Categories Nepal Travel Junkie Diary of

Ghida Arnaout

Saturday, September 7, 2013
Ghida ArnaoutLike0

A dietitian and health professional at Slim N’ Lite Diet center managing her own nutrition blog ghinutrileaks.com on the side, Ghida is the mirror of music is what feelings sounds like. Her blog defines her love for music and fashion with the world. ” Music is a HUGE part of my life probably the biggest and most important. I’m always on the search for new songs, bands…. And when I find something worth sharing I post it on the blog. I also post my fashion style which is also influenced by music a lot. I’m into street style!”

Destination Nepal

2013 didn’t start well for me at all. I had a hip injury that left me unable to walk on my own for 3 months. And being the active person I am it was one of the most difficult thing I have ever experienced. Then I had to leave my job and my year was really going in the wrong direction. I felt the need to be by myself and disconnect from my life so I just booked a ticket to Nepal and took off in April solo.

Stayed at I wanted my trip to be random so the only hotel I booked previously was Kathmandu Guest House. I arranged with them to pick me from the airport knowing that I will be arriving at 11 pm I didn’t want to risk not having the proper ride in a city I don’t know. However, my flight was delayed a bit and when I arrived there no one waiting. I managed to find the guy later but boy that was one of the scariest rides of my life. The streets were empty and bumpy and there were no lights on the streets so I was pretty relieved when I saw the hotel.

The hotel, which was once a mansion, is in Thamel, which is an area anyone planning to visit Kathmandu should see. I booked the room facing the garden view. It’s a very nice hotel and when you are wandering the dirty streets of Kathmandu it is exactly what you want to go back to. The buffet breakfast wasn’t too impressive but it was fine. I was disappointed that there was no hot water and it was a bit chilly and raining when I arrived. The staff however were very friendly and helpful. They told me where to go in Kathmandu and helped me book my ticket to Pokhara the next day.

I had no hotel booked in Pokhara because I have read about a yoga place there that I wanted to try so when I arrived at the airport I took a taxi directly there. Located on top of a hill in a village in Pokhara, Sadhana Yoga was exactly what I needed. When I got our of the yoga center, I checked in at Hotel Travel Inn. It was perfect. The room was almost 20$ per night, breakfast was as little as 3$ and it was really clean and convenient. They were also very nice and kept my luggage there for 3 days when I decided I wanted to go camping at a music festival.

Month  April

In your suitcase I only took a backpack with me for this trip. I had 3 loose pants, 5 t-shirts, 2 sweaters for the night, 2 pairs of shoes (Toms and converse) and one pair of Havaianas and 2 shorts. I knew that it was going to be rainy so I took with me a foldable raincoat. I also took mosquito repellant and a flashlight (electricity tends to go off a lot).

Dined at Although Pokhara was full of restaurants offering pizza and burgers I tried to avoid those places as much as I can. I wanted to eat Nepali food all the time. Their famous foods include momos which are kind of vegetable filled dumplings and Dal baht (I ate that almost everyday).

Shopped Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to shop at all. I went to the market, which are basically shops all along the one main street of Pokhara on my last day before my flight. I bought some leather bags, Harlem pants, a lot of anklets, incense and books. I was amazed at the amount of bookshops that Nepal has.

Diary The first two days in Pokhara I spent them at Sadhana Yoga center. I wanted to learn some yoga and meditation basics and it was the perfect place for that. It is located on a hill overlooking the lake in Pokhara. The view is so peaceful it was like heaven. They put me in a room with another German girl and there I met random people who were there with their different stories. My stay there was really enlightening. You learn discipline and how to be calm (something I totally am not). Our days at the center consisted of early meditation, yoga, hiking, more meditation and more yoga. They cook for you 3 vegetarian organic meals per day and I used to wait impatiently for those meals. They were so good I could eat the whole pan.

Having to spend 48 hours eating, sleeping, meditating and talking with people from Nepal as well as random people from around the world was food for the soul. You see how each person is an open book with lots of secrets and suffering hidden inside. After two days at Sadhana, I decided to leave and start discovering Pokhara. First thing I did was find a hotel. And since Sadhana had solar heaters and there was no sun for 2 days I was dying for a hot bath! I read about Hotel Travel Inn in lonely planet and once I saw it I loved it and checked in. I had only one day to discover Pokhara since me and some of the people I met at the center decided to go to Bandipur for the weekend to attend the highest music festival in the world, Universal Religion.

First thing I did was going to Phewa lake and renting a boat. To my luck it had stopped raining and I can enjoy walking around in the sun. You can either row the boat yourself or have someone row it for you. The trip on the boat was about 30 minutes. The scenery is phenomenal and so relaxing. You can also swim but only in the middle of the lake. We crossed the lake and I had him drop me off on the other side so that I can hike to the World Peace Pagoda. The hike up the mountain took me about 2 hours and it was worth every second. The trail is clear and safe just make sure to have water with you at all times. When I arrived to the top I was starving so I stopped at a small restaurant and had a plate full of noodles and took a moment to enjoy the view of the mountains and the lake. I then hiked down and was searching for Devi’s falls and some landmarks one should see around Pokhara.

At night I met up with friends from the center and we went to a small pub with a live band called Busy Bee. It was pretty cool.

Friday was a day full of events. I had booked paragliding the day earlier although my doctor clearly told me I wasn’t allowed to do it but seeing people jumping off mountains all day makes it pretty hard to listen to your doctor. Starting your day jumping off a mountain and wandering in the sky was just perfect. This is a must do in Nepal.

In the afternoon, I met up with the people from the center so that we hit the road to Bandipur. We shared a taxi and it was raining so badly. Honestly I was scared. The guy wasn’t the best driver ( or maybe the fact that we arrived safely shows that he is!), the roads were bumpy, we were going uphill and downhill and the storm kept getting worse. After three hours of this torture, we finally made it and it was already night by then and still raining. We set up our tent and hit the dance floor.

Universal Religion was my first music festival experience and it was just amazing. Three days of non stop psychedelic trance music with peaceful people who are there just to blend in and lose themselves to the music. When the morning came I could finally see the view and magical is not an enough word to describe it. Three days I got so connected to everyone around me and met a lot of real hippies who just wander the world selling their jewelry and living in the jungle. When I got tired from dancing, I used to go out and wander the village of Bandipur which is one of the prettiest villages I have ever seen till now.

On the last day of the festival, I was going to take a bus back to Pokhara but a friend I made when I was paragliding (he is a pilot) insisted that I go back with him on his motorbike. And being my impulsive adventurous self I said what the heck. It was like the cherry on top on my trip. Four hours going down a mountain on a bike, surrounded by nature, rivers and wooden houses. I almost cried (actually I did). I mean can it get any better? Yes! When it started raining a bit and you can smell the soil while feeling the wind in your face.

My flight was the next day and that was the end of trip. Of course my heart was breaking. I didn’t want to leave at all. I fell in love with this country so much.

Tips If you are a girl traveling alone like I did, I recommend you not doing my mistake and arriving in Kathmandu at 11 pm. Try to arrive during the day. I bought a Nepali number upon arrival and kept it with me at all times. Although the Nepali people are so nice and peaceful always be cautious and aware.

After my experience in meditation and their religion (Hindu) I am definitely going to start learning how to do it right. They believe in positive energy so much that there is no way you would not feel it when you are there.

A lot of people mainly go to Nepal to do trekking and rafting and all those adventures. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do them but it is much recommended.

Mode of travel I booked a ticket through Fly dubai to Kathmandu that was as cheap as 1000 aed. Local airlines there are almost all the same.

Nepal trip influenced me so much that I got a lotus flower which is a symbol of Buddhism and Hinduism  tattooed on my back. ” If you feel lost , disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.” Masaru Emoto

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6 comments

  1. richstew says:

    What a great read! Just the inspiration i needed, planning to go to Nepal in June for 2 weeks, can’t wait!

  2. Dana K. says:

    Love this site!!! YOU GUYS ROCK really inspiring stuff!!! Thank you Ghida and Travel Junkie team! Nepal is now on my bucket list!

  3. Yas says:

    hello travel junkie peeps. nice article to read after a long day hard at work, makes you dream of your next vacation destination. Someone should def proofread it though. hello spelling mistakes. I really hope she bought incense and not incests…

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