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Published: February 25th 2011
I finally decided, and am going to be firm in my desire, to write the complete blog about the Nepal travel. It occurred to me that the easiest way to start is to write a short piece about Pokhara; the blog about trek is too large to be completed by one effort, though I already have the draft text but it will take a certain amount of time to make it readable. I managed to delete the text about the first five days in Kathmandu, so Kathmandu will also be spoken about later.
In the blog about the Annapurna Base Camp trek I dwell a little on Pokhara and my first impressions of it. Looking back now, I realize the trekking journey was somewhat incomplete, so to say, because I had a cold during all ten days of it and that might have hindered my better perception of the Himalayan reality and somewhat shifted the focus of my attention from the natural wonders and the beautiful landscapes to the sufferings of the body, the nose in particular.
When we drove in a car from Kathmandu to Pokhara, I was thoroughly chilled by the air coming from the open windows,
Hire a Boat
you can row by yourself or hire a boat man
and the next morning I felt very bad and very sick. In the morning, there was fog, and nothing would attract my attention at that time, but the magnificent Phewa Lake. That might be a nice place for a honeymoon, I dare say. One might even go on a short trek to commemorate the marital condition of the couple, say, to Poon Hill, and also spend several days on the Lake, and, after returning to Kathmandu, go to Nagarkot to enjoy the sunset... This last remark is based on a film I saw quite recently, called “1000 Places to See Before You Die. Nepal”; I intend to visit Nagarkot myself next time.
It will be a bit difficult to perceive my narrative because of the lack of chronological order, but, nevertheless, give it a try. Also, do not be too strict about the coordination of the tenses, because parts of the text I wrote during the trip itself, so they are in the present tense.
This was the last day of the trek and we had only a three hours’ walk and were back in Pokhara! Back in Phedi, actually, and then a taxi took
us to Pokhara. One of the notable impressions is the returning of the urban noises as soon as we were in Phedi, and the cars and buses, and the general whirl of life, as compared to the mountains’ serenity.
The first thing I did in Pokhara was to go to an internet cafe to get in touch with some friends of mine. One girl sent me worried sms messages to which I was unable to respond due to the lack of money on the phone. But I felt very grateful for the worrying about me.
Tomorrow we also stay here and the next morning fly to Kathmandu. I hired a boat for about 2 hours, rowed by myself and it was nice. The lake is not small, and in the middle of it rises a small island with a temple. I saw people rowing to and from it. I did not bathe or swim because I did not see anyone involved in such activity.
After boating, I strolled for a while in the city and bought many books in English, spending much time looking through the shelves; the selection of books was remarkably nice. I found a
whole bunch of Wodehouse novels, and bought about 6 of them.
This day I went to the World Peace Stupa standing on a hill about 1000 meters high. I hired the boat for the whole day, rowed to the other bank, and climbed up the hill to see the Stupa. Roughly, the rising takes some 40 minutes, and the panorama of the city, the lake, and the mountains reveals itself as you rise. It really is a good place for honeymoon, to go to the World Peace Stupa and agree with your beloved to live in peace and not to harm one another and do good to one another, and meditate about the meaning of life, and what not.
That day I read two books by Wodehouse and I must say his novels have such a positive atmosphere and I could not stop reading for a single minute. I sat on the grass and enjoyed myself for several hours.
What a lovely white colour! The view on the mountain ranges was obscured by rather impertinent clouds and the air was like a white veil making the mountains not so clear as I would desire.
The Lake looks awesome! After returning from the hill, I let the boat float freely and took a sun bath while reading Wodehouse; it is not generally recommended to uncover the parts of your body in public in Nepal, but I guess there was no public right in the middle of the lake. Having returned from boating at about 4 PM, I had dinner and really enjoyed it, they serve rather big portions and everything is so tasty.
In the morning I had breakfast and collected my things. An interesting thing to note is that when I was leaving the hotel, the owner sometimes asked me to pay for it, though the guide have said he arranged everything (because lodging was included in the price of my tour). So, be careful and make it all clear about paying for accommodation. I did not like being asked to pay in that way.
The airport is not very far away from the city, it is small and quiet, unlike that of Kathmandu (domestic). The flight was not delayed. They have rather a peculiar way of security checking. Flights are announced by the mouth – an official person
Phewa Lake Island
there is a temple on the island and the local people go there in crowds, i guess for religious purposes
shouts out which flight is next.
The flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu is only about 30 minutes and it provides the unforgettable views over the Himalayan Range. The aircraft was small, the airline company called Yeti Airlines. The Himalayas are on your left and they look just what you want to see, not giving you a single reason for disappointment. But the windows of the aircraft were rather dirty and so the quality of the photos was not at its highest.
To summarize, Pokhara is, as most of guide books say, starting point of many treks. In itself, it is a quiet very beautiful place with many attractions. However, it is less crazy and dusty than Kathmandu. Try both means of transport – the aircraft (to see the Himalayas) and the bus/car (to experience the crazy driving and some stunning views).
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