'Look at these beautiful clouds!' I said to Zach when we were landing last night to Kathmandu. 'They're not clouds...they're MOUNTAINS!' he replied... We were lucky to land when the sun was setting down and it was one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen, but this one was special because it had the Himalayas in the background.
We were very lucky to have Bichitra waiting for us at the airport and not only has he got us to the his friend's house, where we decided to stay, but also was so kind that he brought us delicious food.
I met Bichitra 10 years ago, while I was visiting Cyprus with my parents, and since then me and him kept in touch. I've always wanted to come and visit him so I was very excited that it's finally happening.
Today we woke up early because our host invited us to watch a basketball game that he coaches every Saturday. We got to play with his cute daughter and the youngest players for a while, until Bichitra arrived to take us to his village, which is about 5km away from Patan in the Kathmandu Valley.
We chose the local transport instead of the taxis. To get to Bichitra's village we had to take a tuk tuk and a bus.
We got to the village quite quickly and after having a little walk around, we went to meet Bichitra's wife, Pramila, his little son, Prachit, and the rest of the family. We couldn't believe how friendly and kind everyone was! Pramila cooked us an amazing lunch and soon we were so full that we could barely move!
While at their house, we also got to play a bit with beautiful Prachit. He will be two years old in February. Bichitra told me that when his son reaches his 2nd birthday, he will have his hair cut, as is the tradition.
In the afternoon Bichitra took us for a walk and to show us the place, in which local men gather once a month to sing. We felt really lucky that by accident we got to participate in this event! It was mesmerising to watch the men play instruments and sing in a big group. The sun was shining, the music was wonderful and everyone seemed to be deeply enjoying their afternoon - we couldn't imagine a better place to be!
One of the men started circling around with a tray on which we noticed yellow and red powders as well as yellow flowers. He was walking up to each person and making a yellow and red dot on each man's forehead as a sign of good spirits taking care of them. We were sure he would omit us as we obviously weren't the usual participants. However, he walked also to us, and made the symbols above our noses.
Bichitra explained that the men gather there once a month about 12pm and stay there for the whole afternoon, singing and having breaks for the tea and food. Occasionally they perform in front of a bigger audience.
After a while, the tea was brewed and passed around, together with the biscuits. We were really nicely surprised how kind everyone was to us and felt very happy to be included in the group!
We continued our afternoon by going for a walk in the fields and around the river. The views, which Bichitra took us to see, were beautiful and the paths steep... As of my personal tradition, I fell down walking on one of them, because I wasn't looking where I was going! Since now on, I'll have a souvenir from my first day in Nepal - two scraped knees. It was totally worth it though, and at least I had a chance to learn for a 100th time to look where under my feet...
At last we came back to Patan, where we're staying. What a wonderful day we had! Packed with so many incredible things - how lucky we are that Bichitra showed us all the local gems and introduced us to his customs?! We can't imagine we would see any of these, if not for him and we're so looking forward to the coming days here!
And here are some of the more beautiful views from the town.