On our overnight train from Varanasi to Gorakphur we shared our bunker with a German brother and sister (Felix and Elena) the four of us seem to get on great and we stuck together on the journey from India to Nepal. After leaving the train station at Gorakphur we got a very full and bumpy bus to the India/Nepal border crossing with our rucksacks strapped to the roof. Border crossed with no problems and a new visa in our passports we got a bus to Bhairawa where we were told we had to get a bus to Lumbini. However the four of us shared a taxi there and shared the cost, a fraction more money but a lot more convenient!
After a very long journey we made it to our first Nepali destination. Guest house found for the night, cold shower done and then out for food! We had our first momos of the trip (little dumpling things filled with veg mixture) we have found that like Indian Thali, momos soon become inedible. Me and Chris got bitten alive by mosquitoes during the night! My feet must have been extra tasty to some unknown bug as I woke up with at least 20 bites on each foot and I was sporting some rather unattractive cankles. Guess this should be expected!
We spent the next day cycling round the Buddhist gardens at Lumbini. Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha and the gardens are dotted with many fascinating temples. Each temple belongs to a different country and lots of countries have decided to build there! My favourite temples were the Chinese monastery one because we saw the monks doing their prayers and the great lotus stupa because it was beautifully painted! The gardens are beautiful to cycle round, with long green grass and small lakes here and there and the colourful bunting draped around. We rode round till the sun started to set. We ended our night with a few beers on the guesthouse terrace with our new friends!
Whilst Lumbini has an Indian feel to it, it felt good to know that our first leg of India was over and we have a break before going back for our second leg. The Buddhist gardens offered the peace and quiet that is hard to come by in India. We hoped that Pokhara, our second Nepali destination would offer us similar tranquility.
The following day we got a 7am bus from Lumbini to Pokhara. After the bumpiest and at times scariest 9 hour journey we made it safe! You have to drive over the mountains and whilst the views are stunning the shear drop to the bottom of the valley is somewhat distracting. We got to our guest house and had our first hot shower in two weeks, aah!
Until next time!