Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Turn an off Day in Nepal into a Great Time

It happens. It happens a lot in Nepal. You have something scheduled; a sightseeing flight, a meeting, a group trek and it gets canceled or delayed. Or you buy the perfect scarf and when you get back to your guesthouse you tell someone how much you paid for it. "Oh, I thought you said 2,500 rupee," she laughs as she gives it a feel. You reply, "I did." 

What to do for the day when you just have to get out of the city? 

My new friend and guest at our guesthouse, Janet, and I spent a day to remember at one of the nicest parks in Nepal, the National Botanical Gardens of Nepal. Assessable by a bus from Lagankhel or micro-bus from Satdobato (districts in Kathmandu City), the National Botanical Garden is an unexpected treat for the day. Clean and so nicely manicured you'd almost think you're in Paris. It's just at the edge of Kathmandu, but it seems like you're way outside the city. I cannot imagine a taxi fee being more than $10.

The first thing I liked was the price, only 226 NRs. Everyone pays the same, Nepali and tourist alike. Most of the people there were Nepali and there were quite a few people this Saturday, young people on dates and families. As we walked around we even passed a movie set getting ready to shoot a scene. 

One thing that becomes clear is how lovely Asia is with its many varieties of flowers. Nepal, with its extreme elevation extremes, is rife with flowers just about everywhere, so having an opportunity to see so many of these native flowers in their more natural habitat is quite interesting. I will never look at a lantana, poinsetia or Rhodendron in the same way again. 


We found this tropical building enjoyable. It was surprisingly cool for a green house, but the day was overcast and rained a bit while we were here. 

One thing that Janet and I both enjoyed seeing were these huge spiders in their webs that were strung between two trees. Janet caught this one with her IphoneIV. I wasn't so lucky.

As we passed this lake it started to rain, a quite nice, gentle rain. This Botanical Gardens is so big we got lost for a bit. They have bees and many interesting areas that have signs to explain about the different aspects of ecology.

As we were leaving we stopped for a cup of coffee and snack. Really impressive! The restaurant was inexpensive and had excellent food. Janet had a lasse with her organic coffee and I had paneer crapes. All together, it was only $4, clean and well prepared. They even had a not-so-scary toilet. 

One of the things that interested me was the trash recepticles and signs. I want to put similar signage in Changunarayan and trash cans. We put about 10 wicker baskets with iron supports, but when I saw these cans I decided to make something more like these.

We really had a nice day and when we got almost up the hill to Changunarayan we drove into a hail storm. I felt bad for our driver because he has a brand new car, but it didn't seem to do any harm. 

Each leaf in this cactus garden had a message on it. It was a nice way to express oneself. 

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