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That was a very short tour. We had only two days. So we decided to spend one afternoon in Helsinki and the other day in Tallinn, the Estonian Capital.
There were other three batchmates; two from Nepal and one from Vietnam. Altogether we were four.
We boarded the early train to Helsinki on Saturday, 13.10.2018, from Joensuu. Thinking we could talk to each other easily during the travel, we reserved the face-to-face seats. When we reached inside our coach/cabin, the seats were face-to-face seats, but two of them were on the left side of the aisle facing forward and two on the right facing backwards. 😂 We did not notice how the seats were arranged, but only looked for the face-to-face seats!! And that was that.
In Helsinki, we met a colleague of one of our friends, who has been living there for many years. He guided us to the most worth visiting places in Helsinki. All thanks to him we did not need to spend much time finding the sites we had planned to visit.
In the evening, we boarded a ship from the port of Helsinki. After spending half an hour inside the cabin, I thought of going out and watching the Baltic sea. Envisioning the Titanic scene in mind – hair fluttering in the wind – I went towards the back of the ship. But as soon as I stepped out of the door, the wind nearly blew me away!!😂 Anyway, the first experience with the ship also became memorable.
The next day, in Tallinn, our main aim was exploring The Old Town; a UNESCO world heritage site. We collected the town map from the Port of Tallinn and started our journey.
In the afternoon, while we were sitting near a park and trying to figure a route to a museum (or church, I forget), a quinquagenarian lady came nearby and informed us that we could find beautiful girls in Tallinn :). She also asked where we came from and some other things. We did not care about her presence that much, so she moved away. But later, when we were ready to move, we saw her sitting on a bench nearby. I just went to her and asked about the specific area that beautiful girls could be found (actual intention in asking was not on finding such area). She told that it was quite far and we had to go by bus/metro. She showed the bus/metro route in our map and told that she could take us up to the station if we gave her some beer. Now we knew the story behind her information on beautiful girls.
In the afternoon, we had to go to the McDonald’s and eat something before using their restroom because we could not find public restrooms. Later we found one in the Tammsaare park which cheated us. We inserted the coin but it neither let us open the door nor returned our coin. 😂 (Maybe that was not functional. But we did not know)
And in the evening, we returned to the port of Tallinn and back to the port of Helsinki. We caught our night bus from Kamppi.
But the story hasn’t ended. A guy was sitting in one of our seats and claiming it as his seat. Because I was sure that was our seat, I asked if he was on the right bus. And he got angry with me. I never knew that asking somebody if they were on the right bus was that rude :). Later, he himself admitted his mistake and went to his seat.
I fall asleep. In my dreams, I was travelling towards Helsinki, not Joensuu!! 😉
It all began from Kharkatta village, Madi valley, Chitwan. Maja decided to take some rest as well as start some writings for her report. Maja, an MSc student from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark was doing her field work for MSc thesis, in the Madi valley of Chitwan. I had the responsibility of assisting her. At first the plan was like, to finish the whole field work within a month, or stay for some more days if we didn’t become able to complete our target. But she wished to take a break after two weeks of work. She planned to go to Sauraha and stay there for a week. I had nothing to do (except for a few transcriptions), nowhere to go!
“Should I go to Kathmandu or Pokhara?” I don’t know. I can go anywhere. But I have to go to Bharatpur bus park at first and get a bus, for her, to Sauraha.
We left Kharkatta at 7:30 and reached the Bharatpur bus park at 11:30. The auto drivers started decreasing their price themselves; we just needed to stand silently for a while. After haggling with one of them for some time, she decided to take an auto rather than bothering to look for buses that would go only to another bus park but not to the hotel she had booked.
But where should I go?
I had made mind to go Pokhara because it had been quite long I hadn’t met my college friends. But the Mugling-Narayanghat road section was closed till 16:00 for maintenance. That meant I had to consume around 4 more hours.
What suddenly came to my mind is – Why not go to Sauraha! The auto was right in front! And I had never been to Sauraha! How lucky me! And I travelled towards Sauraha.
After wandering around Sauraha for about 2 hours, I went to the Pokhara bus park. When I reached there at 15:45, there was only one microbus to Pokhara crammed with people. And the khalasi was saying that was the last bus to Pokhara. Lol, the road opens at 16:00 and the khalasi was saying, at 15:45 that, that was the last bus. More amazingly, there were people who believed. How easily these people believe khalasis! No matter to me even if that was the last one. Because there was nothing that I needed to reach Pokhara the same day. I could stay around there and go Pokhara next day early. So I just waited for another bus.
But it took too long. No sooner had I decided to look for a hotel than the bus came. It came at 17:00. I boarded the bus!
It was obvious that I would reach late. I reached Pokhara at 22:00. Where would I go other than my Institute of Forestry! That is the only reason, that there is this campus, I go to Pokhara. That was that.
After two days at Pokhara, Professor Santosh Rayamajhi called and asked if I was free for 2-3 days. He only needed a friend to travel to Tansen, Palpa for some of his work. That too in his car.
Why would I deny! I had never been to Tansen. And I was aimless throughout the week!
But he told later that he needed to go up to Tamghas, Gulmi. And the journey to Tamghas began on Feb 21.
The whole day, we travelled to remote villages of Gulmi; Isma, Dhurkot, Madane etc.
The journey back to Pokhara began. We stopped and wandered around Ridi bazaar, Palpa for a while. And in the evening, at Pokhara again.
Now it was time to go to Madi for work. I had to reach Bharatpur on Sunday, Feb 25. Being unsure if I would stay at Mugling in the evening and start for Bharatpur early next day, I started my journey from Pokhara at around 13:00. Fortunately, I reached Narayanghat the same evening.
And the week-long destinationless travel ended!