Woke up very early this morning at 05:00 by a group of guests who must have been leaving for the first flight out of omsom. Couldn’t get back to sleep so got up and did some work on photos. We all met for breakfast just before 08:00 and left for the airport 08:45. It was just a 5 minute walk to the airport and the porters also came with us and carried the big duffel bags. We then waited for a while before Sudarshan got our boarding tickets and we had to put all our luggage on a scale. We mentally added up our group weight and thought we were under the 15kgs each we were allotted but to our surprise they said we were 5 kgs over for the group. Considering that’s just 1 kg per person, it seemed pretty trivial as we all could have easily carried 1 kg extra on our bodies. In the end, they brought back two of our duffel bags and we just took a few things out we wouldn’t need and they were happy but they didn’t even weigh them to check it was 5 kgs we took out, so it was very random.
Sudarshan said he would take the things back to Kathmandu for us.
We were then ushered through security where a guard goes through your carry-on manually (no x-ray machine) and gives you a pat down. We then waited in another waiting room before lining up on the tarmac and watched as our small 20 passenger seat plane came in to land and stopped just metres away from where we were standing. For some reason the right propeller continued to spin as they unloaded the luggage and got us onboard on the left side whilst they loaded up our baggage. It was as if we were getting on a local bus. We were all very excited as we got on this small plane and jostled for a window seat. Vicki sat on a single seat on the left side of the plane and the reast of us sat in double seats on the right of the plane. Most of the other passengers seemed to be Nepalis or Indians returning from their pilgrimage to the temple we had visited in Muktinath. A lady next to Vicki just slept through the whole flight whilst we were all quite excited as we took
off and flew down through the mountains to Pokdara. The left side is the side you can see some snow capped peaks but their was a fair bit of cloud cover today although Vicki did capture one peak. On the right side it was still beautiful views of green valleys almost immediately, which was quite surprising as the area we had gone through in the last 2 days was quite dry and dusty.
In just 20 minutes we safely landed at Pokhara airport and we alighted the plane with no-one in sight to direct us anywhere. We then saw a small building about 25 metres away where you could collect your baggage so we walked over the tarmac towards this building (no markings at all to show where you should walk), when another plane landed and just casually drove past us just 10 metres from us. We laughed at how casual the safety standards are compared to other airports we had visited.
After collecting our bags we walked out expecting to see someone holding up a sign with our names but no-one was there with our names so we sat down and Vicki had to put her mobile
data on to contact our agent Rusha, whilst Mitch walked around to look with no luck. As Mitch and Nick were talking about it, a man who was talking to his friend and sitting next to them, pulled out a sign with my name on it. I later told all this to Rusha for her information and she said the guy had been waiting over an hour, but that’s no excuse as he should have been paying more attention to the fact people were coming out of the terminal.
We were then all ushered into a jeep while the guide who hadn’t really introduced himself yet followed us on his motorbike. On arrival at the very nice Hotel Batika, we were told that our rooms consisted of a one room with a double and single and one room with a double to accommodate the 5 of us, which was not to our satisfaction. We had to contact Rusha and explain that in Australia, people do not usually share a double bed unless they are a couple. After a lot of negotiation, they gave us another double room which rectified the situation.
At 12:30 Nick and Mitch along with
Krissy as an observer went off to their appointed Bungee Jump, whilst Vicki and I had lunch at the hotel and went walking around the local area. Our itinerary said that BLD were included but I decided to check with Rusha who said that only B was included, so we argued that the itinerary had it, so she agreed they would pay for it. Pokhara turned out to be quite a surprise as it is less grungy than the Thamel area we stayed in Kathmandu. I returned to the hotel a little earlier than Vicki met Mitch and Krissy at the lift. They were going out again for a little look around so we arranged to meet later for dinner. Vicki decided to go for a “Trekker’s Special” massage so had an early dinner on her own beforehand.
The food at this hotel is very good, but definitely catering for “Western” tastes which, after 10 days of mountain Nepalese vegetarian food, makes it taste even better I’m sure.
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