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The Photoless Photography Blog Post - Part III

Hurrah! Trek number one done and now we’re indulging in the spoils of Pokhara, the safest place to fall over in the known Universe as you’re never more than four feet from a vendor erupting with cashmere. The eleven hour bus journey from the trek to here deserves special mention. Firstly, it was eleven hours long, that needed repeating. Secondly, we were delayed by diggers, big ones, clearing the road of rocks as large as cars from a landslide so recent it was still slightly happening.

Luckily, diggers are cool and that distracted us from the peril.

Roads in Nepal are an abstract concept, sometimes they’re a collection of mismatched rocks, sometimes they’re perpetual slop. Other times they’re an endless arrangement of holes so frequent that it’s a cosmic mystery how such a small amount of road can support so many holes. Hopefully, one day, the last of the road will erode and all that’ll be left is road shaped hole where the road used to be. Much less bumpy indeed.

The mud got the better of us at one point so the conductor dug us out with his trusty conductor’s spade. We cheered a little bit but he played it cool. No biggie. The bus had a TV at the front and he celebrated by putting an action film on. The loud, dramatic music and sounds of people screaming made for a journey that was not at all very stressful. If anything it distracted us from the lack of road to the left of the bus and the sheer drop into the valley should we topple. The conductor knew how to work a crowd.

Fortunately for our nerves that’s all a distant memory and we’re knocking back poached eggs at Sacred Valley and getting massaged by blind people at Seeing Hands Spa. As the epicentre of a raw, vegan salad magnet, Pokhara attracts a particular persuasion of tourist. Clad head to toe in hemp, the men have longer head hair than the women and the women have longer underarm hair than the men. Thanks to a strident bout of male pattern baldness I’ll never conform to that demographic, my wife could be the armpit Rapunzel but the good lord Darwin has blessed me with genes that will forever save me from a floppy top knot. I may be a bit of a hippy on the inside but I’ll always look like a Milwall supporter.

Attempting to further differentiate myself I’ve started spouting my repertoire of football vernacular. ‘Kick the ball!’ I cry as the unwashed festival types in the queue ahead of me order something called a ‘Buddha Bowl’ with additional flax seeds. In the same cafe another longhair attempted to woo an uninterested lady by silently drawing her then proudly presenting the finished work, presumably expecting spontaneous intercourse. Her frown, unchanged from the frown she’d been wearing all along, suddenly gave way to the words ‘that doesn’t look like me’ in a pleasingly blunt Eastern European manner. All to the soundtrack of me shouting ‘Teddy Sheringham!’ and ‘Transfer deadline!’.

The bit about me shouting footy banter was a fabrication for creative purposes, but also an excellent excuse to quote some golden era Simpsons:

"The following tale of alien encounters is true. And by true, I mean false. It's all lies. But they're entertaining lies. And in the end, isn't that the real truth? The answer is: No."

- Leonard Nimoy - The Simpsons, 1997

The bit about Biro-Casanova was, unfortunately for him, all true.

Dinner’s just arrived so I’ll keep this one brief. I’ve got a small bowl of curry with a pancake the size of a professional kite. Fingers crossed the wind doesn’t pick up.

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