Bring me sunshine! Whilst we grin and bear the wind and rain, here is a picture from our holiday to Nepal last October. ?Here some of the group are whizzing by on old Nepalese bicycles as they tour the birthplace of the Buddha. It’s warm and sunny and the exercise was good after a guided meditation under a sacred tree. That same night the group stayed in a monastery – after sitting in the village with a cold beer . I hope this brings back warm memories of your holiday to Nepal.
For all those on our October 2014 holiday to Nepal, please find here a picture of your favourite host to our trip – Shrisana.
Here she is on our visit to the look-out point at Sarankot – with the Annapurna range behind her. Shri misses you all now, and this shot was taken prior to our trek down through the mountains back to Pokhara. Hopefully, this lovely photo of her (her first taste of travelling with us ‘foreigners’) will bring back some happy memories.
Here’s our group on our Autumn 2014 holiday to Nepal. Twenty four people from all walks of life and all ages, all thrown together on the adventure. ?We’ve been on rickshaws and elephants, jeeps, dug-out canoes, bicycles and light aircraft around Everest on this trip thus far. ?And we’ve all gelled together as one big family on our colourful holiday in Nepal! Thanks for being such a lovely bunch.
Nepal’s version of Christmas is just coming to an end now, the year here is 2071 and it’s the festival of Dashain. ?Like Christmas it’s a great time of feasting and the coming together of families, it lasts over a week. ?There are quite a lot of animal sacrifices over the period, as well as blessings within families and even the anointing of cars and motorcycles – these are decorated with flowers, garlands and red vermilion powder. ? Even the animals have a sense of getting together, here is a picture from a street in Kathmandu. Happy deshain, and happy holiday in Nepal.
When it comes to healthy food perhaps Nepalese cuisine has some of the answers. The national dish ‘Dhal Bhat’ can be quite healthy.? The main ingredients are Dhal; a lentil curry and Bhat; meaning rice. It’s the lentils that provide the good news. There are a wide variety in Nepal and like many pulses these provide a good low calorie source of proteins, fibre, vitamins and minerals – they can also lower cholestoral.? So the next time you go for a curry, perhaps try the healthier Nepalese version. On your holiday to Nepal, I am sure you’ll like to try this tasty Nepalese food.
Vaishya Dev is known in tourist books as the God of toothaches here in Nepal and is represented in Kathmandu.
Here it is in an alleyway, in essence a large collection of metal washes nailed to each other at the base of what was once a sacred tree. Hindu mythology, its culture, combined with Buddhism gives Nepal an endless array of festivals and unusual practices that have long disappeared in neighbouring Asian countries.
On a holiday to Nepal, you can get very modern dental treatment (much more cheaply than the West) with European trained dental technicians in very clean, modern clinics. What?s nice, is that dentists also examine your tongue and advise on diet, sleep and other factors. There is an ?interconnectiveness? with treatment, much like Buddhist karma, looking not just at the symptom but also the cause from a lifestyle perspective.
However, traditions still remain, here a boy enters his head into the symbol to relieve toothache. Shamans too also perform ceremonies around toothache patients, dancing with yak tailed sticks and chanting but they are often more expensive than the dentists
Thanks to Richard who has updated us with some more photographs from his holiday to Nepal with us last April. As you might imagine a holiday to Nepal is a very colourful one. Already group numbers for our next holiday in October are nearly full. ?Here is quite a nice photograph of a young Nepalese girl he’s taken. With around 70 different castes, a multitude of ethnic groups and a sizable Tibetan community, Nepal really does have a multitude of cultures to photograph. ?Thanks again Richard for your input and I hope everyone enjoys the photos. ? Here’s the link:
You might remember a few months ago we confirmed that former Miss Nepal, the lovely Jharana Bajracharja has become a friend and offered to work with Angel Holidays to teach meditation to our travellers. Meditation and spiritual holidays are becoming increasingly popular. Jharana is a celebrity here, and since winning Miss Nepal in 1997 has become a film actress both in Nepal and across the border in Bollywood. In Nepal, outside of the celebrity culture of the West, Jharana walks freely and is unhindered by the press or local people. ?She’s treated as an equal and nothing more. It’s partly due to the removal of the ego and ‘ego-grasping’ as it is termed by Buddhist and Hindu religions; a frowned-upon process whereby we become attached to ‘who we are’ as a opposed to our equal place as part of humanity. ? I wonder why famous people are so revered in the West? Nepal has a high degree of intellectual spirituality; theories about who we are and our position in the world have been developed over thousands of years – even the police force have daily meditations. Here’s a photo of Jharana in all her glory in 1997. ?She can teach meditation and its benefits in the beautiful Pagoda room on the rooftop of our hotel overlooking the city. I wonder how Simon Cowell would react if he could walk freely around London with no one making a fuss of him? Might he suffer from ego-grasping?
In Nepal there is such thing as a ‘wedding season’ ?where there is an abundance of weddings, at least more than usual. Here is one that I was invited too, and as you can see it’s a fun affair. ?Most ceremonies (particularly for Hindu marriages) are a three day event. ?The first day, the bride is collected from her family home; where she usually appears a demure figure among the throngs and processions of the smiling groom’s family who collect her. After rights and rituals, the party begins, and here you’ll see one in full swing. This was a ‘love marriage’ as opposed to the more common arranged ones. What a lovely day!
I recently travelled to east Nepal to Ilam, the country?s tea growing district. Ilam shares its border with India and Darjeeling,? another albeit, less beautiful setting for tea. I am not sure if you can buy Illam tea in the West, but it certainly is delicious.? The photograph here, a little hazy with the pre-monsoon heat, shows the road as it twists and turns up until we reach a sufficient altitude for tea production.? I?m investigating organic tea and the over use of pesticides in the West compared with the pure tea over here in Nepal.
Locals often infuse the tea with spices, or my favourite: Illam tea infused with black pepper ? it?s not a simple process of just adding pepper, instead the pepper has to be heated, crushed and then slowly fermented within the tea.? Next time you are in a supermarket, maybe check if they stock Illam tea, in my humble view, the purest and best in the world.