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‘Laatste nacht in Patan’

– Reiservaring Nepal: Patan na een trekking –    

With my eyes closed I feel the hot water running over my body. It must have been over a week ago since I’ve had one hot shower after finishing our trek. I thought I had gotten used to the cold ones, but feeling this makes me realise how fortunate we are to consider hot water from tap as a matter of fact. The soft light of the candles, fresh flowers and subtle scent of incense make the moment so perfect. I wrap the huge fluffy towel all around my body while the fresh breeze makes the white linen curtains dance. The double bed feels comfortable, the sheets smell fresh and my head sinks in the soft pillows.

Floor Veegens 2

Tears well in my eyes. They are a combination of true happiness and sadness. It has always been okay to go back after four weeks of travelling. This trip has been one big unforgettable experience in every aspect from the trekking, to the people I’ve met and from delicious mushroom curries to traditional Buddhist ceremonies and many more unique experiences. It was all I wanted and more and I feel a sincere gratitude for being able to create these special opportunities to do what in love most; explore life by travelling. I just have to go back to this marvellous and surprising country full of lovely people.

This morning at the airport I was restless. I want so badly to sit at the left side of the plane to have the perfect view on the mountains. My patience is tested by a delayed plane, but I’m rewarded with a clear sky and someone who tells me exactly what part of the Himalayas is presenting itself  impressively to us. I could watch the snowy peaks all day long.

In Kathmandu I need a moment to find my breath again in the polluted, dusty, heavy air of the city. I’ve chosen Patan for my last night. When the taxi finds it’s way through the narrow streets full of traditional Newari style houses I feel instant happiness that I’ve chosen to stay away from the touristic crowds of Thamel.

Ajay and his wife are waiting for me and take me to a hidden gem for lunch. There is no sign indicating this place. It’s narrow and dark. We sit on low wooden benches with our backs against a concrete wall darkened by smoke. Meat hangs from the ceiling, drying. Two women sit on the floor surrounded by pots and pans continuously preparing delicious food and handling payments at the same time. I’m happy to have Ajay with me as the interaction with the locals leads to loud laughter. Soon our table is filled with lentil with egg pancakes, marinated potatoes, chickpeas in a curry, fried dried meat, roasted soybeans and some rice wine that I drink with Sprite.

We cross the Dubar Square and enter a lush, spacious and quiet green garden full of flowers. We have cappuccino and apple pie. When I look around and see the old royal palace I know we’re still around the same royal square, but the contrast could not be bigger.

I find my way to the Golden Temple and my breath is taken by it’s beauty. A man is sunken in prayer chants rhythmically. He has a fine voice. The small temple is quiet giving the perfect chance to take a close look at the refined magical creatures, dancers, superfluous decorations. But also to just sit down and feel the peace radiated by this stunning quiet temple amidst bustling city life.

When I enter the Dubar Square, a square once built by the king with his palaces and multiple temples to show his devotion to the various gods, the sun is setting. In a far distance is see a snowy peak with an orange glow.

The goodbye could not have been more perfect!

11 november 2014

– Reiservaring Nepal: Patan na een trekking –    

Floor Veegens