Where do I even begin? Today marks my 100 days of sabbatical and as more time passes with my travels in Asia the more immune I become to the weird and ridiculous experiences that are bestown upon me. The outrageous become natural and I find myself not completing my day which such bafflement as when I first began my quest. I have sat for a few days now trying to find the language necessary to fully depict the scene of the following story but concluded that nothing close will outline my experience.
On Thursday afternoon, September 25th, two newly found Israeli friends, my travel buddy and I found the day pleasant enough to take a boat ride and check out some temples on and around the lake of Pokhara. We purchased the return boat package for 750 rps ($8.80) which meant we could visit the World Peace stupa and be returned to the pier.
The hike to the world peace stupa would take close to an hour. Another accent in the heat, through jungle, keeping a watchful eye out for sneaky monkeys and other jungle like creatures. We reach the base of the stupa to find there had been a landslide. In order to enter the stupa grounds we had to lightly trudge through the debris to access the other side.
Upon arrival we discover that due to the August 25th landslides the stupa is closed and has been now for some weeks. Now this would be fine, annoying and agitating but fine, had it not began to rain torrentially or better still had someone told us that we would be hiking for nothing. This rain was by far the worst I have ever experienced and living in Thailand for a year exposes you to plenty of torrential monsoon rains.
The decent was incredibly slippery, I was soaked to the bone, my bag was a sloppy mess and the clouds had crept in rapidly disabling our visibility. Three of us had no umbrella or rain protection what so ever, we slipped and tripped, jumped over rushing rivers and found ourselves walking/climbing down newly formed waterfalls. The water had risen on the paths up to my calves, flooding my boots and anything in it’s path.
Darkness crept in eerily quickly and it took approximately an hour to combat the elements. As I was the first one down I discovered early that our ‘return’ ticket had been voided and the guy had decided to row himself to the dryness and safety of the other-side, to civilisation. I was furious!
By now it is dark, the rain is still pouring, without a sign of easing, it has begun to thunder lightly and the sky began to omit the only light we had to see. A man had offered us to paddle across in his boat but of course at an additional fee. They had us! We were stranded on an island with no where to go and no protection and the ideal of spending the night wet under a hut was not appealing.
Yeffet joined the man in paddling us across while the 2 girls huddled in the middle under the umbrella and I to be exposed to the elements. If any of you have ever seen the tarot card- coming in from trouble waters ( above image) then this was me except with no light and a lot of rain. Huddled in the smallest ball I could form with water in the boat to my ankles freezing and chattering like a wind up monkey. The boat owner removed his jacket and placed it over my head to keep me warm and the rain directly off my body. To him I am forever grateful.
We made it across in one physical piece, mentally exhausted and our spirits also dampened. Yet another incident that makes a story and adds to character.