It is hard to know at what moment it happened. The moment that I realised how much this country has endeared itself to me.

Maybe it was the little boy that played a seed-moving game with me on the floor of his village hut.

Maybe it was his thirteen year old sisters who, after staring at me for ages, put on lipstick and nailpolish before giggling and coming to show me. (Just to be clear, I was wearing neither - I was trekking, after all). They obviously decided I needed improvement and applied some traditional Thanakha paste to my face. On their beautiful dark skin it looks exotic - it just made my face look like I needed a wash.

It could have been cycling along the bumpy, dusty roads and passing a 300 year old monastery that anywhere else in the world would be an attraction in its own right.

Perhaps it was navigating the narrow, weeded channels leading into the lake, with my bike in the boat.

Was it the novice monk initiation ceremony/parade that passed right by my hotel room? Beautifully dressed girls in their finery, the young monks-to-be on horseback, dressed like princes in white and joyous drummers and singers at the end of the line?

I'm pretty sure it was meditating in a cave on a hillside that has sealed the deal so far.

Maybe it's just the whole lot.