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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 15 Vaishali to Kushinagar to Nepal Border to Lumbini

I’m in Nepal a lot sooner than I thought and I am glad to be out of India.  My first observations are that the people seem a lot nicer (honest), there doesn’t seem to be as many people or craziness on the streets and their car horns are a lot more pleasant.  The only bad thing so far is the power goes out a couple times every hour, but the place I am staying has a generator and back-up lights.

So today was a long day. Woke up at 6:00 because we were supposed to leave at 6:30, but didn’t leave until 7:00.  Then we visited some of the sites in Vaishali.  Vaishali is the place that women were accepted as nuns.

After visiting a couple of sites we drove the 200 plus kms to Kushinagar. On the way we stopped for some breakfast and had some fish, chicken and rice.  It was very good, but I was afraid to eat too much because I wasn’t sure about the cleanliness of the place.  So far, so good.  I would hate to get sick on my last day in India.  Anyway, it took us about 6 hours to reach Kushinagar, the place where Buddha died and was cremated and one of the four sacred Buddha cities.

After visiting the sites we took off for the Nepal border.  It took about 3.5 hours to reach the border.  There was some amazing scenery that we drove through today passing small villages, forests, lakes and I saw lots of elephants, monkeys and birds not to mention all the pigs, cows, goats, ducks, horses and chickens.

Crossing the border was a breeze.  I just had to fill-out some paperwork and get my stamps exchange some money and into Nepal I went.  Once walking into Nepal I got a taxi to take me to an ATM and then onto Lumbini, the place where Buddha was born and the final of the four sacred Buddha cities.  It is supposed to be dangerous to drive at night in Nepal and I can see why with all the bicycles, that you can’t see because it is so dark, big trucks and small roads.

The place I am staying at is nice and the manager seems to be a real nice guy.  There are no buses to Pokhara so I decided to take a flight from Lumbini to Kathamandu.  The manager said that it is a great way to see some great scenery and it isn’t that expensive and only take 30 minutes compared to the 10 hour bus ride, which can be a lot longer if there is a strike which happens quite often here.  So I will be in Kathmandu by the 27th.

Tomorrow I will explore Lumbini, I haven’t decided if I will rent a bike or not.  I haven’t ridden a bike in forever.

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