Back to the mountains
04.22.2012 - 04.26.2012 85 °F
Pokhara is a six hour bus ride from Kathmandu that left us wondering how bus drivers manage their time. After leaving at 7am the bus stopped at 10am for breakfast, then at noon for lunch! At one point we were worried that our six hour bus ride might also include a dinner stop! The great thing about buses in Nepal is that the scenery is always mountainous and the local busses are always filled to the brim with travelers sitting on top of the bus yelling, beating drums and playing their supped up version of a “Tommy Tonet” (remember those recorders from when we were kids?) The sounds and sights kinda made you wanna ride the bus all day! Luckily, we made it there in only 6.5 hrs and were able to find a guesthouse just as everyone deserted the streets as a huge wind and dust storm was picking up.
The storm left as quick as it came, and after unpacking we had the best chicken momos ever at a place called Parbati Restaurant next to our new friend Hemant’s Nepali Cottage Guesthouse (where we were staying). It was more like the front yard of the Parbarti family’s home, but after sampling around town, it turned out that this place had the best flavor and prices in all of Lake Side. Our room had a sweet view of the mountain tops and a park that filled up with soccer players every day. One of youngsters turned out to be a neighborhood kid that we met. His dad proudly told us that he will be headed off to some Nepali National team tryouts in a few days.
Since we were only on a 15 day visa in Nepal, we decided not to enter into the Annapurna Mountain Range boundary and instead do a few day hikes from town. One of those hikes was up to the Peace Monument across the lake. We thought we were going to rent bikes, ride around the lake and then ride up to the monument… but turns out that our tourist map was missing the contour lines and the words ‘3 inch deep loose dirt road!’
We also hiked from town to Sarangkot for a picnic with a view the Annapurnas.
On the way back down, we chatted up a local who told us that there was an alternate way down that was not as steep that took us through a village. We thought this would be a good idea for Robin’s knee, which it was, until we got lost and stuck on terraced rice paddies with 5 foot drops and confused water buffalos.
During our hike to Sarangkot we watched some paragliders soar up the thermals and then down to Phewa Lake. This inspired Robin to eventually take her own flight. Flying was an amazing experience, one she hopes she can do more!
Most of Pokhara’s Lake Side district caters to trekkers who are preparing (or just got back) from the 20 day Annapurna Loop / Base Camp trek, so there are lots of fun heath food grocery stores and nice little cafés along the lake. With views like these, now you know why we are somewhat behind on writing this blog!