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We were walking up a trampled path, passing mud-brick houses, nodding a Namaste to the one person sitting on their front porch when suddenly we came upon the locked gate.

The entrance to the Secret Garden!

I looked at the sign and smiled. We had already asked if I could sneak a peek and the caretaker gave us the nod to go ahead (even I have started doing the Nepalese head nod, I’m going to have so many new mannerisms when I am back around old friends). A glance and a nod and the three of us shimmied our way around via another path that was hidden away behind the trees.
The old abandoned pool was the first sign of what was to come - eerie and pretty at the same time.

 As we made it to the clearing, I looked around. An old orchard with fruit trees that looked like weathered old soldiers standing at attention.

We walked through the orchard and I was drawn to the next path. A canopy of greenery framing the way - a shaded path that drew you deeper into the garden, greenery and bamboo leaning in on both sides, touching each other at the top. At the other end we came upon the stair steps of reflecting ponds.
I looked around in amazement.

Never in a million years would I have expected to see this in Nepal on the top of the mountain. I kept following the path to see where it would go. Somewhere in the distance I heard two women talking. Hearing that just made me feel like sneaking around to see more…almost as though I was in the forbidden, secret garden.

Walking up the pathway we went through another gateway. I could tell that we were drawing closer to something, but I didn’t know what! Then I looked up and saw a little cottage.

It was the prettiest, small cottage. Actually would be the perfect little house for me. I just had to sneak a look through the windows. All of the furniture had been left behind too!
The arbor attached to the house gave the perfect shaded area. I could so imagine myself sitting there writing. I kept walking, nosing around and searching for the next surprise.
The rows of ruined posts looked like an old chess set standing at tattered rest waiting for the next game. I could just see how this was the area for the family to gather and play, the children running around and ducking in and out around the ruins.

As I kept walking I came upon the main house, an underground structure that was built into the hill. With the big “private” sign on the front door I shied away and didn’t try to peek inside.
I didn’t see either one of the guys and was dying to go up the steps to see what was above. I looked over at the rock and realized that someone had carved a turtle into it. Suddenly Sandesh came running up beside me and the two of us took off up the steps.
He knew exactly where to go. Running ahead he started climbing on the light domes. I would have done the same thing if I didn’t have camera and gear attached to me!

This abandoned old estate on the mountaintops of Nepal was the most tragically beautiful garden I had ever experienced!

I felt like I was in a Muppet or Willy Wonka scene as I looked around. Then I turned around and walked further up the hill to find a lake and pavilions. IT. WAS. BREATHTAKING!

I could just imagine lounging around on the pavilions and doing absolutely nothing. Ahh, what a dream!
Then I looked across the valley to see a huge rainstorm going across. We weren’t the least bit concerned, it wouldn’t make it to us. It was beautiful looking down to see it slowly move, inching it’s way in front of us.

Around another bend I found exactly what any mountain top retreat could not go without…a helipad! At that point I started dreaming of how wonderful it would be to be a part of the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and actually own a property like this. Dream, dream, dream!

I walked away from the secret garden in awe. I had never in a million years guessed that anything like that existed on a mountaintop in Nepal. The structure of the plants, the design, the layout had kept drawing me from one section of it to the next. I was in love.
If only...

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copyright 2011-2017 Loxley Browne

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