A few days ago, I had headed to a food stall, that I had not visited in months. Unfortunately when I arrived, the food stall vendor was in the midst of packing up to leave, as she was done for the morning. She had completed selling everything she had brought that morning. In the midst of our conversation, she mentioned that her sister had begun operating a food stall close by, where she makes “dosai” also known as “dosa” and another dish, “roti canai”. These dishes are amongst the many varieties of dishes that are available here, and that is usually eaten for breakfast. Well, since it had been a really long time since I ate a “dosai” or “roti canai”, I had decided to head over to her stall.
On arriving at her stall, and after exchanging pleasantries, I proceeded to look at the list of items on her menu. In my mind I had visualised an image of a “rava dosai”, and knew that, that was what I wanted. However, when I placed my order, I ordered a “masala dosai” (I had not “realised” this, at that point of time).
I then saw her scoop a ladle full of batter (flour mixture) from a pot, and spread the entire content from the ladle onto the huge, flat pan which was on the stove. A few minutes later, I saw her adding some masala mixture that had already been cooked, onto the batter that was getting cooked on the pan . That masala mixture is the stuffing for the “dosai” and comprised of small pieces of chopped potatoes, chicken, chickpeas and onion. Only then, did I realise, that I had placed the wrong order. I got played by my brain…lol!!!
My “masala dosai” was a takeaway or some may refer to it as a takeout. So, to curb the spread of covid19, our country is presently placed under the Movement Control Order (MCO) which is sort of similar to a lockdown, and due to this, restaurants, cafes, bars are not open for dine-in. However, takeaway/takeout is allowed.
Later that morning I was thinking…”why did I get my order wrong?” I then remembered that, at that point of time, at the food stall, whilst I was visualising an image of a “rava dosai”, I was simultaneously telling myself, that I did not want a “masala dosai”. But when it came time to place my order, my brain tricked me…hmmm…lol. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my “masala dosai” that morning, with a hot cup of coffee.
Some may not know what a “masala dosai” is. Here are some pics.
Well that’s my story, and when I think about it, the corners of my mouth turns upwards forming a smile.
Back in 2018 a friend of mine who has been running in organised running events, asked me if I would be interested to join her and a group of her friends for a Run. The upcoming Run at that time was the National Geographic (NatGeo) – Earth Day Run. The minute I heard NatGeo, I was excited… lol. I thought to myself “Wow, this is going to be something exciting and glamorous”… lol.
Having not participated in any event that involved running or marathons, I was excited and had agreed to give it a go, just because, it’s…NatGeo! Hmmm…the things some of us do…! They had a few categories like the 10 km, 15 km and so on. The category for the 10km distance was already closed, and the organizers were no longer accepting participants, as it was already full for that category. The next category available was the 15km distance that my friend and her group had already registered for. So at that point I thought I will give a go at it, whilst having no clue, what it would be like to participate in a 15km distance category.
The day finally arrived on 22 April 2018. The night before i.e. on 21 April, I had set my alarm on, on my phone, to wake up at a specific time that morning. I had however found myself waking up every few hours before the alarm on the phone had went off. It must have been the nervousness, excitement or I may have just been afraid that I may oversleep, and that may have resulted in me waking up so frequently that morning.
So, that morning we arrived in Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam, and then headed to the designated venue, where the event was scheduled to begin. On arriving there, that was the first time ever that I had realized that there were so many people participating that morning. That scene was mind blowing for me at that time. I thought to myself…wow…people actually do not mind waking up at unearthly hours, to prep themselves, and then to arrive at a designated venue to…just…run!
While we were there, we decided we ought to take a pic with the banner 🙂
What are the thoughts that go through the mind of a runner, while they run in organised running events or marathons?
During the run, I had noticed so many of the runners passing me by, and going ahead of me… and I had thought to myself… goodness, will I ever make it to the end?, will I complete the run within the qualifying time, in order to get that medal? During that Run my thoughts “travelled” everywhere… lol… after awhile my thoughts returned to “that” present moment, focused. I was running and even walking, at times. We also caught a glimpse of the sunrise that morning and it was spectacular. Some runners took photos of the sunrise and some even, at some signages that indicated distance remaining, to complete the run. Being the first time for me, I was like, “if I’m going to stop and take photos, that’s going to delay me”. So, I did not take any photos 😉 I was thankful however, that I had completed it within the qualifying time.
This is us, our group, thankful that we all completed the Run.
I had not realised then, that this was going to be another journey of mine. That, participating in the NatGeo Run had set my pathway to participate in many more other Runs, to come, and, that like many other thousands of runners, I too was going to be waking up at some unearthly hour, and also eating something light, at some unearthly hour of the morning, on the day of a Run. Majority of the Runs take place in the mornings. Very few take place in the evenings.
I found my self participating in other organised Runs and Marathons. I have however not run a marathon, i.e. 21 km or 42 km distance. However, some of my friends in our group have participated in these two categories. After the NatGeo Run, I had participated in 10km Runs and a 21 km Asics Relay Run.
Here are some pics from some of the events that we had participated in.
I have not posted all the photos from all of our Runs/Marathons that we had participated in, but have just shared a few here. I decided to write this, as today being Earth Day had reminded me of my first Run, and it was the Earth Day Run.
Have a great day, and thank you for reading. Cheers!
This post is a continuation from the previous post.
We had arrived back in Pokhara from Nayapul, and had checked-in to Amazing Lake View accommodation for the night. It lived up to its name! We were given a room at the top floor of this low rise building, and we had an amazing view of Phewa Lake, from the balcony outside our room.
When we were walking around in Pokhara town later that day, after lunch, we noticed that there were a few massage outlets in town. We walked into one, and we both had a leg massage, as our overtired legs were screaming for some tlc. It felt good after the massage.
The next morning, after breakfast, we had walked around Pokhara town, as we had some free time for ourselves, before heading to the airport, to fly back to Kathmandu.
Later that day when we arrived at the airport, we were informed that our flight was going to be delayed, due to bad weather…rain. We had only boarded our flight 3 hours after the scheduled time.
Back in Kathmandu, we had returned to Kathmandu Guest House (KGH), our accommodation for the night. When we went to check-in, we were pleasantly surprised when we were informed, that they had upgraded our room, with no extra charge. Well… of course we were happy 🙂 So, we had walked into a much larger and spacious room, compared to the room we were given, during our stay on the first night at KGH.
The following morning, we had breakfast in the same Diner, but this time we sat inside the diner, rather than on the outside, as there were no more seats available outside the Diner. There were many more people dining that morning, compared to when we were first there about a week earlier.
Having sat inside the Diner, we had discovered that KGH was a big fan of the band “The Beatles”. Here are some pics of what The Beatles Diner looked like, on the inside.
After breakfast we had headed out to visit Kathmandu city.
Here are some pics taken at and around Swayambhunath Stupa – Temple, and it’s situated on a hilltop. We had also seen many monkeys around the grounds of the temple. Pics below are courtesy of Mel 🙂
We later had headed to visit Boudhanath Stupa. Here are some pics taken at the square over there.
Our next stop was Bhaktapur, the cultural city, which is also known to be the oldest city in Nepal. If you are a fan of anything ancient, Bhaktapur is a must visit, and be prepared to walk a lot here.
We had covered a lot of ground here as there was much to see.
After having spent time in Bhaktapur, we had then returned to our guest house.
Later that evening, we said our goodbyes to the friendly staff of the guest house, before heading to the airport for our return journey home, after 9 days in Nepal.
Three years ago today, we were leaving Nepal to return home.
Thank you for reading all of my posts, on our journey.
We are in Tadapani, and its the morning of day 4 of our trek. The night before we had decided to sleep in our sleeping bags, on our beds as it was so cold. So I was snuggled in, and I suddenly kept feeling a continuous tap on my leg. I thought I was dreaming. I eventually opened my eyes to see Mel and she said, she had been trying to wake me up for sometime 🙂 🙂 She said, get up, the sun is coming up. I thanked Mel for waking me up. After awhile she was already out of the room. We had agreed the night before that we would wake up to see the sunrise this morning. I quickly got out of my sleeping bag and dashed out of the room, with my phone.
We did not have to walk far to bask in the stunning view as it was visible from just a few steps away from our room. Mel was already clicking away taking pictures. So captivated was I of the view that I too could not stop taking pictures of it. The view of the mountain range kept getting more mesmerizing as the morning went by.
Here are some of the stunning views of Annapurna range with Machapuchare totally visible from our “front yard” 🙂 Mesmerized!
I would have loved to have packed up these views and brought it back home with me to my front yard and to wake up to it every morning! 🙂
So after breakfast at the dining hall, we returned to our room, packed up and were ready to set off down the trek. Our stay for the night was Ghandruk, Syaulibazar.
So, we finally arrived at our accommodation at Riverside Guest House, Ghandruk, Syaulibazar. The first thing I did was sit, then removed my shoes lol. I will not deny it, it felt great to sit hahaha, and we each had a cold bottled drink. Felt so good.
Our room was equipped with two single beds. We had to use the common bathroom that was situated not very far from our room.
Before breakfast we walked to the river situated close by to the guest house. There was a lovely flow of water in the river. Clean, clear and cold. Walked into the river just to get legs wet and feel the coldness of the water. After awhile, we then headed back and to the dining for a nice hearty breakfast.
After breakfast we were set to head back to Birethanti, our 5-day trek coming to an end. As we continue to trek down we came across some spectacular views as seen here.
So, we had walked by these homes from the direction of where that vehicle in the above pic is coming from.
Appreciate both our guide/porter’s assistance in guiding us throughout the entire trek. There was an incident, that I had forgotten to mention in one of my earlier post, when our guide came to my assistance. During one of our trek, suddenly out of nowhere, a herd of horses decided to join us on our trek. They were moving so fast, I could hear the sound of the movement of hoofs and I was totally in their way. I hardly had enough space for myself, as it was quite narrow where we were at, at that point of time. I had to get out of their way, to let them pass. The horses were so close to me, as they passed me, that our guide came and stood between me and the horses. I don’t deny, it was quite frightening for a bit.
I totally loved the journey, and enjoyed the 5-day trek as did Mel. I somehow feel a sense of sadness creeping in as I finish writing this, as this journey comes to an end. I felt I was reliving it as I was writing it.
From Birethanti, we continued on foot to Nayapul, and returned by car to Pokhara.
The 5-day trek ends with this post. Thank you for reading my post. Have a great week ahead all 🙂
So, we had breakfast at our accommodation, Ghorepani Hill Top, after returning from Poon Hill. I had mixed feelings about leaving Ghorepani, as that means we will not be going up Poon Hill for another round of that stunning view of the mountain range. We packed up and were set to head down. Our stay for the night will be at Tadapani. Our return journey heading down we were told would come across as somewhat more challenging, compared to our journey up to Ghorepani. Also there will be lots of up and down, up and down treks, and its going to be testing our legs further…more physical challenges coming up…So the journey continues.
We came across many trekkers along the way, families and children too. We also walked through open fields, and also came across some spectacular views, along the way. It was like the mountain range was following us every step of the way 🙂 During the treks, I was so mesmerized by the surroundings, and whatever we came across that everything was “oh wow…oh wow…” 🙂 that I never took many photos.
Here are some of the views captured.
So, we continued trekking, while also stopping for very short breaks. There was one trek that I found very challenging for me. It was very hilly, winding upwards, and felt a cold wind throughout, and I thought to myself, that this must have been the trek that our guide had referred to earlier in the morning to be challenging. My friend kept calling out to me…Jaya, keep moving…I told her I am…so I did some Salsa dance moves 🙂 nah…I’m just kidding… lol. Instead I just stood rooted in one spot for a couple of minutes, taking a little longer break before continuing the trek up…lol…this happened for a couple of times…lol… This was so funny. Whenever we both look back at these moments we totally laugh our head off. Mel is a friend I would travel with again anytime…hope she feels the same way with me too…lol 😉
We felt some heavy fog as we continued up the hilly slopes just before coming towards the end of that trek. At the end of that winding trek, we arrived to somewhat of a flat ground, and after awhile we were pleasantly surprised to have ended up in this forest, as depicted below. I felt like I was transported to an enchanted forest in some fairytale…lol. I totally enjoyed and loved the journey I was going through.
The restaurant we were at for lunch was a little bigger, compared to the places we ate at on our way up to Ghorepani. They had noodles, Dal Bhat, vegetable dishes, meat dishes, bottled drinks etc.
So after lunch, we were back on our trek, with more energy after indulging during lunch…lol. Finally at about 5.00pm we arrived at Tadapani.
We were thrilled to take in this view (pic below) of the range and Mount Machapuchare (also known as Fish Tail, due to its two pointy peaks) up close, when we arrived at Tadapani Guest House, our accommodation for the night. We were even more thrilled when we found out that our room was located about 3 meters away from where this pic was taken. Blessed!
If you have read my previous post titled Destination – Poon Hill, there were pics of sun rise taken from Poon Hill. You would have noticed Mount Machapuchare in those pics.
Our room was equipped with two single beds, but there was no bathroom in it. We discovered that we had to use a shared bathroom that was located about 8 meters away from our room. The dining room was bigger, but not as big as the dining room in Ghorepani Hill Top. It was located like about 5 meters away from our room. That’s convenience. Everything was close by. Even that spectacular view of the mountains…what more could we ask for!
We could order whatever we wanted for dinner from the menu. We placed our order, they have it cooked, and is served hot. Their food was good and we enjoyed it. We enjoyed the heated dining room too.
Well this is the end of Day 3. Day 4 will be in my next post.
Thank you for reading my post. Have a pleasant day and week ahead. For others have a great weekend ahead.
We both had opted for the 5-day trek, and for 6 to 8 hours of trekking each day. During the trek we break for lunch (most days lunch had been Dal Bhat, i.e. rice, dal in a bowl, some vegetable or potato, chicken curry, papadam and sometimes mint) and at times for tea break, as well. Our dinner is provided at the accommodation we are at for the night.
The following morning after breakfast at our accommodation at Silver Oaks Inn, we met with our guide and porter, who are with Village to Village Trekking, a family run business.
That morning we went by car from Pokhara to Nayapul. We started our journey on foot from Nayapul. Our first stop was at TIMS Check Post at Birethanti where trekkers need to check in before beginning their trek.
After having checked in, we continued on foot, walking through a village.
We were grateful that our guide and porter carried our hiking backpacks for us, while we both carried our smaller backpacks. When we started trekking, we had clear blue skies, then came the rain. We felt big droplets….and we both thought….Oh no! Our guide advised us to put on our rain coats, which we quickly did, afraid there was going to be a downpour, and we were going to get drenched.
We continued walking, though it was a little bit challenging due to the rain, and the terrains being rough and uneven. We did not stop, as we needed to reach our accommodation before it got dark. So, we made it through in the rain (thankfully it was not a downpour) after having walked across a hanging bridge that was over a river, to our first stop for lunch. Lunch was at a little hut like place where we had Dal Bhat.
After lunch we continued on our trail, though the rain had not let up. After sometime we were glad to see the dark clouds clearing, and the rain had eventually stopped.
Here are some pics during our trek.
We passed through guest houses, villages and communities along the way. Families always have big smiles on their faces when we come across them. Also not forgetting coming across our four legged friends.
Before dark, we finally arrived at Hill Top Ulleri for the night. Run by a family. We had our own room that was equipped with a bathroom, however there was no hot water available. We had our meal in their dining area, that was cooked by the family. The family were lovely people.
The next morning after breakfast (prepared by the family) we were all set for day 2 of our journey, after bidding our goodbyes to the family.
Below are some pics from our trek during the day.
At Ghorepani, we walked around the village, came across many vendors selling souvenirs, bracelets etc. We then headed towards Hill Top Ghorepani, our accommodation for the night.
On arriving at Hill Top, we saw a sea of faces that evening. We never expected to see so many people here. Room is again basic, two single beds and a bathroom. We were thankful we had our own bathroom. We were informed of the availability of hot water for a bath, unfortunately hot water only trickled from the tap for seconds, before it turned into cold water. Our excitement was short lived…lol.
Even with heat available at the ground floor, at the dining area, it was still very cold.
All guests were informed to go to bed by 9pm that night, so we could have an early start the next morning, to begin trekking up to Poon Hill at 4.45am for sunrise.
The trek to Poon Hill is close by to the accommodation we were at. We all started the steep trek up, that morning. It was kind of exciting, everyone of us walking up together, whilst using a head torch, as it was pitch dark.
Pics below are of the stunning views of sunrise and the mountain range from Poon Hill. The pics taken may not do much justice to capture the beauty in comparison to seeing it with our own eyes. We felt blessed to have had this opportunity to have made this trip.
We returned to our accommodation for breakfast. We felt blessed to have made it up to Poon Hill for the spectacular view of the sunrise and having had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the breathtaking views of the mountain range.
In my next post soon, is the next leg of our journey and the adventure continues.
I end this post with wishes of Happy Valentine’s to all!
I have always wanted to travel to Nepal. Every time I read and hear about stories of avid travelers who had hiked to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) or Mount Everest Base Camp (EBC), I’m in complete awe. I will tell myself, I want to do that some day.
Then, back in early 2018, a friend of mine had asked me if I was interested to hike in Nepal. I needed no convincing from her, and the first word I told her was ‘yes’. I thought to myself that it was a dream come true for me. I was totally excited about it. It will be my first hike.
Some weeks later, we were both chatting, and I asked her, so we are going up to ABC right? She laughed, and said no we are not, we are heading to Poon Hill. She was tickled that I had agreed to the trip, not knowing where we were going to hike. I told her, all I heard were two key words from her, “hike” and “Nepal”, and I was on board!
We met with a couple of her friends who had hiked in Nepal before. We got together and we discussed and planned our trip, with their help. Also the type of training we would need (to get fit) to prepare ourselves for the hike and types of clothing, shoes, snacks, etc. to bring along.
We were both thrilled when the day (in late March 2018) arrived for us to fly to Kathmandu. We had arranged one night’s accommodation at Kathmandu Guest House (KGH). We thought we will spoil ourselves a little with accommodation and facilities before it came to roughing it out later…lol.
After having checked in at KGH, we walked around, and explored the district we were at. We were also on a mission, to get me a hiking backpack, which we successfully did. We also found a local restaurant to have our dinner that evening before returning to our accommodation.
The following day we flew out of Kathmandu to Pokhara, for a night’s stay. In Pokhara we stayed at Silver Oaks Inn, which was located not too far away from Phewa Lake. That evening, from the Inn, we had walked to Phewa lake, taking in the sights along the way, that were lined with shops and restaurants. On our return from the lake, we had dinner in one of the restaurants, before returning to the Inn.
I wrap up here, my first post, written on the last day of year 2020.
Here, I share some of the moments captured in Bali while I was there in August 2019. We arrived in the evening and checked into our accommodation, then right after, we decided to explore on foot.
One of the attractions we came across was this cool balibeercycle! Drink on the go while being driven around…
Lovely blue skies the next morning…
Dog going on a ride on a bicycle…
Came across this absolute beauty…
View of Tanah Lot Temple…
Tanah Lot Temple in the background…
Dinner on the last night of our stay in Bali…
So, we enjoyed our holiday in Bali, and while we were there, we were already discussing about our next vacation, and that we should ensure that the other childhood friend of ours will be able to join us then, as she could not make this trip. My friend remarked “I wish we had started going for holidays much earlier”. I had totally agreed with her.
Seeing how year 2020 turned out and in addition to travel restrictions being placed, we are glad we were both able to make this trip in 2019.
I have vacationed in Bali multiple times with different groups of friends. Multiple times, because it’s the closest to home, for a quick and short, beach getaway. I enjoyed each and every trip made.
Last year, I wanted to go on a vacation with one of my childhood friends. We had never ever been on one together. After asking her multiple times, she finally agreed. I could not believe that she was game for a trip. I was totally overjoyed, as was she. All the vacations she had been to, were with her family.
We discussed destinations where we could go to, and, Hooray!!! Bali, here we come. It would be her first trip to Bali. We were both looking forward to this trip.
When in Bali, she had shared with me, that back home she had already decided that she was going to agree to go on a vacation, if, in the event, I had asked her again. Boy! was I glad I had not given up asking my dear friend….LOL. Childhood friends are hard to come by, because many, after some years will start moving on and away for many reasons. And we are so glad that we had continued to keep in touch with each other, and continue to do so.
Our vacation took place in August 2019, and it started even before we boarded our flight! We had loads of laughter, doing the silliest things and getting excited about anything and everything, because, after all, we were just two girls going on a holiday!
This is us, having arrived at Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, Indonesia.