Lotus Flower at Garden of Dreams
We thought we would try something different for breakfast today and went to Thamel to try out the â€śNew Orleans CafĂ©â€ť which was pretty good (but the coffee is better at â€śHimalayan Javaâ€ť in case you are hereâ€¦)
Afterwards, we walked just outside of Thamel to the Garden of Dreams which is a really pretty and peaceful old Bahal that has been renovated by the same group that did the cool museum in Patan. The gardens are filled with ponds brimming with lilies and lotus flowers and all kinds of flowers and trees and it is a nice place to get away from the hectic crowds and sellers that litter the streets of Thamel.
Garden of Dreams Grounds
When we got back to the hotel, Razzu called with an update on the whole Tibet trip. There has been no word from the English group and, after sitting in his office for a while looking at his itinerary and the itinerary of the other couple, we decided it was worth it to be on our own with our own schedule and so tentatively booked a flight into Lhasa with a jeep return via Everest Base Camp. Since it is Sunday and officially, there is another strike today, Razzu couldnâ€™t confirm our seats on June 12, but he is going to call us tomorrow with an update in Pokhara and felt that, if we couldnâ€™t get out on the twelfth, we should be able to make the flight on the fourteenth which works too. In the interim, we decided to forgo the Royal Chitiwan Park and just visit Pokhara and Bandipur on the way back to Kathmandu before flying our to Lhasa.
We decided to celebrate finally making a decision on Tibet by having Thai food for dinner at Ying Yang, one of the restaurants in Thamel. The food was pretty good, even though the electricity went out right after we sat down (the restaurants seem used to this and have no problem cooking by candle light) but the service was lackadaisical at best. That is, until the head chef, a Thai woman, walked out with a huge smile and overheard me asking for chilies. She scolded the waiter for not bringing the little three or four bowl tray that you find all over Thailand filled with fresh chilies, dried chilies and fish sauce and then came to talk to us. She was very excited to hear that we liked spicy Thai food and had traveled around Thailand quite a bit. Tomorrow we head of to Pokhara by bus, about a six to eight hour journey depending on traffic, checkpoints and Maoists - hopefully it wonâ€™t be too bad.
Pond at Garden of Dreams
On a more somber note, our very dear friend Pat whom I have known since I was five is missing on a trip home from Northern California. We have very little information and donâ€™t know what to say or think. Pat and my dad worked together for over twenty years and he and her family are obviously very distraught at this point. If you can all send our your best prayers, thoughts, or whatever you believe in, we would all appreciate itâ€¦.