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Sightseeing Tour

Pashupati, Bouddanath, Showambhu

sunny 27 °C

On Thursday we were taken sightseeing by the hostel staff in the van - there was 5 of us in the back, so a bit of a squeeze and I started feeling car sick about 10 minutes into the journey. Luckily it wasn't long until we arrived at our first stop. The first place was called Pashupati, which is a pilgrimage for Hindis. As we got closer to the river, I noticed the smell of barbequed meat. Luckily I wasn't hungry. Little did I know that public cremations were taking place there...

We DID NOT TAKE PHOTOS of what we saw once we realised what was burning. We did take some from a distance of the scenery (where you cannot see what was being burnt!) As we started walking along the river AWAY from where the burning bodies was taking place, we actually saw a dead woman who had been positioned near to the river's edge and covered in bright orange material. We could clearly see her face and feet - it was a rather strange experience.

A few days before this, we met an Aussie traveller who was telling us about these public cremations and how some 'western idiot' was filming with his video camera, getting in the way of the ceremony and showing complete disregard to the family who was mourning their loved one! He was telling us how he wanted to go up to this bloke and smash his face and camera in! Luckily we didn't see anyone doing such a thing. Instead, we had the monkeys to look at who were roaming around all over the place - throwing things at tourists!

The second place we went to was called Bouddanath, which has the largest 'stupa' in Nepal. You'll see from my photos there is a large white building with the Buddha face at the top - this is called a 'Stupa' and there are lots of them in Nepal. We 'tourists' were not allowed to go too near to it. Apparently Bouddanath is one of the most sacred places for the Buddhists. We saw lots of Buddha's there. I even saw some young female Buddha's with shaved heads and they were carrying fashionable handbags on their shoulders!

The next place we went to that day was called SHOWAMBHU, which was on top of a hill with some great scenery of Kathmandu. Apparently this is the same place where I will be teaching the Buddhist monks. I saw flying eagles in the sky and took pictures of them. I also practiced my Nepalese in the shop there and they were very impressed asking me, "Are you Nepalese?" Yesssss I am convincing!

Today is Sunday and we have asked to go and see a Bollywood film at the cinema near to Thamel. The hostel staff (Keshav and Jiyan) want to come too so we are going around 4.30pm this afternoon. Hom - the local volunteer coordinator here - told me this morning that I am now starting my placement with the monk TOMORROW now (rather than in 8 weeks!) Originally I was meant to be going to the orphanage for 5 weeks but apparently the monastery needs teachers now rather than later so I agreed to help. I'm SCARED! I hope I do ok! Hopefully there will be some internet cafe nearby because I'd like to update you all as to how I get on there. I've heard from other volunteers that the host family they place you with is really nice and the food is great! YESSSSS!

I have looked at some of the photos of me that I uploaded and I look like a real CHUB! I'm eating less here than I did back in England so don't know what that's about?!

Got to ride on the top of a bus today! I accidentally grabbed a telephone cable while climbing on top of the bus thinking it was some sort of rail! People are only allowed to ride on top of the bus in the countryside and NOT in town where there are cables running all over the place - the journey only lasted 5 minutes but we were all laughing / screaming the whole time.

I'm going to try and upload these photos now - it takes some time here. Hope you like them.

Thanks for all your messages / emails - I love hearing about what you are all getting up to while I am here.

Lots of Love xxxx

Posted by NADZ2 01:32 Archived in Nepal

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Yeah! Great to hear of your adventures in these updates. Pics are also fab - you don't look a chub to me but maybe its to do with altitude and water retention of some kind? Glad you weren't tempted by the barbecued meat anyway! Looking forward to the update on the orphanage and teaching plus your host family. Lots of love xx

by denneth

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