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I arrived in Nepal without much of a plan. Any vague ideas I had come up with for my trip was tossed aside pretty quickly. Contradicting information and advice really confused me in the beginning. Things changed daily. I pretty much winged it the whole way, like this trek.

Oct 28, 2014 (pm)

In Berithani, 200 rupees ($2) for a room with a view of beautiful river. Reminds me a bit of Khudi, but this is a larger town, the beginning/end of Ghorepani trek.

room with a view, Berithani river, Annapurna

So yes, plan changed again, as expected. Was told I could bus from Pokhara to Phedi then jeep to Pothana. Got off at Phedi at the trail head where I could have started, but looked at the steep stairs and didn’t want to move (saw porters carrying huge loads down in the rain, covered by plastic sheet! Followed about 1/2 hour later by a group of tourists). Was then told could get jeep to either Dhampus, before Pothana, or Ghandruk, after it, so I chose the later, trying to minimize walking on shared roads with motorized traffic. A group of people sheltering from the rain at roadside tea house flagged a jeep down for me, but not a normal transport jeep. I just went along. Fell asleep half of the way, woke up to see the sky clearing up a bit and light pouring down glazing over the valley and terraces below. If there’s no storm, there’s no clearing up! That moment of light. Got to a town where the driver dropped off stuff and greeted people. And was told it was Nayapul, not among the 3 places mentioned before but was assured I was still in the right direction! Ok! Just not what I came to expect. Driver talked with a bunch of people, about my situation I suppose, before driving down to valley and dropping me off at check-post in Berithani, because he wasn’t going any further. By this point, I was thoroughly confused about these villages names and where I should start walking.

Pokhara, Berithani, light after storm

Check-post worker pointed out a taxi going up to Kimche (I assumed another village on the trail) for $8 but thought that was a bit expensive so I said no. Found out that tomorrow morning there will be bus up there after 9, so I’m gonna take that one instead. Still not sure which way to go after that. Could just do Ghorepani loop like planned but that’s gonna be only a few days. Was considering ABC (Annapurna base camp/sanctuary trek) but feel very unprepared with this weather. Can try to go as far as possible before being forced to turn back. As said, should just take it by the day. Didn’t see Berithani mentioned much – I guess people just trek right through it – but I find it quite pretty here, picturesque. Especially now. Cotton candy white clouds on blue sky, mountains on all sides, a few terraced fields with yellow ripe crops below, right above the river.

Berithani river, Nepal, Annapurna

It’s so cool. Sitting inside my room writing and still can listen to the river outside. I just love the sound of water moving in nature: oceans, rivers, waterfalls…

Berithani town, children holding hands, Nepal

Berithani town, girl cooking outdoor, Nepal

(… note about a friend’s personal matter…) But us, the modern girls of VN, caught in between traditions and opportunities, between the shoulds and the coulds/cans, we can never be too sure. Not knowing if it’s something about ourselves or if it’s our situations that make it so hard. Life. Love. The things that should be simple, and yet so complicated. Always. The quote that I read … has become one of my favorites: “Life is understood backward, but can only be lived forward.” There’s no way around it.

Things that happened during the first few days when I wasn’t keeping notes:

– Sat next to a French guy on the plane KUL-KTM. Diving instructor for 10 years and now manages a dive shop in Koh Samui! We talked about diving, traveling, life, being spiritual (or not). He speaks English like a German.

– It was Diwali here! I think Nepal is much less intense than India, religiousness, celebration (and much less visible destitution on the street and the attitude of treating poor people like dirt)

– Went to P and S house for dinner on Diwali. It’s a beautiful house with a nice garden. P has a nice big belly but she’s so cute and skinny and seems so comfortable walking around. In Hawaii, I used to think S was so lucky to have P but now I think they’re such a great match, though might not look like it the first time the way Z and R look together.

– S’s father’s family photo is amazing. 1 dad, 9 sons, 1 grandson. So many different expressions and attitudes!

– Found out Z & R’s relationship is very atypical: intercaste, long time dating, signing the paper without the wedding. Such a beautiful couple.

– Paid $40 for a freaking designer sari blouse. I so regret it and wish I hadn’t. The embroidery should be in gold!