woensdag 14 september 2011

An Adventure Trip to the Tibetan Border

I announced it months ago as an event on Facebook: We are going on a trip! Who wants to join? And finally it was September first and Alec, Deep, Marie and me were ready for it. Let's go! And packed with adventure spirit we got in the bus to head off to... the Tibetan Border! After a 4,5 hour busride with many landslides on the road and beautiful views we arrived in Kodari. The small town on a river. The bridge over this river leads to the Chinese border and is called The Friendship Bridge.In the middle of the bridge was a line in the ground, the border. And there I stuck my hand or shook hands with China! Deep even had the courage to step one foot into China, even though the soldier on watch frightened us by giving us a scare!

The Friendship Bridge to Tibet/China

After that it was time to walk to Tatopani: a small village just south of the border. Tato Pani means Hot Water. And that is exactly what this village had to offer: Springs with very hot water. The springs were Nepali fashioned and very nice and warm! A good way to end the day, oh and let’s not forget the Lasa beer and the Dahl Bat the guesthouse made for us.

Lasa and the Bhote Kosi River

Next day we got up to visit an old fort: Dunganagadi. The real adventure was about to start! All we had was a name of this fort and we slowly found out how to get there. First we had our first experience of a ten minute busride ON TOP of a bus!

On top of the bus...

After the thrilling bus ride we crossed the Bhote Kosi river on a suspension bridge... and started making our way up for 3 hours. It was heavy but more and more beautiful views the further up we came. Until we were up and actually ended up in the clouds... gone was the view! Next thing it started raining and we were sitting underneath our umbrellas on the fort. An amazing fort with a special story to it...

The Prince and the Dynamite Girl
Once this place was a secret meeting place for two young lovers: a prince from Nepal and a rich girl from China. They loved each other but they knew their love had no future. Their countries and families hated each other more than love could heal.

They would try and disappear from their families every now and then to meet and make love. On this special place perched on a high hill top they could see both China and Nepal.

The royal family had an army but the Chinese girls family was the inventor of dynamite... The girl and the prince knew when it was time to get back home. This was when either the Prince his army started moving or when the Chinese family started to use their dynamite. Both out of anger of not knowing were their daughter or the prince were. After they met a couples of times on the hill, they once stayed too long. Next thing what happened the Nepalese army and the Chinese dynamite family met each other on the shores of the Bhote Kosi River. The prince was ready to give up his army but the girl saw the two groups and their hatred towards each other and she did not want het family or anybody to die. She knew he and the prince could never meet again.

So she left the prince and went back to her family and prevented the fight. But the prince never gave up hope that the girl would someday come back and therefore he build a fort on that same spot to look out for her.

jumping at the fort

While sitting in the rain the enemy showed itself for the first time: leeches! After some serious checking up and getting rid of some nasty ones we decided to hike down. Deep got very enthusiastic and decided to go and run down... and strained his knee! Alec his medical toolkit came out( read: medicine) and after some serious drugs Deep was up and ready to go again. Back in Tatopani we got back into the hot springs for some serious relaxation. The next day we got on top of the bus towards The Last resort: a place for some serious bungee and canyon swing jumping! Before I knew it we were in the Last Resort and I signed up for the canyon swing! It was crazy and amazing, and this video(not with me!) gives an idea what a canyon swing is like.

All together an amazing trip, thanks to Alec, Deep and Marie!!

Back in Kathmandu its back to work again... besides the job there were the last of the goodbye parties and Daniel, Hanneke and Michele came back from their LangTang trail. Time to get Daniel into running with the Himalayan Hash House Harriers! And Daniel did it, he ran 10 km through rice fields, villages and mountains, downed a good beer after it and to finish it all smashed himself into a pool of mud!! Daniel is now more convinced than ever to come back! This Tuesday was another Hash run called a Full Moon Hash. It was through the city center of Patan in the dark, with flashlights, past temples and small squares with people dancing and singing because of a small festival. It was beautiful!

The Himalayan Hash House Harriers Group

But for now... it’s time for a culture shock in reverse! I am going back to Holland and Greece for a three week holiday. In the meantime Daniel and Michele will write some host blogs of their time in Nepal!