Sleepy Pokhara


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January 30th 2009
Published: December 18th 2010
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The four of us roof surfed to Pokhara, me losing my stick en-route after it casually fell off the roof. Whilst I fear that mum and dad will most definitely disapprove, we got over this by smoking a wee joint whilst bus surfing. Some things just shouldn’t mix!
Pokhara is on the side of a beautiful lake and on arrival here we were all stunned by just how amazing the place is compared to Kathmandu and Thamel. The main area where backpackers stay is Lakeside and after being surrounded by endless guesthouse touts we settled on a non-Lonely Planet one that was both cheap and had a TV AHHHHHHH sweet civilization!!!

Streets around lakeside are broad, clean and come complete with this crazy modern addition that we were later to discover are called ‘Pavements’. After a full on day of chilling we ended up sitting in a bar with Grape Shish, once again I will disappoint some people at home I’m afraid. Unfortunately the grape was a little dull so we slyly snuck in some slightly fruitier ingredients and completed our first day back in style!

Next day we decided to hire motorbikes. Well, Ciaran hired a motorbike (after
Off the TrackOff the TrackOff the Track

Ciaran and I are unimpressed with the Maya Devi caves and it's waterfall and so head off down a 'closed' route to explore instead.
much debate I chose not to) and myself and Gareth hired mopeds and zoomed off to the Maya Devi caves after Glen had told us of a hidden section that sounded interesting (basically a technically locked off bat cave!). The journey there was interrupted regularly as Ciaran’s bike stalled multiple times and proved to not be the sexy hog that he’d hoped for, whilst me and Gareth cruised around on our surprisingly nippy though terrible looking bikes. The caves normal features are a lousy temple that no tourist could possibly be interested in as it is the same as the million others above ground, the lousiness compounded by having to pay 30 rupees for the ‘pleasure’ of walking past. The other feature is a waterfall, which is from a river that you can see above ground, but slips away through the cracks in the ground into the cave. On turning down towards where we believed the ‘hidden cave’ to be we found the route went left and right, following a minor discussion we went right and after the cave grew smaller and smaller we retired for fear of many things (one of which being beaten by the staff with large
PokharaPokharaPokhara

Taken from the eccentric Irish man's castle home.
sticks). Later we found out we went the wrong way, should’ve gone left!

Ciaran retired his bike whilst Gareth and me carried on to milk it a bit by driving around the lake. Gareth was leading when a bus came round one of the regular big bends, whilst people were crossed. In my over enthusiasm and general noobism I put on my brakes and managed to get the front wheel to twist, sending my skidding to the floor with spectacular fail.

The front panel had completely fallen off (I’d ripped the tape holding it together amongst other things). After some assistance from an English guy I got some tape which was approx 5mm wide (useless) and attempted to piece it back together. Once satisfied we headed back, I removed that tape and tried returning the bike and so very very nearly got away with it until at last moment the guy noticed it was fairly mauled and broken.

In the evening we met Gijis and Glen we who had now finished their extended trek and we all ate in a Punjab restaurant.

Next day we all met for lunch and were joined by an Irish girl Erma, where we heard about a castle in Pokhara owned by a crazy English or Irish person. Clearly this was a good place to go, so the 7 of us made our way there up the hill. Turned out the owners were Irish and Portuguese and it was also a guesthouse (although an expensive one). Ciaran and me took advantage of the table tennis table and we all just chilled for a while.

Back down in Pokhara we all went for a meal in one of the many tv rooms where you select the film you want to watch from their extensive illegal DVD collections. To my personal disappointment, they were watching Troy. On the bright side I had a great tasting half roast chicken. On the downside I dropped it all over myself in another genius move (since having to climb up a landslide one day on the trek, and then falling down one on another I seem to be increasingly doing stupid things by accident).

Morning of the 18th day since beginning our trek (the actual date is long lost to me) we decided to leave Pokhara and head to Chitwan National Park where Brian had
Full Power IndeedFull Power IndeedFull Power Indeed

We tried just about everything from his stall - great food!
volunteered with elephants for a month previously, only being Nepal there was a strike on and so there were no buses available. To pass the day, the four of us (me, Barry, Brian and Ciaran (ABBC) hired push bikes and attempted to cycle to the Gurkha museum without a map, clearly locals could point us in the right direction… Except not a single person had heard of it and after a long time we decided to cycle back to lakeside.

It was at this point the riot started.

Rocks and bottles flew as shouting started as the couple of hundred student protesters marched down the street. Then in came the riot police with shields, batons and tear gas. We stood nearby and watched the proceedings as the violence grew and settled in waves, gradually being made to move further and further back. Eventually we left and decided to cycle in the way of a media photographer for fun and back to Lakeside.

Back here we went to the lake and hired two rowing boats and a fishing rod and set out towards the middle. Fishing went well, being my first time I was glad to catch a
Riot!Riot!Riot!

A student protest against the Maoist Government turns into a riot.
rather spectacular lump of weed.

Couple of hours later we went back ashore and chilled during the evening by watching the Prestige is our room.

Chitwan was to be the next morning……


Additional photos below
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Strange ScenesStrange Scenes
Strange Scenes

We felt under no threat at all despite what was going on so we hung around as long as possible.
Butch and ButcherButch and Butcher
Butch and Butcher

For some reason unknown to me (if one is needed), Indian and Nepalese men regularly hold hands. The Avril Lavigne tshirt made the photo worth taking.
Fishing TripFishing Trip
Fishing Trip

The four of us took a trip on Pokhara lake, for my first ever fishing trip. I successfully caught some weeds.
Nepali Service StationNepali Service Station
Nepali Service Station

Great veggie burgers to be had at this service stop en-route to Chitwan.
Eggplant?Eggplant?
Eggplant?

Some things are not meant to make sense. They are worth a photo though.


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