Category Archives: Nepal

Eating from a Coffin

Before continuing with the rest of our Nepal journal, we are proud to announce our band (CAUCHEMAR)’s European tour dates – which we have worked on for several months! We are extremely excited to finally play in Europe, and the shows promise to be really killer!! We’re going to play four new songs from our upcoming album – songs that we have written a little bit all over the world.


“Rites Lunaires” tour dates: 

    • Apr. 20 – Berlin, GER – Blackland
      w/Evil Spirit & Serpent
    • Apr. 25 – Nuremberg, GER – Kunstverein
      w/Cosmic Wasteland
    • Apr. 27 – Lauda-Königshofen, GER – Keep it True festival
      w/Portrait, Witchcross, Oz, Anvil, Whiplash and a shitload of killer bands
    • May 1 – Leipzig, GER – Black Label
      w/Black Salvation
    • May 3 – Copenhagen, DEN – Heavy Days in Doomtown festival
      w/Killer stoner-doom metal bands
    • May 4 – London, UK – Old Blue Last
      w/Amulet (Destroyer 666 after-party gig!)
    • May 11 – Brussels, BEL – DNA
      w/Trouble Agency
    • May 12 – Valenciennes, FRA – Long Live Metal!! VI festival
      w/Warhammer, Necrowretch, Bottle Doom Lazy Band
    • May 13 – Paris, FRA – Le Klub
      w/Northwinds, Children of Doom
    • May 16 – Rennes, FRA – Mondo Bizarro
      w/Children of Doom
    • May 18 – Toulouse, FRA – Amanita Muscaria
      w/The Grand Astoria, Goat River, Nuit Noire
    • May 19 – Torreilles, FRA – Le Bistroquet
      w/O.C.D.
    • May 20 – Barcelona, SPA – El Prat de Llobregat
      w/Atonement
    • May 21 – Marseille, FRA – L’Enthropy
      w/Super Timor
    • May 22 – Lyon, FRA – Le Moko
      w/Sanctuaire
    • May 25 – Bologna, ITA – Atlantide
      w/Embers
    • May 26 – Bergamo, ITA – Live Keller
      w/Black Oath, Caronte
    • Jun. 2 – Alvesta, SWE – Muskelrock festival
      w/Manilla Road, Hell, The Devil’s Blood, Grim Reaper, Enforcer, etc..

Tour shirts, CD’s and picture discs (limited edition) of “La Vierge Noire”, as well as Hellbent for Cooking books will be available at every show.

For more information about CAUCHEMAR and the “Rites Lunaires” tour: www.facebook.com/cauchemarmetal.

Bhaktapur
19-03-2012

After kicking back for a week in the lake and mountain-side town of Pokhara, visiting the living museum town of Bhaktapur was a welcoming change. Located about 45 minutes by bus (30 cents!) from Nepal’s capital, as foreigners, we had to pay quite a hefty sum of 13$ to visit its old streets… but we made it worthwhile by spending a few days there. The atmosphere of the town itself was very charming, and you often see locals hanging out on the side of the streets, laughing together, the women knitting and the men playing games… it was really fun walking around and getting lost in there!

The city was founded in the 12th century, and has suffered quite alot during a huge earthquake that devastated the Kathmandu valley in 1936. Nevertheless, Bhaktapur has been since restored to its glorious past state, and has now been declared Unesco world heritage. (Oh man, I wonder how many Unesco world heritage sites we have visited so far on this trip….)

The Durbar (royal) Square in Bhaktapur – you don’t see it very well, but the building on the left has 55 hand carved windows

A small medieval street with the Nyataponal temple, the country’s tallest pagoda temple (built in 1702!)

Dattrateya temple, which has apparently been built from the stem of a single tree... Hmmmm

Details of an entrance

One of the scariest goddesses I’ve ever seen! Details of a door in Durbar Square

The sun setting on one of the town’s squares

There are tons of animals that live side to side with local people. Dogs, cats, goats and chickens are the most popular… and make sleeping a little hard at night (you hear dog fights in the night and roosters crying out in the mornings!!) They are some of the cutest in Nepal though, here are what they look like:

A bitch and her pup

A chicken couple hanging out on a balcony

A doggie patiently waiting for his share of the meat (haha I found that dog so cute!!!)

Two goats keeping warm

Apparently, Bhaktapur is also the place in Nepal where there are the most temples… every morning we saw people doing offerings and people worshipping their many many gods. School children, even when alone, would tap on some god’s image and then bring their hand to their head in an angelus posture. Hinduism is alive and well here! Perhaps even more than in India!!

Woman with an offering tray. They always offer rice, flowers and eggs. I think eggs are for fertility...

Doing offerings at a Kali temple

Lingas and yonis – basically, penises and vaginas, which are worshipped by pouring on milk and honey!

And speaking of love organs, the temples here (like some in Kathmandu) have some pretty primitive love sculptures. Some scholars say they are a how-to guide, but others mention that they are there to prevent Muslims from destroying the temples (because they apparently loathed erotica and kept away!)

A funny childish scene

Another primitive erotic sculpture

And on another note, the town has its own sacred waters and cremation ghat. Just like in Varanasi, people are getting burnt to dust in public, and then their ashes are being tossed in the water… we sneaked in and I got to take this photo of a burning man and his mourning family. On the higher resolution photo, you can see a foot sticking out! Morbid huh?

Two particular things make Bhaktapur absolutely unique to the rest of Nepal. The first one being its …yogurt! The city is known for its creamy thick yogurt called The King of Yogurts, which tastes like sour custard. It cost less than a dollar for half a litre, and it was truly to die for… a great way of starting up the day:

A personal portion of Bhaktapur yogurt. The yogurt comes freshly made in a pottery dish

The other thing that was quite particular here is a long-time-ago trend, which forever scarred women… leg tattoos! You mostly saw women in their 60’s sporting them; apparently they were meant to be sexy. I thought they looked really cool and I tried catching a few of ‘em on film:

Action shot of an older lady’s leg tattoo. The women here often wear red and black sarees (hindu traditional dress)

Woman with beautiful floral tattoos. She was a bit shy and I think a little bit scared that I would take a photo up her skirt haha

Woman with beautiful floral tattoos. She was a bit shy and I think a little bit scared that I would take a photo up her skirt haha

Bhaktapur is also home to a very particular window, make in the shape of a peacock. It is considered a landmark of Nepalese architecture, and you can buy replicas of it to put on your walls. A bit useless if you ask me, but the original thing was pretty cool:

The peacock window of Bhaktapur

Right beside it was a chicken window, which was way more lo-fi:

The chicken window of Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur might be expensive to get in, but fortunately they had cheap food, which we totally indulged in. The restaurant we visited the most often was a hole in the wall, but had the yummiest, cheapest Nepalese food around… here’s a photo of one of our epic lunches!

Veg pakoda (vegetable tempura), samosas, pancakes stuffed with garlic potatoes and a killer chick pea curry. All of this for 2.25$!!!

We also had a very typical Newari meal, which consists of beaten rice (very hard on the teeth!), potato curry, soy beans, mutton fry, salad and egg. It was a new taste and I really enjoyed it!

Newari beaten rice set

After our three days, it was time for us to move back to Kathmandu for a few days before we head to our next destination…

Kathmandu (part II)
23/03/2012

Returning to Kathmandu felt as if we were going home. It’s kind of sad when spending more than a week somewhere makes us feel like home haha, I guess moving around so much makes us appreciate it a lot when we stay in a familiar place.

We had pretty much only one goal left to do in Nepal… To go to a metal festival called Nepfest! For that occasion, I met up with a friend, Vishal – who brought his own friends along. Vishal plays in a grindcore band and he is a dedicated banger who digs in scenes from all over the world to find killer death and thrash bands. It was really cool to finally hang out with locals – especially ones who share metallic interests!

Vishal (left) and friends at our usual dal bhat tarkari restaurant in Thamel (our neighbourhood).

We then followed the group to the venue… we walked 30 minutes, and then arrived at the entrance of some old school amusement park. They had DIY games (to win bags of chips and cookies) and a really cool hand made haunted house!!!

Old school DIY carnival game

I had no idea what this one was about! Smash a tv and win an ugly plush toy? Haha

The cool haunted house

It only cost 25 cents to enter the haunted house. Look a the cool Sanskrit logo made with bone letters! I wish I had time to go, snif

The gig started around 2PM, and we got there on time to catch the first band, FRACTALS. Unfortunately, they were way too modern for my tastes; they played some kind of metalcore, which I didn’t appreciate at all…

The Nepfest festival ground - how lucky these guys are to have such a cool venue!

After this was THE EXORCIST, a Cannibal Corpse worship band which I wasn’t into either, and then came GARUDH – probably the best band of the day for me. They played Scandinavian style Black Metal, which reminded me a lot of old SATYRICON. If they had no keyboard, they would have sounded really evil, but unfortunately they had to have really loud keyboard on each song!!

GARUDH. Vocalist had a MAYHEM shirt! They did a "Mother North" cover, which was butchered but their originals were better!

People watching GARUDH, sitting patiently in the sun hehe

Next was 11, a “slamcore” band, which I wasn’t into either (good musicians, but really not my cup of beer), so we indulged in metal momo’s and beer. You could get a huge plate of buffalo momo’s for 90 cents, and they were really killer. We ate three of them hahaha

François and myself eating our delicious momo's

What they looked like before the massacre

A little bit later was KALODIN, which were Cradle of Filth style metal, with heavy heavy heavy keyboards. Not my style of stuff either! Then played ANTIM GRAHAN – Nepal’s oldest extreme metal band. They had some good riffs, and the crowd reaction from them was really strong!!!

ANTIM GRAHAN. Unfortunately, due to Kathmandu's limited electricity - the band suffered a power cut right in the middle of their set! Funnily enough, their keyboardist wore a BEHERIT shirt - probably the "cultest" shirt in the fest

A really excited crowd! There was a lot of dust in the air - like everywhere in Kathmandu really haha

The fest finished with X-MANTRA, which sounded too modern for my tastes. There was really cool light effects though!

Super cool light effects at Nepfest

Overall, the sound quality was very good, and the bands were quite tight, but the music they played weren’t the best – or most original… Nevertheless, it was really fun to be there and to get a feel for the Nepalese metal scene!

When the gig was over, we walked back to Thamel, and passed for one last time in the streets of old Kathmandu… walking there in almost complete darkness was really fucking cool. We passed in front of a huge demon god, which I absolutely needed to take a photo of:

Demon god worship

Right now, I’m sitting in the sofa of our Barcelona hostel. In two days, my parents are going to fly and stay with us for two weeks! It’s going to be their first time in Europe so they are very excited!!! We’re spending a week in Barcelona and then a week in the French Pyrénées. After that, we’re flying to Berlin where we will stay with a friend for a few days and then meet our CAUCHEMAR band members to rehearse for our tour… OK, gotta go explore the local record shops. Hear from us in two weeks!!!


Warriors of Ice

Nepal kind of reminded me of Bolivia. Both are landlocked countries full of mountains, but they are also some of the poorest countries in the world (mostly due to their environment). The aboriginal-looking women in Nepal also had similar traits to Bolivian women (and sometimes even wore the same hairstyles) – but they were lacking the typical Bolivian rosy cheeks and huge skirts. There are even a tribe of people, the Sherpas, who have evolved physically to carry more oxygen in their blood than people in the plains! Reminds me of the people in the high Andes plateau…

That’s about it for the similarities. Nepal houses the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest (8850 meters), and has eight of the world’s ten highest peaks – all located in the great Himalaya. The country is also the birthplace of Buddha, although Buddhism is the second biggest religion here. Hinduism, the most popular religion, makes 76% of the population – and you say “Namaste” to greet people here, just like in India! Also, since we were in winter, and Nepal relies on hydroelectricity, the dry rivers delivers far less electricity than in the summer. What results are power cuts that last from 8-12 hours… so, we always had to plan in order to take showers or even to print up stuff. I wonder how metal bands rehearse here!

Since I am still without a decent camera, I went in a store and made a deal with the shop owner – I bought a cheap camera and he’d take it back, paying 40% of the original price. I know, it’s not a really good deal, but it came up to around 2.5$ per day of “rental”, which is better than having a disposable camera anyway. The camera was OK though, I was able to take some pretty nice photos as you’ll see later in the post!

Kathmandu
04-03-2012

The first thing we did in Nepal was to walk around in its capital, Kathmandu. We were shocked on how calm it was compared to India! We are so used to loud horns and rickshaw reckless driving that we almost missed it. “Where are the horns and the sounds???” Haha! But not everything is gone, Kathmandu has its fair share of pollution. The cars are not regulated, people make little fires everywhere and generators (used during the aforementioned power cuts) lay down a nice, thick, black smoke.

The first cool thing we saw was the Katheshimbhu stupa, which looked really exotic with its multicolour prayer flags and its evil-looking eyes! I took a photo of a little girl who was hanging out with her grandfather.

Katheshimbhu stupa with prayer flags flowing in the wind

A little hindu girl with her grandfather. Notice her makeup! They did that a lot in India too!

A cute puffy dog was watching us with curiosity

We then walked around and saw a strange statue of the elephant god Ganesh, which had no more head. Apparently it is from the 9th century, and centuries of devotees have put colourful paste over it.

Ganesh statue in old Kathmandu

Some parts of our walk was pretty scruffy – some buildings looked really old and seemed like they were going to collapse!

A Newari building that seems to still be standing up!

Various apartment buildings

Some local ladies hanging out in the sun

There were many many temples everywhere, and even more devotees lurking around them. Religion is an important part of life here, and people live and breathe it! But strangely enough, locals go to both Buddhist and Hindu shrines… it is part of the local culture (Newari) to mix both religions.

Annapurna temple, the main shrine of Kathmandu’s busiest square. The little lanterns you see on the right are actually made with butter!

A little further down, we came across one of the most important and ornate temples in Kathmandu, the Seto Machhendranath Temple. Buddhists consider Seto Machhendranath to be a form of Avolokitesvara, while Hindus say he is a rain-bringing incarnation of Shiva. So, everyone’s happy! At each corner of the temple is purifying fire, which people shook using a bamboo stick.

The Seto Machhendranath temple and its courtyard

A really beautiful ornament inside the temple

A cute doggie sleeping

The purifying fire, with LOADS of pigeons! I was kind of afraid to get pooped on again.

Another really cool place we stumbled upon was the Nara Devi temple, which is dedicated to Kali. The locals believe that Kali’s powers protected the temple from a huge earthquake that happened in 1934!

The Nara Devi temple

Many men in front of the temple. Notice their traditional Nepali hats!

The creepy goddess Kali with her necklace of skulls!

Some men hanging out in the street around the temple

What I really loved about old Kathmandu was that pretty much everywhere you go, you find some really beautiful architecture. You can go in some really dirty alleyway and end up in front of a 300-year old house with beautifully ornate wood windows!

A really cool wooden window. I love how it fits perfectly between bricks! So beautiful!

After two hours of walking, we arrived at the place surrounding one of Kathmandu’s old palaces, Durbar Square. Declared Unesco due to its importance on the world heritage, we were shocked when we arrived there… it cost 10$ to enter the area, per person!! 10$ doesn’t seem like that much, but for travelers like us, it is a full day of food! So we decided to find another way to sneak in… and we did, by the south entrance! HA!

The south way leading to free entrance

A lady making plates out of leaves near Durbar square. How ingenious!

Some temples on the square. OH! Notice how the two men on the left are holding hands? Men in Nepal display unusual amounts of affection towards each other. What you see is nothing – sometimes they are totally tangled between each other’s arms... like couples that are madly in love. They’re not homosexual, it’s just how it is here! I wish I had a better photo.

One of Kathmandu’s royal palaces

A symbolic and colourful umbrella next to the palace

More really beautiful carved windows

The  most unusual thing about Durbar Square though, is its living goddess – the Royal Kumari (royal virgin). The legend goes that a king in the mid 1700’s was regularly playing dice with the goddess Taleju,  the protective deity of the Kathmandu valley. One night, he made a sexual advance, which made her hysterically mad – and threatened to withdraw her protection. She eventually changed her mind, and said she’d reincarnate as a young girl. And how did they know it was her? There are 32 ways of telling; she needs to be born from a caste of goldsmiths, have perfect skin, a set of 20 teeth, a beautiful voice, a horoscope that matches the king’s and the most gruesome… she’d be put in a room filled with 108 buffalo and goat heads, dripping blood all over. The poor little girl would apparently spend the night there, and would have to show no sign of being scared. Because of course, goddesses are not scared of anything! If she succeeded all the tests, she’d be removed from her family and placed inside her “home” – where she would stay there until she hits her periods or loses a significant amount of blood. During the time she is “possessed” by the goddess Taleju, her feet would never touch the ground! You can spot her from her balcony some mornings (for a few seconds), or if you have good connexions, you can meet her inside and offer some flowers and food. Anyway, it gets pretty complicated, but I thought it was pretty crazy. Apparently when the girl becomes “normal” again, she becomes a total social outcast – because she was alone most of the time. On top of it, legend says that if she marries, the man will die within 6 months! But of course, that never happens.

The Kumari’s home

What the little girl looks like (I took the photo from National Geographic – I didn’t take it myself).

So what else did we do during out stay in Kathmandu? We rented a classical guitar and wrote a couple of songs (!!! Never were we so productive!!)… we tried to find a rehearsal space, but the lack of electricity made it very hard haha.

François playing on the ugly pink classical guitar we rented for 2$ a day – much cheaper than a rehearsal room!

And then of course, we ate… Nepal is home to the momo. Momo’s are originally from Tibet, but they have been imported to Nepal and are incredibly popular there – usually eaten as a snack. In Nepal, they are traditionally filled with vegetables (carrots/cabbage/chilli/garlic/onion), buffalo meat (since cows are sacred) or chicken. I’ve been a huge fan of momo’s – having eaten them in Canada (and later, in India) but I found the ones in Nepal a bit bland, actually! Perhaps I have been going to the wrong restaurants. In any case, they are still yummy and I still crave them all the time:

A plate of buff (buffalo) momo’s, costing about 1$.

Another Tibetan food we had was Thentuk, a thick soup made with meat and square home-made noodles. We also had one with buffalo meat, but the meat was really tough to chew haha

Tibetan Thentuk. Sorry about the bad quality photo, my cheap-ass camera sucks in low-light

We also tried homemade “beer”, which is actually fermented millet mixed with boiling water – which you drink using a metallic straw. It reminded me alot of Colombian chicha for its vinegar-y taste, but it’s quite a shock the first time you get it in your mouth… it gets time getting used to it. But the stuff is pretty strong, it got me a little giggly hehe

Drinking Tongba, steaming hot homemade nepali “beer”

Frustratingly enough, it was hard to find genuine Nepali food in the tourist neighbourhood of Kathmandu (where we were staying). If we didn’t want to walk 30 minutes to find a restaurant, we usually had to settle for expensive restaurants that cater to boring tourist taste buds. We did find ONE killer restaurant that had 2$ plates of dal bhat tarkari, lentils, veggies and rice – and which were incredibly tasty (and spicy!!) the cool thing is that it was “all you can eat”, so the waiters come to your table and refill your plate until you puke. The potato curry was especially delicious, ohhhhh man!

Dal bhat tarkari in Kathmandu – the national food of Nepal!

Another thing we did in our first week, was to climb the mountain of Swayambhunath. Swayambhunath is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu. There are long stairs leading up to a stupa, prayer wheels and an amazing view of the valley of Kathmandu.

The bottom of the hill

The stairs leading to the stupa – it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The view was totally rewarding!

A view of the Kathmandu valley

The holy stupa decorated with the eyes of the Buddha!

The top of the hill was full of temples, souvenir shops, prayer flags, prayer wheels and monkeys… The main temple god is apparently worshiped to improve eyesight! In front of it were some women that were getting blessed by a holy man. At least, it looked like that…

The main temple on Swayambhunath

Woman being blessed in front of the temple!

All around the temples and stupa were Tibetan prayer wheels. Apparently, spinning such wheels should have the same effect as orally reciting prayers. Pretty useful huh?

Myself spinning the wheels

A cool temple entrance with prayer wheels

After our week in Kathmandu, we decided to go to an even quieter town, and we chose Pokhara – which is located about 6 hours away by bus. Let’s go!

Pokhara
11-03-2012

Back only 60 years ago, the only way to get to Pokhara from Kathmandu was to embark on a 10-day pony trek, and go through deadly river passes. How things have changed! Our bus ride was extremely comfortable and we arrived safely to our destination, on time and everything. Awesome.

Upon our arrival, we feasted on our first Nepalese beer, Nepal Ice! It doesn’t taste super killer or anything, but it was 7%, which knocked us out pretty fast.

We stayed in Pokhara for a week, and did two small treks. OK, they weren’t that small, but compared to what people usually come to do here (6-20 days trekking in the valleys and mountains), they were quite tiny! The first trek was a “walk” around the lake, which was took 10 hours (including breaks) and around 22 km going up and down mountains. It was a really scenic walk through mountains and rustic villages, and we got to visit a peace pagoda… but it was pretty rough on the legs! We haven’t been doing much exercise these days because the places we go to are either too populated or too polluted (who wants to walk 10 hours in pollution??) But it feels great to move the body after so long!

François looking over the lake

Reaching the peace pagoda

The peace pagoda itself! It’s a religious site constructed by Japanese monks, who wanted to spread a message of peace.... or something

The view of the Pokhara valley from the Pagoda – our second trek was to climb the mountain in front of us. The Himalaya mountain range is hidden right behind those clouds!

A rustic village we went through during the walk

A cute little white goat wanted to follow us!

What was annoying was that every time you encountered children, they asked you for candy or sweets. If you said no, they asked for money. I think it comes from other stupid tourists that gave them candy and money thinking they’d be helpful… but instead they built expectations and now these kids see us not as humans like themselves – but walking money and candy bags! There were even kids that gave us the “finger” (the index finger haha, they don’t know what it means!) and said “fuck!!!” from far away. Anyway, I still managed to take this photo of them, before I got attacked by demands of candy and money… (which I did not give hehehe)

Nepali kids in the mountains

Going back down, we had to go through a little path between rice fields, and then cross a small river using a very ingenious system!

Going through a path – these ladies in front of us were carrying wood and leaves to feed animals

The little system to cross the river. You climbed on top of that raft and pulled yourself on the other side using a thick cable. Cool huh?

We still had another hour to walk back home after that. The sky was getting darker and darker and we started hearing thunder. Far away we saw what we thought to be strong rain, that was coming towards us very fast… but a few minutes later, when it reached us, we figured out it was DUST! It was almost like a desert dust storm! It was really strong and got all over my face – in my ears, eyes, nostrils, mouth, etc… really annoying! But then it left, and rain started pouring on us pretty violently. We took shelter under the roof of a nice woman, and then finally arrived home in the early evening. The sky was so beautiful after the rain!!!

Some people in front of us that were running during the dust storm

The sky after the storm

I also learned how to make momo’s! Near our hotel were some budget restaurants, where you could find plates of momo’s for really cheap. The kitchen was outside, so I decided to ask the lady if I could help her make momo’s… and she said yes! So I sat down on the floor with her and she showed me the sacred Nepalese art of making those addictive dumplings. I wasn’t very good at first, but I became better and better!!

Myself and the lady making momo’s. The photo is kind of weird because it was taken from the back of the kitchen counter. By the way, women in Nepal and India often do things on the floor instead of on the counter (even though there is a counter!) I don’t know why.

My momo’s! Some are very ugly, I admit.

We wanted to eat something different, so we went to a Korean restaurant (!). There are like 6 Korean restaurants in Pokhara, catering to mostly Korean tourists (they got to have their kimchi every day!!) We each ordered meals that came with tiny side dishes. It was absolutely delicious but hellishly spicy! I think of all Asia, the spiciest food is from Korea. I had to stop a few times in order to let the heat cool off… it was really insane.

A Korean feast for 3$ per person!!

So we did our next trek a couple of days later. We had to climb to the village of Sarangkot, located on the top of a mountain, at 1550 meters of altitude. In fact, we had to climb 750 meters, which we did in 4 hours. This mountain is one of the top 10 spots in the world to do paragliding – people throw themselves from the cliff and into the valley. That thing cost like 100 euros… too expensive for us!

Paragliders in the Pokhara valley

When we arrived at our hotel (called Super View haha), we took a nice 3 hour nap, and then went out for dinner. The city lights were super cool from that high!

Lights of the city of Pokhara

The next morning, we woke up at 5:30, and went to the highest part of the mountain to watch the sun rise on the Annapurna part of the Himalaya… it was like watching a very slow movie, but it was so much more spectacular…

The sun rising in the mountains

The incredible view of the mountains bathing in morning light!

After that, we took a little nap and then descended back to where we came from. We had lunch at a local restaurant – which was 50% cheaper than anything we’d seen around the touristic area… and even tastier!

Some potato pancakes that you dip in hot sauce

Chow mein with veggies – Nepalese people LOVE that dish!

While walking back in the city, we encountered the most polluted river I’ve ever seen. In fact, there isn’t any water anymore, it  looked like a garbage dump. A friend told me that locals throw their garbage in rivers and water to purify them. I don’t really understand that logic, but anyway, here is a photo of it:

The embarrassing river of garbage, on the way to Old Pokhara

At the end of the week, we “celebrated” the little Irish blood we had (don’t know if I have any, but we had so many Irish immigrants in Canada that we probably all have a percentage) by drinking beer on the side of the lake for Saint Patrick’s day… the beers in restaurant near the lake were 350 rupees, but we went to buy one in a market, which only cost us 150 rupees! HA! Anyway, it was a nice way to end our staying in Pokhara.

Drinking beer on the side of the lake in Pokhara

Right now, we just arrived in Bhaktapur, a medieval town (!) near Kathmandu. We have only a week left before we finish our Asian chapter and enter the grounds of Europe! Woohoo!