Into the Night

29 Jun

Pokhara at night.. it’s a strange time of year – most of the trekkers are gone , but there are one or two hard cases still around, or the ones who screwed their booking up.. and then there are the dieheard pot heads with their tablas and congas.

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At night, the scene becomes mellow in town, little knots of folk enjoying the live music or relaxing in a cafe somewhere. Little restaurants abound, selling Dhal Baat and Nepali/Indian food (and it’s very good).

Soft rain falls now, the earlier monsoon having spent itself. From the hotel balcony, the Pagoda hangs, illuminated and eerily hovering over the town in a sky the colour of calligrapher’s ink, while shocks of light electrify the velvety blackness as the last echoes of an electric storm dissipate into the distance and sheets of light light up the silhouettes of the hills..

Power failure is common here – most places have generators and many have their critical services on battery power – like WiFi, for example.

I got stopped by a Tibetan refugee on the street today – selling her souvenirs from a rug on the street. It looked as if she had been beaten up, and my heart went out to her – even if I usually avoid street hawkers. We’d talked a bit earlier in the week – but I left having cut a deal on some nice stuff, which she carefully wrapped in a towel for me. A towel! And she left on her 2 hour walk back to the refugee camp that she’s been in since 1959 when she fled Tibet as a little girl.

There’s a story in the local paper about an Indian family that got robbed in Pokhara – they have been here three weeks with no way to get home – they can’t pay their hotel bill, and no-one is contacting them from home. That made me feel very glad to have some friends who have bailed me out over cash flow over the last few months- my wonderful friends Sue and Yve, and my sons too. Thank you for saving me!

It would be easy to stay here, you know – just meld with the locals and the hippies, the Tibetan refugees and

It’s a thoughtful moment tonight – and there will be many more over the next few weeks – as this marks the unexpected end to my journey. One of my outlaws (that’s what you call an ‘in-law’ who isn’t an in-law any more) is seriously ill, so I am hopping over India and coming back to the UK early to see her.Despite being divorce for way over 10 years, Sheila is still incredibly important to me, and my prayers go with her every day.

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So, what’s in store? A mad dash back to Kathmandu, a flight to Mumbai and an ongoing flight back to the UK, ready for… well, a whole new life. I warned you – the old Timmy ain’t coming back.  But I think you’ll like the new one, too.

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