Exercise with a side of Chowmein...
31.8.10 0 °F
Hard hiking was the only thing on the agenda today. I woke up and feasted on another scrumptious bowl of porridge before checking out of the scenic Hotel Nagarkot.
We had a 4 mile hike ahead of us from Nagarkot to a town called Changu Narayan and after a hearty breakfast I was ready to rock!
We said goodbye to Nagarkot and started our walk out of town. I was strolling down the road, observing the wild terrain around me, when I came upon some interesting plant life.
Why this particular plant caught my eye, I have no idea, but it did. This was not the only sighting either, I saw plenty more like this randomly lining the streets. It was just growing out in the open, free for the picking, something I had read about in my Nepal book, but failed to believe until I spotted it myself.
We walked along a windy paved path for a while and enjoyed the mountain breeze and the surrounding sights. After a while we came to a tiny town, which consisted of a few street stalls lining the road. Just to make sure we were headed in the right direction we asked if this was the path to Changu Narayan. A young Nagarakot native assured us we were heading the right way and asked if we wanted to see a short cut. Having walked on the same road for about 2 hours, we agreed to a change of scenery. We ducked off the main road and through a dense thicket.
We walked off the beaten path on a slippery moss-covered road no wider than a foot.
It was a fun detour and after 20 minutes we were back on the main road right outside of Changu Narayan.
I decided that this was a good spot to stop for lunch because my tummy rumblings could no longer be silenced. We stopped underneath a large 'Restaurant' sign, at a small cottage just off the main road. We sat down on a quaint little patio that overlooked the rolling hillside and ordered some chowmein and momos.
My stomach had been nagging me for food for the past hour, so the wait seemed like an eternity. I noticed the woman who took our order, also the owner, venturing out into a garden behind the patio. She was plucking peppers and green beans sprouting off the plant. Turns out that she was also the chef and was preparing our chowmein with seriously fresh veggies! It was delicious and just knowing how natural it was, made it that much more appealing.
We continued to walk a while longer before we boarded a mini bus to a town called Bhaktapur.
I had heard great things about this medieval town and the guide book said that Bhaktapur is what Kathmandu used to look like before it became so populated. I was specifically looking forward to exploring the ancient temple which has a documented history dating back to the 5th century.
We could have kept on walking but decided to take a mini bus instead. I could feel my blisters pulsating underneath their cotton cottages and they begged for a break.
The bus pulled up to the center of town and we disembarked eager to explore.
We walked through the gates of Bhaktapurs Dubar Square and were abruptly halted by a group of ticket takers. "Ticket? What ticket?" I asked. We hadn't even come to the temple yet, we were in the middle of town. They had to explain it to me a few times before I came to the understanding that I would have to pay just for being in their town, not to mention the fee I would incur once I entered the palace. The fee was outrageous and more than I had paid to enter the Taj Mahal. This was no Taj Mahal and I did not plan for this kind of shake down.
We took a few photos just to say we'd been there, chucked up a deuce and hailed a cab out of there. So, Bhaktapur, thanks for nothing!
- SIDENOTE: The show I was working on at AMS Pictures in Dallas TX, entitled "Ma's Roadhouse", premieres on September 15th at 9pm! http://www.trutv.com/shows/mas-roadhouse/index.html
From Executive Producer Andy Streitfeld and AMS Pictures, comes Ma's Roadhouse a new reality show on TrueTV!
Rick Fairless is the owner of Strokers Dallas, a Texas motorcycle shop, tattoo parlor and biker bar. His greatest asset is his 71-year-old mother, who's also his best, but most outspoken, employee. Can Rick keep his business afloat? And can Ma keep her hands off the bartender?
I wish I could be there to watch it with all the hardworking people at AMS but at least, by then, I will be back in the states and watching intently from my TV at home You guys rock!