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Published: July 18th 2011
With my volunteering officially completed, I had a few days to spend poking around Pokhara with some pals that I made at my hotel. First, I headed to a yoga and meditation center outside of the city for a few days of relaxation. In order to reach the yoga center, you have to hike for uphill through rice paddies and forest using little white signs as navigation. It wasn't easy with my heavy bag on my back. I kept thinking that this trek must be some way to weed out the people who aren't physically fit enough to complete the yoga course. I eventually made it and I am glad that I did.
Each day, the wake up gong goes off at 5:30 AM and we stumble down to the meditation room for morning meditation. After our meditation instructor leads us towards inner peace and my legs have fallen asleep in the meditation posture, we have tea on the patio and spend 20 minutes cleaning our nasal passages with neti pots. In order to get all of the water out of our noses, we do a series of hilarious nasal exhalation exercises. My favorite was the one where you flap
your arms like a chicken and bounce up and down in a squatting position, exhaling loudly through your nose. Next comes an hour of yoga and a morning walk. A full four hours after we wake up, we finally get to have breakfast. It is worth the wait because the food is delicious (all organic and mostly from the garden)! The rest of the day proceeds with more meditation, a steam or mud bath, more yoga, a much needed nap, and afternoon chanting. It was so relaxing and peaceful there that I did not want to leave.
My last day in Pokhara I went with my Russian friend Tim on a motorbike ride to the villages surrounding Pokhara. It is planting season for rice, so most of the farmers were out in the fields tilling the soil with their oxen while the women planted the rice. We rode as far as we could on the motorbike until a river flooded the road, making it impassible. The roadblock was fortuitous because it caused us to us to notice a little bridge and view point off in the distance.
After hiking up to the viewpoint, I finally saw it -
a Nepalese, snow capped mountain. I have been waiting for weeks to see one, but because I am here during the monsoon the normally visible Anapurna Range is shrouded in clouds. I was setting my alarm at 5 AM every morning hoping it would be clear enough to catch a glimpse but it never was. As if the mountain gods knew it was my last day in Pokhara, the clouds parted to reveal the monstrous mountains that had been hiding in the mist. It was stunning. Absolutely gigantic. Highlight of my day. Worth the wait.
The next morning I headed off to Kathmandu with a 1/2 day rafting trip on the way. As my bus pulled out of Pokhrara, the famous fishtail mountain with its maderhorn-like peak loomed in the distance. I will definitely be back to Pokhara and will for sure do the Anapurna Circuit trek. Who's in?
Tot: 1.988s; Tpl: 0.071s; cc: 12; qc: 60; dbt: 0.0545s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb