From Bodhgaya I jumped on a bus with 5 new friends from Russia, then need to change twice more to go to Kathmandu, Nepal. The local busses here certainly wouldn’t be allowed on our roads in New Zealand but they told me it was a “new” bus. Lucky for me I had picked up a small cushion to sit on, as the seat didn’t have much padding, and my mum always in her good wisdom had given me a blow up travel pillow that hugs round the neck which is perfect for these journeys as the bus bumps along and swerves round cars and corners.
Only I vomited out the door for the duration of the 1st leg of the journey, bus driver doesn’t like to stop for these trivial matters of foreigners with week stomachs. But I think it was something I ate and the bumpy ride did not help. Then when we stopped the russians gave me some natural substance mixed with water that look and tasted like dirt, then again vomited once but for the rest of the journey I was fine, they told me it absorbs bacteria in the stomach. 2 days later I got it again, only this time out the other end. again Russians to save the day, “Kim, look we are not sick” they tell me as they take their daily shot of vodka before lunch, so I join them and then have some plain rice and veges to settle the stomach and have been right ever since. think is the best travel tip ever and may have to write to Lonely Planet about it.
So we arrive into Boedha, a tibetan colony where there is another very famous stupa – “a monument of world peace” the Tibetan’s explain in simplistic terms. But this one when later was analysed showed the architecture and construction taking into account all astrological elements was said to predate the science and mathematical thinking of the early greeks. Here i had a room with a window opening directly to the stupa and woke up to the sounds of bells tingling and the soft mumbles of mantras as the early risers walked around the stupa in the customary clockwise direction.
One of my new Russian friends has spent every winter here for the last 4 years and we spent days exploring the town and surrounding valley. The old hindu & buddhist places around, cool markets and shops, caves where famous yogi’s meditated. Parping where there is 2 caves of Guru Rinpoche one of which he has left his hand print in the stone outside the cave entrance. The story goes that one of Guru Rinpoche’s students loved seeing the cave so much with the indications of Padmasambhava’s presence that he slapped the stone and left his hand imprint. I examined it in detail – I don’t see how it could be a carving…