Restoration takes all guises in Pokhara – 26 April 2018

Eva Sifis

I mirror what Deb Nicholson advised me in relation to Pokhara – tis utterly restorative. Desperately required after the madness Kathmandu both inhabits and encourages, Mum and I have succeeded in stretching our comfort zones simultaneous to accepting the need to stop and have a goddamned holiday.
Our day started early this Anzac Day where I acknowledged the senseless deaths wartime induces both at home with the first and constant Australians and overseas where I heard those same Australians were refused re-entry to their own land after the early international wars. Stunning, I know.
It got me to musing about the level of control governments exercise upon the citizens of nations in all manner of ways.
In a perfect going down of the sun upon our visit to this magical part of Nepal we enjoyed a oar-some experience upon the lake of Pokhara. A gorgeous man, Avtaar (aptly meaning ‘reincarnation/cycle of life’) paddled us towards the sun as it set behind mountains at about 6pm. We floated in prayerful appreciation of it’s movement and as it dipped out of sight, he turned the little boat around to head back to shore. Avtaar described for is his life and his desire to visit the places he has heard of in his time as a boat-man but the simple reason of not having enough money to take himself or his little family anywhere but Pokhara leaves this a fantasy. Gratitude for the life he leads and the tips he makes that supplements his paltry wage shone through in his calm and joyful demeanour. He showed us pictures of his wife, the partner resulting from an arranged marriage, whom he quite plainly adores and respects and his 6 year old son. He described his dream of a hotel built with his brother. That he ‘may not have college but he has knowledge’ – I LOVED THAT!!
I digress, i was referring to governmental control… Ach dammit, can’t be bothered. We know it happens but looking around at these people going about their lives, walking the streets, their arms casually thrown about the shoulders of their friends beside them (always the same sex – mixed couples are few and far between), I am left with a sense of ease that is quite simply not transferrable to Australia. This, more than anything else will stay with me.
This morn began with a climb into the darkness on a road populated with many on their ‘daily constitutionals’ (at 5am). As usual, deep potholes and missing sections of concrete peppered our way but slow progress was made to the first area the car could be pulled off the road about 1/2 hour the way up the mount. We clambered up to a spot to watch the sunrise and were enticed to the roof of an entrepreneurial homeowner offering hot tea and a large designated platform for the viewing. Mahesh, Mum and I were the first but soon joining us were a small horde of Chinese and Indians all with the same intention. Our posse, whilst coming at a small cost, was infinitely preferable to the mosh pit of payment free concrete. Dawn broke over a monumental but strategically placed cloud. As we approached the car, Mum saw the offices for a para-gliding company. She has repeatedly made mention of them the entire journey long so I was excited when she casually suggested going over to see what they did. That’s not all we did.
After a rest back at the hotel we caught a company bus back up the slope, were buckled into a cloth seat attached to a miscellaneously cool young buck adept at positioning a GoPro on a selfie stick at the same time as operating his paraglide and flew down the mountain.
I did this with my Mum today, wicked stuff, wouldn’t you agree?