Leaving delayed by strike, nothing allowed to move...waiting at hotel until 9(supposed to leave at 7:30). Lot of conversation with Irish gals here for vacation, volunteered for 3 weeks in Kat doing orphan work, teaching, care facilities. Also spoke with Dutch fellow (dentist) also who spent a week in Jomsom and monastery there...harrowing travel tales, ha! Landslides, plane ride, hiking and jeep for 6 carrying 13!
I think the reason India is so different and fascinating is that the cast of characters, the people on the street who you rub shoulders with(quite literally) is so varied, unique, and vastly different than anywhere else in the world. Also, it is not just the sights but the explosion of smells changing constantly, and sounds which seem to come out of nowhere. Sounds in India are so mixed and cover everything from horns of taxis,bikes,motorbikes, and trucks to bells and blasting DVDs from shops!
While we have traveled this same road now 3 times I always see something different...see photos...but also a bit disconcerting was a bus in the river which was not there two days ago. Read in the paper on our return that it went 'over the edge' yesterday resulting in 12 deaths, hmm!
Bus trip with Blue Sky was sloow and uncomfortable ending quite a ways away from where we began. Bon would NOT recommend Blue Sky! A 15 minute walk got us to Pilgrims GH but they did not save a room for us even though we had assured them we'd be back. Probably should have called from Pokhara when we learned the strike would cause us to be late. They did get us a room next door on the 6th - top - floor, with AC (which Bon dislikes) but costing $20 US which Bon talked down to $18! Hopefully, we'll be able to move back to Pilgrims tomorrow. In restaurant at Pilgrims we chatted with a couple young gals from Great Britain who'd just returned from a 4 day trek...rain first day soaked everything and never dried the next 2, but still they had a great time in/near the highest peaks in the world which were visible the last 2 days. Even with their report of rain the monsoon has thus far been a bust, 20-30% less rain in most areas than normal.
Moved from Hotel Yambu next door back to room 601 in Pilgrims! After muesli, fruit, & yogurt breakfast we took a taxi (Suris- nice Nepali fellow) first to New Bus Park to get tickets for tomorrow bus (leaves at 4:30am!), then up to Bijeshwari Temple - monkey temple. Our luck keeps going, a great festival -Newari &.....
Walked back to Pilgrims and began repacking (we'd gone to Pokhara with just our day packs and some rearranging etc. is now in order). Later to internet and our favorite restaurant (great food but pricey), Italian