The Wonders of Nepal: the Joy of Holi

So, my Vipassana course ended at 7 am on Sunday, and my flight was only at 7 pm, which meant one more day to discover some Nepali gems.

Initially I planned to come back to Kathmandu and spend the whole day in the spa mixing massages with some food and internet – I had to catch up with everyone after 10 days of silence! But happy that I changed my mind in the very last moment.

Me and 3 other girls decided that we had enough discomfort up to date, so instead of going with everyone on the bus, we asked to call us a taxi. We also asked to call it 30 minutes earlier, so that besides comfort, we’d win some time as well. The guys misunderstood us and called the taxi later, and we were actually the last ones to leave. You can judge the level of comfort from those pictures:

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It was more comfortable to sit still and meditate for hours, rather than have a 30-minute ride in a car with my leg squeezed between the door and the suitcase!

Two girls stayed longer in Nepal, and they decided to go to Bhaktapur – a small town not far from Kathmandu, as it’s less noisy and has lots of sights to offer. Also, we were told by the locals that the Holi festival – when they throw paints and water in the streets – start today. In the early morning I didn’t feel like going to Bhaktapur – I felt like I had no energy to participate in Holi, but during the taxi ride, I reevaluated my state and decided that I don’t want to come back to noisy and dirty Kathmandu, and I can go to the spa anywhere, while experiencing Holi is something truly unique.

How happy I was spontaneous enough to change the plans! It was such a joyful day, and I was glad to spend it with those 2 I met in the course – find out more about their lives and about their Vipassana experiences, to finally have a proper chat with someone, especially someone who can relate to your story!

At around 9 we arrived at Bhaktapur. The city was destroyed by the earthquake, and currently being restored, so to enter the city you need to pay ~$15.

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The locals told us that the Festival will start around 11, so we had some time to have some proper food.

But first – Internet!

We dropped out stuff in one of the hostels and headed to the main square. Sat down in the first cafe which had WiFi, got the tea, and disconnected from the real world for a while.

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Thankfully, it was still very early at our home cities, so we didn’t stay in our Facebooks for too long. Though sitting there in the sun and watching people felt so good!

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We started to feel hungry soon, so I found a Himalayan Java Cafe on Foursquare and we headed there, but couldn’t see it where Foursquare claimed it to be. We asked the locals and they said it’s closed, but recommended another place. On the way to that place we saw a nice looking rooftop restaurant and decided that we’d rather go there. After 10 days of eating mainly plain rice, we were craving all different things, and of course ordered much more than we should have! But the food was delicious, and we were not in a hurry, so spent some time sitting there in the sun, telling stories.

20170312_110329 Bought the T-shirts for Holi 🙂

In a while, we went back to hostel to pack our phones and wallets safely and to meet the hostel people who were so kind to go with us.

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The local hostel dog that looks so cute but in reality is not too friendly 😀

The moment we were out in the street, the colourful war started!

Water mixed with paint was everywhere. Lots of kids were out shouting “Happy Holi” and throwing the bombs into you!

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Paint was fun, but water felt really cold – some people were just showering you from the buckets from the rooftops, so in 10 seconds we were completely soaked!

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The kids would run up to you and put the handful of paint into your mouth, ear, nose or wherever they could reach! And we were quite scared for our phones – the backpacks were soaked, but we put the valuables into plastic bags and they survived.

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We’re back to the hostel to take “safe” pics, take HOT shower (first time in 12 days, it felt SOOOO good!!!) and continue the war from the safe place, throwing the bombs from the hostel terrace 🙂

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I was quite scared of how I would be able to get to the taxi without being attacked again, but the guys from the hostel were so nice to walk us out of the building to the car, so we got in safe and clean.

We had some time before going to the airport, and one of the girls wanted to see Boudhatanath, which I’ve already been to and described it, so we went there, as I really liked that place and wouldn’t mind it to be the last thing I see before leaving Nepal. The third of us stayed at Bhaktapur, as she was still deciding whether she’s going hiking the Everest or coming back home.

30 minutes later we were inside the Boudhatanath Temple, which was more crowded that day due to Holi, but we still enjoyed going around it and checking the souvenir shops.

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I also wanted to have lunch before starting my 20-hour journey back home, so we chose some rooftop restaurant with a view, and enjoyed the food and the sights.

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And this is how my Nepal adventure ends.

I’m really sorry I never made it to Pokhara and some other places, but I didn’t plan that one well enough and had a very limited time. Also, Vipassana was in the main focus, so visiting places and seeing things was not a priority this time. Still, I managed to do and see more than I planned (going hiking and discovering Bhaktapur were unplanned but definitely right decisions).

I want to be back here again to go trekking Everest and visiting Pokhara. But that’s not in the nearest future 🙂


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