Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lumbini Temples and Drive to Pokhara - Wednesday May 22, 2013

The plans for today include visiting more temples, before driving to the city of Pokahra. We visited the temples built by Thailand, Myanmar, Sir Lanka, China, Korea, and the Japanese Peace Pagoda.   By 10:30 it was already 102 degrees and steamy.  At approximately 11:00 we finally stayed in the cars and began our trip to Pokhara.  This will take the majority of the day including stops for meals.   
Thai Temple

Group Photo

Myanmar Temple

Women at Temple

Sri Lanka Temple

Young Monks

Japanese Peace Pagoda

German Temple

Chinese Temple

Driving in Nepal!  Simply said, the infrastructure has much to be desired! But everyone simply accepts it.  The width of a two lane road is equal to the width of a lane and a half by our standards plus people will be walking or biking on the road as well.  We would never consider driving in Nepal!  The driver of the vehicle we have been in is every good.  He has quick reflexes and great anticipation of on-coming traffic and what it will do. Plus the animals – knowing which way a dog or goat will go!  We have dodged chickens, ducks, dogs, goats, and cows!  The road surfaces also are not in good repair, so that a 3-4 hr ride wears you out.  We have been riding in a recent model 4x4 vehicle – Thank goodness, especially since we had to drive through the mud and river.
Highway Scenes

Brick Factory

Loaded Bus


Driving to Pokhara takes you over a medium range of mountains.  Nepal has the low mountains in the area of the National Park we visited, medium mountains and then the high ones – the Himalayans.  To get to Pokhara you drive over the medium mountain range.  This was an interesting drive- seeing the villages in the valleys and on the mountain sides; seeing mountain sides terraced for growing corn and other crops, and seeing rice paddies of all shapes and sizes.  The crops are not the most productive by our standards, but nothing goes to waste.  The rice stalks are dried and stacked as hay for the goats and cows, and the corn stalks are of course used for feed.

Village life looks interesting – basically subsistence living – raising enough crops and animals to survive.  Often there are goats, chickens and maybe a cow.  The female goats are saved for reproduction whereas the males are used for meat. The Nanny goat is often tethered to a post, so of course the babies do not wander very far.  Cows! They are wandering everywhere as in India – along the roads.  The women do most of the work in the fields.  Often the men are ‘guest workers’ in another country, sending money home.  We have watched young women (girls) carry bricks, gravel and concrete on their backs or heads at construction sites. It seems everyone is building something – however we do not know how long the process takes!
Traffic Along the Road

Truck Accident

Cattle truck

Grain Truck

Highway Construction

Pokhara is a tourist city.  It is located in a valley around several lakes, with a view of the mountains - that is on clear days.  We have seen photos and we are hoping the weather is better than the forecast. It was a long bumpy ride here to Pokhara and it was 7:00 before we arrived at the hotel.  However the hotel is the Shangri-la Village! A very, very nice hotel – the nicest we have been in so far.  We will be here two nights which will be great.  A refreshing shower was first on the agenda! We were not sure we were going to eat dinner, but after being refreshed with the shower we went to the dinning room. It is cooler here in Pokhara which is great.

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