Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pokhara

Nepal is such a vast and amazing country with so many variations in climate and flora and fauna. What is amazing about this is that this country is so small! Where, or should I say "how", does God fit it all in?
Once again, this weekend, I was struck by God's omnipotence and creative power! With the few remaining days left of our "holiday" before school begins again, we bought some bus tickets and took a "survey" trip to Pokhara. Pokhara is where we are hoping to move next year sometime and begin a flight program.
The bus ride normally takes 7 hours; however, there were at least 5 broken down buses and trucks on the way into Kathmandu that were blocking traffic BOTH ways. We inched along for about 2 miles and finally over 2 hours later were able to proceed again. So much for our 7 hour bus ride! On the way, we saw many more buses and trucks that had either flipped over or had been in some kind of "smashing" incident. It wasn't very encouraging to us; however, it was amazing because this road was in so much better shape than the road we took to Langtang.
We found Pokhara to be a nice change from Kathmandu. It was much cleaner and there doesn't seem to be a fuel shortage in Pokhara like there is in Kathmandu. We rented two motorcycles and were able to drive right up and fill the tanks. In Kathmandu, we would've waited at least a half a day IF there was fuel at the pumps. We did figure it out though that it costs $6/gallon to fill your vehicle. I have no idea how the Nepali people can afford that.
We stayed in the touristy, Lakeside part of Pokhara and were so happy to leave that part for our outings. It was beautiful and kept clean for the tourists but that was not why we were there. We visited the little school that David will attend, which happens to be located on the same grounds as the Leprosy Hospital that is run by INF. We were able to take an informal tour of the hospital (for our friends from Indonesia, it really reminded me of Serukam) and met one of the former leprosy patients who is now a believer and is a counselor to the patients who are there now. He has such a neat testimony and it is very visible that he has suffered much but he is filled with peace and joy!
We were able to drive around and look at houses and what some of our options might be plus we found 2 nice "supermarkets". We were able to meet with and talk to some of other expats who live and work there in Pokhara and they had a lot of good information for us.
And on the fun side, we drove part of the way up Sarangkot and then hiked the rest of the way up (this is a large hill overlooking the Pokhara Valley). In the picture below, you can see the awesome view we had up there!

We then drove up to see the Bat Cave. It isn't that big but there are a lot of bats, and then, if you have a guide (which we did), you will climb out in a manner that you will NEVER be able to do if you don't have a guide.
Here I am exiting out of the cave...it was NOT easy but I did it!! David started to get a bit claustrophobic but he did it too. I had no idea it would be like this when I first entered the cave. If I had, I probably wouldn't have followed our guide!
Some of the other things we were able to see was the Mountaineering Museum, an absolute must if you ever come visit us in Pokhara. Very well done and put together! The Seti River Gorge...you don't want to fall in! And of course, the beautiful Fewa Tal lake. There are many other things to do and see but we figured "another time". Now it's back to the "grind" in the morning and I think that we are all actually looking forward to it. Taking these trips has actually renewed my spirit for learning this language. We were able to interact with the Nepali people more on these trips then living here in Kathmandu, amazingly. I look forward to sharing more with you on our "trek" here in Nepal.

Waiting on Him,
Ronda
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3 comments:

Chandelle Cotter said...

Hey guys its Chandelle- How fun to read about you guys! Your family is so cute, I cant believe how big the boys are! God Bless and keep in touch!

The Alaskan Wildfowlers said...

I would have FREAKED out trying to get out of there!!! You are very brave, in so many ways :) What a pretty place. It would be super fun to visit.

maylan said...

This blog is great, I feel like being inside your bag peeping around you all over to Nepal.