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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Final remarks about Nepal

Nepal was all we needed to recover from the stressful Indian experience.

First of all, I was able to breath again and stopped coughing. There's still a lot of traffic and some garbage and pollution in the big cities but nothing comparable to India. The landscapes are fantastic and the treks compensate the difficulties with the beauty surrounding them and with the casual meetings on the path and in the shelters.

The thing that impressed me the most was the hope in people's eyes! In India it seemed like people didn't dream, they had no hope in a better future. In Nepal, which is a much poorer country, you see people smiling all the time. Children also do some work, but you also see them playing around. Talking to locals gave us the impression that Nepalese really love their country and like receiving foreigners. It is not uncommon to find Nepalese trekking as well.

The worst things about the country are the roads, communications and lack of electric supply most of the day. Adding to this the social and political instability are present in the Nepalese daily life. Nepal is now a constitutional democracy. The former terrorists, the maoists won last year elections and are now ruling the country. There's a lot of hope in the new leaders, and the youngest seem to be the more enthusiastic. Communism really is quite attractive for a teenager (been there done that), lets just hope their revolution works and the worst of the communist regimes around the world doesn't get to Nepal... So far, according to our nepali friends from Kathmandu they are trying to exert more control on the society and some repressive measures in the name of morally acceptable conduct have been adopted. One example is the closing time for bars and clubs which is now 11.30 pmnow and there are rumours it can be even more restricted.

It was great to have met and lived with a Nepali family. We learned a lot about Nepal from them. They are quite progressist for the society they live in, furthermore, Seema is quite involved in the women's rights issues. We enjoyed a great night at their place drinking beer and discussing everything. It felt as if I was back home with my friends just sitting down and discussing the meaning of life! And the food they prepared for us was delicious! We got the recipe for the Dhal Bat and the pakoda. Lets hope I can find all the ingredients when i'm back and get a taste of Nepal at home.

Once again I followed my budget and spent 20 EUR/day. We ate well and partied a little and we slept in better places than in India (appart from the trekking week, but the shelters were very cheap).

I particularly enjoyed the Pokhara valley, the Hymalayas, the trekking and the company. Thanks for joining us girls :) Hope we'll meet again. I hope everything worked out fine in the end for you Kara. And to Sophie and Aurora, good luck for the rest of your trip.

And, finally, coming back? YES!!! This is one of the most beautiful countries I've visited and it's worth visiting it before massive tourism takes over and destroys its authenticity!

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