Having a good playlist of music is vital when I travel. Specifically listening to a song on repeat just engraves memories into my head. Two songs that remind me of Nepal are The Him- Feels like home & Fais - Hey. I listened to these two songs the majority of the time travelling through the mountains so now when I hear them the memories just come flooding back!
Bright and early on day 4, we prepped ourselves with a mediocre breakfast and set off for some more villages. The car journey was far from smooth. Rural back roads just seemed to hit a new extreme in Nepal. With the monsoon, just by, potholes were left as swimming pools. Unavoidable, some needed manual labour to be drained and filled in and as if that didn’t delay us enough, we had to drive through a river.
It was mid-day and we had to walk a mile or so in 35-degree heat (talk about sweat patches) to get to the first village of the day. On arrival, we were presented with a white linen cloth as a gift and given plastic deck chairs to sit upon; the best of what they had. Their hospitality and generosity came in abundance.
On the walk to the second village, we saw some mimosa pudica which is a sensitive plant that closes its' leaves when touched.
If my facts are correct, the second village we visited was called Lagara which was known as the "rat eaters". Again, we were greeted with warmth and love and presented with beautiful handmade flower necklaces. The village infrastructure was a composition of straw, wood and mud. Large plastic sheets with rice baking in the blazing sun lay on the mud ground. Livestock lived beside houses tied up. We were set down to some make-shift tables and presented with our lunch. Rice, of course, was on the menu along with a curried cabbage, curried potatoes, curried beans, lentils and fish with all the bones. To follow we had the traditional pudding of homemade yoghurt from the yak, however, I had forgotten that our hosts warned us that the yoghurt would most likely be curdled in these remote regions. In all honesty, what was dished onto my plate was horrendous and I could see the locals looking at me, waiting for me to tuck in. It was mid-holiday, the sun was beating down on me, my stomach was in bits, I just physically could not do it. I was sitting with my head in my hand when a big hand slapped a handful of brown sugar onto the yoghurt ( to sweeten) however, it was accompanied with an ant. Needless to say, my plate was passed to Andy who somehow enjoyed it.
We distributed some toys and sports equipment to the children of the village along with some sweets. Football shirts were also given out which of course was a massive hit - Liverpool and Manchester United being the preferred. It was late afternoon so it had cooled down slightly and we organised a football match with the locals who indeed, played in their bare feet causing some minor injuries to our team.
We departed Lagara and headed to a town for our dinner. It was pitch black within 20 minutes. We were eating outside in the dark and I looked above and there was the most memorising picture of dancing fireflies.
The pattern of "an acquired taste " kept reoccurring with the Nepalese menu; this specific one featured snails. They were still in their shells meaning you had to suck the flesh out which put me straight off although I regret not giving it a go now. Dad, on the other hand, was all down for it when Bhab said: “how well you suck the flesh out is how good you kiss you, wife”.
We returned to the infamous Gautam Hotel for our last stay. Knowing that the service was slow, we rang 2 hours before to order our dinner. I was exhausted, the last few days had been so overwhelming. I went for a shower only to be greeted by a gecko which looked like it could glow in the dark - Smriti’s screaming didn’t help either. After another 2 hour wait, dinner was finally ready and it was back to straw mattresses.