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Kalo Kaag

Nepal-Promotion

Nach dem größen Erdbeben in Nepal ist die Idee mit dem Blog entstanden, weil ich meine Erfahrungen, Erlebnisse und Gedanken in die Welt hinaustragen möchte.

This blog was started after the great earthquake in Nepal with the thought to share the experiences and thoughts with the wider world.

Alappuzha, Keralam on „Whispering waters“

South-India March 2020 Posted on Sun, April 12, 2020 18:57:34

The backwaters in Kerala are a huge network of lakes, lagoons, canal, rivers, rice-paddy fields and villages with fresh water. The lagoons here are almost 4-6 feet below the sea level. The water is a mixture of the salty water from the Indian Ocean and the fresh water from the rivers and the lakes. It is indeed „a land of green magic“ in „God’s own country“.

We reached Alappuzha in almost 2 hours from Fort Kochi. We have reserved a house boat with two double rooms for 2 nights.
Houseboats are hotels that swim on the lagoon. They are made in the traditional Kerala style with thatched roofs covered originally by the coconut leaves that are found here quite in abundance. The new boats are slightly modernized with the cooling system, an air-condition in the sleeping rooms. There’s a semi open space at the front that works like a balcony when the boat moves. But still the boat has very limited resources. But it’s worth an experience in a lifetime. Our one is called „Whispering Waters“.

We boarded the boat almost at midday. When the boat moves through the waters, the magnificent  view on the banks with the lust of greenery is just magical. One is driven away with this green view. The charm of the water and wind takes you away in a different world with in seconds. We could see how the kids started enjoying in couple of seconds. They started running and dancing. We could feel the easiness and calmness in their eyes.
I had never doubted that this trip would bring the utmost happiness to my family. But the harshness of the journey can’t just be described in words. But for this moment, it was indeed for this that we went through these harshness the last few days. I must indeed thank my wife for the calmness, patience and togetherness that she has bestowed upon us in these last days. Without her support it would not have been possible. 

Driving through this breeze of cool water along the lagoons brings you to the serendipities. We could enjoy the togetherness in this beautiful part of the world. Though a couple of friends told us that our kids would not remember these trips and these days. But I believe that this will help them build up a sub-conscious state of memory that will drive them in a way or the other in their future. Also this journey has definitely helped us bring a new bond to our family togetherness. 

We stayed 2 nights and 3 days in this house boat. We all really enjoyed the breeziness and the lovely green atmosphere along with the hospitality of the house boat. Also the food was lovely and amazing.
Apart from the nights, they were pretty harsh with the numerous cockroaches, ants and bugs though the bed and the floor. Susmita, my wife and the kids were pretty tired from the last days of the journey and thus could doze off immediately. I, on the other hand, found it really hard to fall asleep and actually I’m normally the one who can doze off at any conditions. 

The days went pretty smooth. This tour along the backwaters really brought a much awaited harmony among us.
We then left with a heavy heart back to Kochi, which was again almost 4 hours drive.
I’d booked a hotel called „ Once upon the river“ when we were in „Fort Kochi“. The hotel is near to the Airport Kochi. I booked it based upon the recommendations via Internet. The photos were just lovely. We just need to see it in person and are very much looking forward to it.



Fort Kochi and Fort Kochi Hotel

South-India March 2020 Posted on Fri, March 13, 2020 12:32:29

After 4 years we are again in Fort Kochi but this time with two of our kids. The hotel has been a lovely place to stay. Subu and Subi are enjoying a lot. The last time they both enjoyed so much was in Chitwan, Nepal. We can experience that both the kids are very comfortable with the nature and quietness. Although it’s hot around here, but the hotel has been a big help because of its calmness.
We enjoyed Fort Kochi this time in a Tuk-Tuk , since walking in the hot sun during the day with the kids is not possible. It was though very hot and tiring.

We came to know a tuk-tuk driver- Mr. Aslam. He is very quite and cheerful, helped us a lot. He has been earning his living with only 10€ per day. And yes I know a lot of people in Nepal and India, who earn less than 10€ per day. But Aslam certainly has a tough job in this heat. Apart from that he has to give 5€ from the almost 10€ earning per day.
In the evening we enjoyed a lovely stroll along the beach, bought some fish and let them cook in the nearby restaurant. There were Nepali boys as cook in those restaurants. The meal preparing was pretty expensive for Indian standards.
On one hand it makes one feel low that there are so many people out there in my homeland earning so less for the work they do. But on the other hand we help them for their living when we choose to hire them. The only thing that sucks me is that, the richer have better opportunities and have better investments, which yield in return more money, the poor remain poor always…

These two nights in Fort Kochi in this posh hotel has helped us revive and regenerate after this tiring journey. For us both, my wife and me, would not be a problem. We have backpacked throughout India and Nepal. But I’ve now learned that the kids need break with nice and cosy places and that is very much necessary in places like Nepal and India where the journeys are very tiring and loud. This has indeed been a lot of help for us for our future projects and travels. 

Tomorrow we leave for the jewel of our journey-to the Kerala Backwaters.



Vythiri to Kochi

South-India March 2020 Posted on Fri, March 13, 2020 12:31:31

To get to our destination we first need to get to „Kochi“- the harbor city of South-India. We could have flown from Bangalore to Kochi but we needed to visit our family friends. Now the trip to Kochi would be the most hardest part- specially for the kids.
Bus trip first from Vythiri to Calicut. Vythiri is located on the northern part of Kerala to the district of Wayanad. It comprises of mountains and hills. So to get to the southern part to the sea level the bus travel goes along the serpent way through the hills. The kids were tired because of the early wake up, so they slept. The two hours journey with the local bus, but a speedy one, was full of challenges to keep both the kids on the lap because of the mountainous roads.
Once we reached Calicut, we had a break of about 15 minutes and had to change the bus. We then got on the bus to Kochi. It was a hot summer day with a Temperature above 30 degrees. The bus had almost no suspension and thus the journey was a bumpy one. The busy traffic and an inpatient driver added more to the „comfortable“ ride…
Subu and Subi were so tired and finished. This was the second time I was confused myself, if I had not been very harsh with my kids, doing this journey? To that Subi vomited couple of times.
We somehow managed to reach Kochi at 16hrs and then we had to travel to „Fort Kochi“ with the ferry. The ferry ride was a very lovely one with fresh breeze. It took almost 15 minutes to reach „Fort Kochi“ and the ride cost us 8 cents each- imagine 8 cents each!!!
Once in Fort Kochi, we needed to find a stay which would refresh and regenerate my family. To our biggest luck, we found a lovely, cosy hotel with greenery on the banks of the sea, which was just 4 minutes walk away from the ferry station. The hotel was very expensive in compare but it was worth it.
It is a special boon and bond between my wife and me that we are spontaneous. We live in a very simple and easy conditions. Also we are spontaneous and decide everything depending upon the moment- what the need of the moment is. At this moment we needed a regenerating place and this was the perfect boon for our family right now.



Satellite Bus station

South-India March 2020 Posted on Fri, March 13, 2020 12:30:32

The bus station to the south of Bangalore is called satellite bus station. The buses to the southern part of Bangalore start from here. 

It is so interesting for us, my wife and me. We have so many memories here. We learned each other better day by day here, we came here for our honeymoon phase after the marriage and now we are here with both our kids. 

Also the family in Vythiri, a small village in the northern part of Kerala has been our family friend since 2016. We met them in a search of a place to stay for a night and ended up staying for a week. The place has indeed a vital and key role in our life.
The bus travel from Bangalore to Vythiri takes almost 8 hours. The travel is through green and also a national park- the „Bandipur National Park“. But the traffic here is very very harsh and the bus not so comfortable. We somehow managed with the bus travel and reached Vythiri at almost 16hrs. Formerly we had a very tasty tea at „Sulthan Batthery“. 

It is indeed a nice moment to see the family after 4 yrs. Also the family was very happy seeing our 2 children with us. The kids were very much reserved since they are not used to the darker skin of people here in Kerala. For my wife and me, it was one of the best nostalgic moment of our life and the wish to show these friends our kids, the fruits of our love and relationship that had flourished right at this place was just amazing.
Subu developed high fever later in the evening. This was not to be avoided since the kids are not used to the hotter weather and the hectic bus travel. Subi is the more stabile one among both the kids.
We just stayed with the family and enjoyed their hospitality. Also this helped Subigya to regenerate. In 2 days he was again fit and fine. This was only the first part of our journey. The other most important part is again „The Backwaters“, much more in the southern part of Kerala. 

Biding a farewell to the loved ones is always a hard part, also because we don’t know when we see each other. But that is the universal truth when you travel, that you see the best part in the time to come and bid farewell so that one day you see each other again. 



Flight Kathmandu to Bengaluru

South-India March 2020 Posted on Fri, March 13, 2020 12:27:46

The much awaited trip to India has started. All set up for Kathmandu airport for the flight to Bangalore at 14 hrs. All preparations made for now. Life is indeed a journey. This would be the first real trip with my family, apart from Germany and Nepal- the two home countries. 

Bangladesh was cancelled because Subira (Our one year old daughter) got ill. I really hope that nothing goes wrong this time. My In-Laws are accompanying us this time to India. 

We reached Kathmandu airport on time. Airport seems to be vacant due to the ongoing Corona virus issue. For me being in Germany and working as a doctor is more a threat rather than traveling to South-India.
This would be the third time we’re traveling to Kerala, South-India. South-India is one of our favorites. The Backwaters are our destination. 

Checked in at the right time and the flight started good. It is always a challenge to fly with 2 children together. The economy class is itself very congested and then you have an infant with you. The most challenging times are during the serves, not to litter anything with four people on 3 economy seats. Now we are used to it.

The next challenge was the Indian immigration. Indians are always very disturbing when it comes to the immigration matters. Also the corona pandemic had hardened the immigration rules.
But we did managed to come through on time. The Bangalore traffic welcomed us properly.
The other proper welcome were the hotel rooms with cockroaches. Born in the Terai in Nepal these things don’t matter to me a lot, but my companions had a harder time.

We all were so tired that we slept right away. There is a long bus ride to our family friends in Vythiri  tomorrow. 



Chitwan Jungle Safari

Nepal Feb/March 2020 Posted on Mon, March 02, 2020 12:24:57

We had promised our son that we would show him elephant. This led us to the southern part of Nepal- in the Terai to the city of Chitwan. Chitwan hosts the biggest national park of Nepal- the “Chitwan National Park”.
Bumpy and dusty road travel of almost 6-7 hours led us to the fertile part of Nepal. We were traveling to a eco-resort, that belongs to one of my friends- Mrs. Bhattarai.
Reaching there at the evening on the 28th of February, we were welcomed by smiling faces and mosquitos. No wonder this was and is still one of the malaria belts in Nepal.
The resort itself is situated on the banks of Rapti river. It was already dark when we arrived, but through a search light we could spot a one-horned rhino only 10m away from us. What an amazing view!
We dozed off as we were all very tired because of the bumpy ride. The evening meal was one of the tasty one we’ve had on this journey to Nepal.
The fog and mist from the river welcomed us the next morning. Birds tweets and the greenery just smoothed all our senses. The kids were so happy, that they would run through the garden all the morning. Also they were so busy playing with the stones. After the busy days during the marriage ceremonies in Kathmandu, we felt that we were in paradise.
After the lovely breakfast, I had organized a canoe ride in the Rapti river. The canoe here is made of a single log and is a very simple boat. It is very low and you are just on the surface of water. Even the kids could feel the water for themselves. On the banks of the rivers we could see a lot of crocodiles sun bathing and among them some swimming on the banks. This is what I’ve dreamt with my children, to be in the nature, show them where I come from, what our values are…
After the canoe ride we visited the two elephants from the neighborhood. They were both females with almost 25 yrs old- very calm and patient. Kids enjoyed being with the elephants and feeding them.
Back at the resort, we just trolled the whole evening in the green garden among the mango, lichee and other tropical trees.
We were again visited by 2 one-horned rhinos in the evening.
The next day we went for a jungle safari together. We spotted a lot of deer, a komodo dragon, some lazy and huge crocodiles, an alligator breeding farm, some monkeys, some huge elephants and a lot of variety of birds.
Enjoyed the evening again with the kids in the green. For the third time a huge one horn rhino visited us in the dark again. We enjoyed the lovely food and the great hospitality once again.
After greeting the foggy morning once again, we enjoyed the lovely milk tea and set off for the bumpy ride once again towards the busy Kathmandu.



Bangladesh visit cancellation

Nepal Feb/March 2020 Posted on Sun, March 01, 2020 06:03:40

We had to cancel our much awaited trip to Bangladesh. We had planned Bangladesh visit between both the marriage ceremonies, from 18th Feb to 26th Feb.
On the very first marriage ceremony, on the 17th of Feb, our daughter Subi started vomiting. We first thought, that it was perhaps because of indigestion, since she was quite active and good. The next day she developed diarrhea and the vomiting continued. She had such a massive attack of gastroenteritis, which made her bed ridden. The only good part in this was that she had a good intake of fluid in the beginning. Later on she refused to intake fluids and eat anything. She was so weak in the following days that she could not move her hand and feet due to the weakness because of the dehydration. She couldn’t even speak.
On the 6th day we took her to the hospital to give her intravenous fluids. Then she started recovering slowly. Thus the trip to Bangladesh had to be canceled and the time between the marriages had to be spent at home taking care of the little one.
When I ought to reflect the time positively, it can be seen a great experience to what can come in between when you travel with small kids. This will certainly help us a lot for our dream project.



Nepalese marriage ceremonies

Nepal Feb/March 2020 Posted on Sun, March 01, 2020 05:38:06

Our Nepal visit has a major purpose this time. Both my smaller brothers are married to the love of their lives.
On the 17th February my middle brother married.
Marriage ceremony in Nepal is usually a blast. All the near and dear ones gather together and the whole atmosphere is very loud and colorful.
There is a tradition that the family and the friends of the groom take a procession to bride’s place and bring the bride to groom’s home.
On the 27th February my youngest brother married.
It was a great feast on both the days. Also during the whole period there are a lot of ceremonies. The house is filled with relatives and friends. Singing and dancing goes on through out the whole period.
It was a good and cheerful experience for the whole family.



Flight to Nepal

Nepal Feb/March 2020 Posted on Sun, March 01, 2020 04:26:28

After months long preparations, we are bound to Nepal via Istanbul. We’ve been preparing since days and nights for this flight.
After 24 hrs of medical duty, have no words to explain the tireless days and nights of my wife looking after the kids, and the tireless last minute preparations we were lucky to arrive timely at the airport.
The most challenging job this time was the travel with our two small kids- Subigya (3 yrs old) and Subira (1 year old).
The kids were extremely excited. You could see in their eyes and also in their words. Subigya, our son has been in Nepal for 3 times but this is the first time for our daughter Subira.
Flight from Munich to Istanbul was short, but the kids had to be engaged throughout the flight.
The new Istanbul airport is grand and one has to walk a long way from arrival terminal to departure terminal. There are terminal shortcuts. We asked the airport personal, if we could take the shortcuts, since we had 2 small children. The shortcuts are normally for flight transits shorter than 90 minutes. We were first not allowed since our transit time was still almost 2 hours. But eventually the security personal let us go after a long request. In general we would say that the Turkish airport personal were not so friendly. The venting machine for water bottles were also malfunctioning.
The kids were tired and dehydrated, but we did manage to entertain them.
The flight on bound to Kathmandu was long and turbulent. The turbulence above the mountains of Afghanistan were the worst.
Subu slept almost throughout the flight and Subi could be fed and she slept with breaks in between. Since our boy slept almost throughout the whole flight, managing our one year old daughter was not a problem. My wife could take some rest. I, myself was awake since almost 60hrs.
Landing in Kathmandu airport is always a story in itself. Since the traffic in Kathmandu airport is very busy, aircrafts have to circle in the air and then there are these high mountains all around since Kathmandu is a valley. Our son really got scared and for me it was indeed good job to keep my son quiet as the passengers in the plane were being uncomfortable since the landing time was prolonging.
But the captain indeed did a very safe landing. Once in Kathmandu, it always feels so warm and cosy. But the visa procedure did take a longer time than usual, since the system is now changed in Kathmandu airport.

Videoblog on:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTSRDlJ0Z5k



The Dream Project

The Buff Family Posted on Sat, February 22, 2020 14:55:44

Here I am again after a long time- couple of years, beginning with my post and blog. Life has changed a lot for me in these few years.
I’ve returned from Nepal, returned back to Germany, since I was broke in Nepal in the year 2016 and also I’d a family- a family of my own.
In the meantime we have a 3 years old son and a 1 year old daughter.
I call this “The Dream Project” as it is my dream to travel the world with my family in the coming 3 years before our son goes to school.
We call us ” The Buff Family”. Buff was the first gift I received my wife and “Buff” has always been very much useful to me. Also we all have a buff- for our protection!
I wish and hope to deliver and give good piece if writings to you guys.
Namaste.