The evening before our departure featured an authentic Nepalese meal and entertainment.
…. And turns out to be a very classy act. The restaurant/cultural center does cater to tourism, but we are surprised at the number of local people out for the evening. We see why as the meal is really good and the entertainment very professional.
Our very special tour guide/host, Arvind, gives us a little background and warns us about the rice “liqueur”, Raksi (local rotgut at 90 proof) that has sent many of the uninitiated toward the door or the floor.
Most people sip, cringe, and put it down. We shoot two with Arvind and have no problem with anything served thereafter!
Here’s a little video to give you a better idea….
Before the main meal we were served Everest beer to chase the Raksi, delicious fried potatoes dipped in a cumin-turmeric-chili sauce (no ketchup), their staple lentil soup, and a plateful of vegetable momos that weren’t too spicy this time. The main had a sauteed spinach-like green, vegetable curry, lamb, water buffalo (since you can’t eat the cows). Dessert was similar to the Indian ultra-sweet (what I call) spongy milk balls (not for me).
It was great fun, but we had to be a bit measured since no one wanted to miss the rescheduled Himalayan flight in the morning.
Wake up call at 5 am so we wouldn’t miss the 6:30 flight along the Himalayas. Our karma was good as the entire mountain chain were poking their heads above the white cloud layer. It couldn’t have been more perfect. What a fitting way to end our spectacular journey and start the long, long (24 hours for some) way home.
Everest (29,028 feet) with Lhotse to the lower right. Problem is, it’s like trying to photograph the Grand Canyon…it can never be as your mind’s eye sees it. I just wish everyone of you can see it in person one day.
A telephoto shot provided by one of our traveling companions, Ulysses Bertazzo (a 17-year old from near Montreal, Canada). Thanks Ulysses!
Now the slogging denouement…. The rest of the day was a series of endless security checks and frisks (Nepal to India to the US), delayed flights (just made it out of Nepal as Air India won’t fly out after dark), layovers (about 6-hours in the Delhi Airport for a 1:30 am flight to JFK), and the final 15-hour flight home. Talk about disorientation!
For those of you who have asked, here is the amazing group of 20 people with whom we shared our journey. They came from all over; California, Las Vegas, Montana, Kentucky, Montreal, Mexico City, Puerto Rico, Queens, NY, and of course, Bordentown, NJ. They ranged in age from 17 to 70+. They were students, retirees, entrepreneurs, artists, and just plain terrific people. Every one was an experienced traveler who wanted to feel the excitement and contrasts of “another world” called India. We did and I’m sure I speak for all when I say we’ll never forget it.
And thanks to you too for joining us in our adventures. Your presence was indeed felt, and your comments made the entire journey more enjoyable. We can’t wait to see you. In the meantime, Happy Travels.
Marsha & Joel