May 18, 2013: Active Day 13, Back to Rivendell

Periche to Deboche
When we walked out into the courtyard of the White Yak to leave the next morning, this was our view: The White Yak It was a beautiful, comfortable place and the night before was the first Type I fun we'd had at a lodge in a while.
The White Yak. Photo credit: Eleanor Tresidder

The White Yak.
Photo credit: Eleanor Tresidder

For the uninitiated, fun can be classified into three basic types. Type I fun is an activity that's fun while you're participating and fun later. The sunny afternoon at Rivendell was mostly Type I. Type II fun is not particularly fun while you're participating, but fun later. Mountaineering often falls in this category. Type III fun is fun while you're participating, and not particularly fun later. A night out drinking that results in a wicked hangover, for example.
Nepali Flat Nepali Flat
Rockin' it back to Rivendell. Photo credit: Michael Allan

Rockin' it back to Rivendell.
Photo credit: Michael Allan

Photo credit: Kevin Cordova Photo bomb: Dan Keys

Photo credit: Kevin Cordova
Photo bomb: Dan Keys

Inhaling kerosene fumes and dodging dal barf in the hallway were more Type II. Not so fun in the moment, but fun to joke about later. The Type I fun at the White Yak made us wish for a second night. The good news was we were heading back to Rivendell, the original scene of so much Type I fun in the days before. The trail started off with some classic Nepali flat. Flatten your hand and roll it in a wavelike motion and you'll get an idea of what Nepali flat means to the rest of the world. "Sometimes uphill, sometimes downhill." Back at Rivendell, Ele and I were keen enough on another puja to make the somewhat steep trek back up to Tengboche. There were dozens of ravens vocalizing outside as we moved up the stone path through the rhododendrons. "They ought to change the name to Ravendell," I said. The good news was, according to Animal-Speak, ravens were a good omen, symbolizing magic, shape-shifting and creation. Interesting because looking back, if I could only choose only one word to describe my adventure in Nepal, it would be magic. I'll paraphrase from the book below:
Ravens have the ability to teach you how to stir the magic of life without fear, to work the magic of the spiritual laws on the physical plane, and stir the energies to manifest what you most need. If raven has come into your life, expect magic. Raven speaks of the opportunity to become the magician or enchantress of your life and to bring your inner magician out of the dark into the light. Raven speaks of messages from the spirit realm that can shape-shift your life dramatically.
We walked up to the monastery, up the stone steps, through the courtyard, and upstairs to the entryway were we took off our shoes. The monks were already chanting. Hmmm, this was odd, we ought to be slightly early if the puja was the same time as before. We walked in silently, hardly daring to breathe, and sat down on one of the rugs. We were the only two tourists in the building. Could it be because climbing season was almost over? Both of us had a weird feeling about it. A few minutes later the monks stopped and got up to leave. A couple of them were kind enough to tell us to come back for the puja at four. We were an hour early. It was Saturday. As this was their holy day, they kept to a different schedule. Feeling slightly embarrassed and maybe a little ashamed for intruding, we padded out, put on our shoes and tried to decide what to do for an hour. Ele suggested tea and I jumped on the idea. We walked down to a different place than before. The new tea house was also a bakery and smelled divine. Even though we were on the down hill portion of the trip, I decided to stick to my no sugar rule. Well, that and I didn't think to bring cash; Ele was kind enough to buy the tea for us. There was rhododendron tea on the menu. Why not? We asked the hostess if we could try a small pot of it. She said she was out of stock, so we settled on milk tea. Once again, it was good to get some one-on-one time with somebody. Ele told me a lot about what it was like to work for Active (awesome) and some of her other adventures in Nepal. She was lucky enough to have done the Annapurna trek before EBC. I learned that she and Amanda also had a couple of extra days in Kathmandu after the tour and we made tentative plans to figure out something to do. Maybe south Nepal? We kept hearing legends of river dolphins and elephants and thought it might be worth another flight to try to see them. The conversation inevitably turned to one of my favorite topics, relationships. I showed her one of the hand analysis parlor tricks I had been taught that is supposed to indicate number of partnerships and when they show up in our lives. If there is any truth to it, we both had something to look forward to. Time will tell. I brought up Jyotish and the Ganas. I told her the placement of the moon indicates our heart and how we relate, and the placement of the sun represents our father and our career. She thought her dad sounded Rakshasa. Her career definitely fit the bill. My own dad is a Deva and my career at the time was quite Deva-ish. The trouble was, my heart wasn't in it. That day was the first time I thought about it in that way. I wondered if there was a way to unite the two... have the Deva career that my Rakshasa heart could be into. I was having so much fun getting to know her better that the hour just flew by. The "small" teapot was enough to provide us each multiple cups, so we visited the ladies' room before taking our chances with the monastery again. Up the stone steps we went, and into the courtyard. There were dozens of other tourists waiting to enter. A good sign. Like before, we all took off our shoes and squeezed in together on the rugs. Unfortunately, this tourist group was more disrespectful about the no cameras rule. Ele even put on her teacher hat and reprimanded one of them. Once the puja started, we could tell right away the day was special. All the various instruments that laid unused in the first one we witnessed came out in force on Saturday. Horns were blown, drums beaten, bells rung, and all sorts of notes and rhythms and chants went on and off in various succession. I was completely absorbed by it all. I vaguely noticed people get up to leave. Finally Ele and I were the last ones sitting. The last person who left told her it had been nearly two hours. What?? No way we had been sitting that long. I wasn't used to time travel that didn't involve alcohol. If we didn't leave soon, we'd be caught in the dark and would miss dinner. We got up as quietly as possible and walked out. The monks showed no signs of stopping.
Back at Rivendell.

Back at Rivendell.

That night after dinner, Mike, Amanda and I got back on my favorite subject while the others played cards. I tried some hand analysis parlor tricks with them involving heart lines but couldn't remember the characteristics of the different archetypes off the top of my head. So I transitioned into topics that I could talk about for hours, specifically the four variables employed by Match Matrix and the Jyotish system for compatibility. I introduced them to the Nakshatras and told them if they were in India and someone asked "hey baby, what's your sign?" they'd be able to surprise and delight them by answering "Mula" or "Anuradha." They were the first enthusiastic audience I could ever remember having. Everyone else usually just humors me. I told them thanks for listening. We Sagittarians love to preach and it was fun having listeners who genuinely seemed interested. The lights went out. Crap, my headlamp is downstairs. The lights turned back on. Whew, no worries then. The lights went out longer. Uh oh. When the lights came on again Amanda got up to leave and I decided not to take my chances with stumbling in the dark and followed her downstairs. I was in bed but not asleep when an extremely hyper Dovile came giggling into the room. Must be all the oxygen. DK was behind her with some of his Rescue Remedy that she dubbed "Dinosaur Drops" after one of the jokes he told earlier:
photoA kid accidentally left his hallucinogens out at Grandma's house. "Grandma, have you seen my pills?" She looks at him and says, " F--- the pills, have you seen the dinosaur in the kitchen?"
DK wished me luck and closed the door. He was in the room next to her and she began tapping some morse code on the wall. No answer. "I might not be the one who needs the luck," I joked. We talked about all kinds of random stuff. Decorating led to landscaping led to plants led to the Backster Effect. The topic that finally killed her buzz and knocked both of us out cold was work, bookkeeping and taxes. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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  1. Pingback: May 24, 2013: Active Day 19, Buddha’s Birthday | Enlighten Adventures