Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Himalayas DAYS TWELVE & THIRTEEN
I've spent this entire journey living in the moment and enjoying the "now" so to speak. This morning began the same - met my guide at 7am to hike up to the hindu-buddhist temple area in Muktinath (only 5 like it in the world, a holy site for both buddhists and hindus) before a leisurely breakfast and late start to our final hike.
Beautiful scenery, through a desert into a huge, dry riverbed: trekking flat or downhill for hours. On the way I realized this was my final day of hiking and became sad. I used to, in my younger years, look for life-changing or self-defining moments during my trips. In latter years I've come to just trust that God will bring those moments whenever and not to expect them.
Although this trek has brought me a lot of time for introspection and maybe some growth in regards to trusting God/not being in control, when I go home nothing will really change, nothing will be different. That's not a bad thing. My life is pretty special.
I just wonder why the God who brings me to such amazing places (I've been thinking today how the awesome view before me is so different from say the Greek Isles or the wilds of Scotland but fills me with the same wonder at God's handiwork. He is such an artist!) hasn't brought me a spouse and children yet certainly a desire? But as I told Him today while I walked in the midst of hindu and buddhist holy places and people - I know He is the one true God and I trust Him. So it is as simple as that.
I am staying in the nicest hotel situated on a huge lake in Pokhara. True to form my 6:30am flight was delayed until after 9 because of cloudiness - but eventually we took off and flew over Annapurna I (well, beside it) so I was able to snap a photo.
I talked my guide into going zip-lining. He's never been before and quite frankly is scared to try. Two guys I met from Israel recommended it and the hotel is able to facilitate everything. I hope we both enjoy it but especially him since I pushed him into it...I think it will make a nice thank you if he does. He has been an exceptional guide.
And if it's a flop...then God's Will. :o) It's so peaceful on this lake, I like Pokhara much better than Kathmandu. Sorry I don't have any deep thoughts today. I really just want to relax and my brain seems lazy. I'm sitting on this private balcony over a garden that abuts the lake, enjoying perfectly cool weather, peace and quiet. We leave in an hour to zip-line. I am so blessed, so blessed.
So ironically I finished with comments about the weather being perfect and now have just returned from the rain. Zip-lining turned out to be fun and my guide got over his fear and admitted he really liked it. I forget the stats but it was long and fast. Afterwards we had to wait for a jeep at this bar-like place. I sat on the patio overlooking a river and a cliff where 5 or 6 eagles flew around, picking up and dropping things. A group of 6 or so kids swam in the river far below. I stayed until the eagles disappeared and then walked around until I found the security guy and my guide fixing a ladder together. For some reason this seemed more real than the american music and inane conversation I could over hear from the bar while I had sat on the patio. I really enjoyed watching them work together as they fixed the thing. Afterwards my guide and I talked (his English isn't that great so it's not always easy) until the jeep came back.
After being dropped in Pokhara again we walked down to the lake and rented a canoe with an oarsman. Our plan was to go to another shore and hike WAY up to a buddhist temple but after a quick stop at the hindu temple in the middle of the lake (on an island) the sky opened up and rain began to fall. We made it to the opposite shore with just a few drops and then crowded into a lean-to which happened to be at the site of a recent landslide that killed four people just as it became a heavy downpour.
The boat driver spoke excellent English and I enjoyed talking with him for the next hour and a half as we waited the rain out...honestly I enjoyed it way more than if I had gone on the hike. He told me about his family, farm, politics, "America," arranged marriages, boat driving and I don't know what else...probably best part of my day. As we paddled back on this huge, calm lake I was struck with another "wow-God" moment: how did I end up in the middle of a lake in Nepal, rowed about with two Nepali men sitting behind me and in the middle of a rainstorm? God is so weird sometimes...in a good way.
Afterwards my guide and I walked back along the path by the lake until we reached the hotel. I ordered room service and feasted on yummy indian food and tried the Everest beer. I think I like its taste better but it's not as strong as Ghorka (sp?).
Tomorrow we take a tourist bus to Kathmandu. As I tried to explain earlier, this trip has been filled with one amazing thing after the next. I don't know why I've been so blessed but I am resolved not to take it for granted.
I'm pretty sure if I lived in Nepal it would be in Pokhara. I might even try to learn the language...so far I have mastered three words and that with much practice. Jit, the boat driver, assured me that I could learn if I just stayed here one month. If only!