Day 1 October 3rd 2014
Arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal this afternoon, greeted by the lovely Bodhi, Venerable Metteyya and his two brothers Rockey and Aki. It was lovely being greeted by such kind faces after such a long journey. In Nepal, you are often greeted with a silk white or yellow coloured greeting scarf called a Khata; such a beautiful welcoming gesture. My roommate for the trip, Gina arrived from Ireland shortly after. She’s such a ball of energy, I have a feeling we are going to have a lot of fun together this trip!
Had my first experience using Nepalese toilets, out back behind the airport, squatting toilets with no toilet paper and a tap on the side of the wall to be used for what I think would replace toilet paper?? at least I wasn’t charged to use the facilities…. Yet?
Our hotel is absolutely lovely, called the Sacred Valley Inn. It’s located in the heart of the tourism district of Kathmandu called Thamel. 4-5 stars in this side of the world seem to get you a single bed with a decade old television, washroom with shower tilled into the wall and thankfully toilet paper! I thought they were quite lovely accommodations considering the poverty surrounding us but defiantly not a place of a closed minded individual.
This evening Gina and I had a couples massage at Seeing Hands Massage Therapy. The clinic is run by all blind people! A UK charity called Seeing Hands Nepal came over to Nepal and trained its employees and now the clinic is self-sustaining! Click here to read more about the organisation and if you are ever in Kathmandu or Pokhara, I’d recommend going to them for a message, my experience was fantastic. I was wondering though how they became blind and if blindness is common in Nepal due to the prevalence of disease and infection here? I found out later 3 in every 100 people in Nepal are blind and this is mainly due to malnutrition and poor hygiene, two things that are relatively avoidable with the proper education.
So Gina and I just met, like a half hour before the massage, when the ladies from seeing hands ask us to strip and get on the message tables! No need for boundaries on this trip, we’ve already become quite aquatinted in the first hour though! At least we didn’t need to feel self-conscious around the masseuses!
The massage was lovely but boy Gina and I both are super sensitive so you heard a lot of oohh’s and ouch’s in the period of that hour. We both had deep tissue messages and I don’t know what caused it but after the message we were both dizzy and felt almost drunk. Walking the 500 meters back to our hotel was a challenge. Yet another experience to add to the books!