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Table of Contents "On the road to Kabul and other short stories of treks"

Pokhara 1974: hippies and tourists.


For the past  week I stayed in Pokhara in a hotel near the lake. This was a peaceful area, dominated by rice fields and farms, a much needed change from the crowded cities  in India. Katmandu where I stayed for two weeks before Pokhara was also fine as in 1974 it had only half a million people.


Local young men showed me the large marihuana bushes in the tropical bush along the road. They said that it was first class stuff and to prove it, gave me plastic bag full of dried leaves to try. However, they warned me that marihuana is not good for young people and in Nepal only old men or bashies, Nepali for grandfathers, would use it. The same night I filled a stone pipe, a chillum, with the leaves assuming it would not be very strong, just a coughing experience. This was a mistake, I never was that stoned, staying awake for most of the night and drifting into various deliria which did not feel good. I was not a smoker anyway and decides this would be the last time I touched it.


In the second week I met a group of middle aged Dutch tourists that were neatly dressed. One man explained that they did a 3 week India/Nepal trip at a cost of 3000 dollars. Last year he went to Indonesia. He asked me how long I was traveling and my budget. I replied that l traveled overland, not by air, and after 2 or 3 months I had another month to go to reach Holland overland. I was planning to go soon as school started in September. The full 3 to 4 months would cost me 350 dollars. The conversation instantly stopped, we clearly could not relate.