.
We headed off to Pokhara for our month there in a micro bus and we were with people who were on their way to be blessed by family. The journey was beautiful even though a little long (5h)... a kid got sick and did not make it on time to the window so Teo seat got sprayed!!! hummm.... The dad then got sick too.... thank god he made it to the window on time and did not spray us again... But the views were awesome and I could not sleep as the landscape was just great...
In Pokhara, Bishwa's parents welcomed us and gave us Tika... so we went to town with our tika and everyone was telling us "happy dashain"... it was great. The whole family left to visit relatives yesterday so we went to Lakeside for a walk and to find a hotel where we can stay the night before we set off for the rafting... We saw the classic Dashain swing which is this massive swing made out of bamboo which can be as tall at 5 6 metres.. and everyone kids and adults swing on these all day long....
The walk was great in the little alleyways and following the river ... the kids made it and did not complain... We met that little girl who cried as she had lost her shoe in the canal.. But do not worry, her brother rescued it on time...
We first stopped at a restaurant suggested by the guide du routard. Very nice even though we had to wait at least one hour to be served.. But then again it is Dashain so we were happy to find a restaurant that was open. Teo had pizza, Hayden grilled pork with vegetables and I have some mashed potatoes with cheese and an egg.. Very yummy indeed...We then went to book a hotel and unfortunately Simon's one was full so we took the one opposite.. very nice and quiet too.The we decided to go for a boat ride on the lake and that was great.. we took a pedalo and we had fun even though it was a little loopsided as I am heavier than the kids. We saw many many paragliders in the sky....
We went shopping an got some sweets to offer the family for Dashain and got water and some stationery for the kids for school...
We then walked back home after stopping at another coffee shop to charge our batteries!!!
Nice day .... and nice weather!!!!

Posted by ealonso 07:52 Archived in Nepal Tagged dashain lakeside restaurant_lakeside Comments (0)

Happy Home Orphanage - photos of the buildings

all seasons in one day

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Hi there just some pictures of the orphanage building to show you where we are....

Take care

Posted by ealonso 01:00 Archived in Nepal Tagged happy_home_nepal Comments (0)

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