12 June 2009

My Last Resort

I told you about the bandas the other weekend. I didn't get the chance to tell you about our fantastic weekend. Rather than just sit listening to music, this time our visit to The Last Resort took in Canyoning and a High Ropes course I have wanted to try for months.

I remember reading about Canyoning in the Lonely Planet this time last year. When I was on a plane back to Australia from Italy. I was so excited. Waterfalls, abseiling, rock climbing, hidden areas you couldn't access any other way. I'm glad I did it, but I have to be honest, the experience itself was a little underwhelming. Kind of just like abseiling, but your shoes get wet.

[Rosie's already gone! AAAAAAHHHHHHH!]

Not like the ropes course. This was an amazing activity. This was one of the last weekends that I was going to have a chance to spend with a group of my friends together. Over the past and coming weeks, people have started to disappear. They are going home. Somehow I managed to land myself in a crowd that are all leaving within a month of each other.

I was paired with Sanjana, a great experience as we have never really had much one on one time. She was so nervous at the beginning. "No Rob. I can't do it, go without me!". At that point we were about 1 metre from the ground. As we approached the end she jumped onto the last platform and gave me a low (she's short) five. She made it through 7 stations, including one where I pretty much dropped her. Luckily we're still friends...

We were all so proud she made it. On the way back to Kathmandu in the bus, you should have heard her chattering away to her mother, telling her all about wht she had just accomplished.

[Flo and Ulli, the intrepid Austrian adventurers]

The bus ride back (after the banda business) provided one of the greatest feelings and views I have had here. As the sun set in the west, we could see 2 mountains ranges distinctly to the north and north-west. The sun had set over the rest of Nepal, but it was still dancing over the tops of the mountains to the north. Gradually, the north-western mountains became cast in shadow. For about 45 minutes, as our bus twisted left and right, climbing the hills to get back to Kathmandu, I craned my neck this way and that. Resting against the window when they were on my side, straining in my seat, and shifting the eggplants nestled between my legs (remember we took a bus that was free as a result of the banda, turns out it was delivering supplies to the Last Resort) so I could get a view when they were on the other side.

I briefly contemplated getting out my camera and making a feeble attempt to get a photo. They were too far away, and nothing, no photo or description could do the scene justice. Immediately words came into my hed to describe it, and the feeling I had just then. But even as they came to me I could feel them slipping away as I got closer to those Himals even as they got further away.

The time I saw the sun set below the clouds in Perth and rise again below them only to set over the ocean again wasn't as good as this. That time we were 4x4'ing in Moab, and above the desert of Utah you could see the snow covering the mountains. It was cool. But it wasn't this. That time we spent Australia Day of 2000 on top of Switzerland throwing snowballs at each other. That wasn't this either. Not even floating down the Seine on a houseboat, staring at the sky from the top of our boat.

You have probably heard me go on many times about what these mountains are like. But there really is nothing like them. Nothing in Australia, anyway. You have no idea how frustrating it is to know that if there was no pollution or dust in Kathmandu, that you could see these every day. That you could almost throw a rock at them. As it is, we may as well be living in the Sahara for the amount of times I have seen the mountains from my house.

I have lived here for a year, and although it's not my country, I still feel the pride that Sanjana does when she stares out at those beautiful mountains. I am going to miss you Nepal.
[not mine, stole this from here and it simply doesnt do it justice]


Amy xxoo said...

I think its great that you feel that way Rob. YOu could have been there for a year and left cynical and jaded by some of thge experiences that you've had.

So i think its a testament to you and the Nepali people - the Nepali experience - that you'll be leaving in love. As it were.

Isa said...

Sounds like a great experience, and a great way to finish off your AYAD time in Nepal!

Just out of interest, do you see yourself returning to Nepal in the future?