Pokhara Part Two - Including Lumbini

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February 28th 2010
Published: August 9th 2017
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On the previous day, Radek had bought a small cooker. We used it in the morning to cook our own oats and boiled eggs. Despite Radeks intense travels he was still up for some mountain biking. So we hired two bikes, which weren't really proper mountain bikes but they had gears. We planned to do a mountain bike trail that was mentioned in the Lonely Planet which was a 60km round trip, up to Sarangkot hill, along the side of the hills and then 30km downhill back to Pokhara.
The start was intense straight away, we had to climb to the top and I hopped off the bike quite a few times to push, where as Radek pushed himself. It turned out i wasn't on the lowest gear from the start so it became easier. Once again it was a heavily misty and cloudy day, you could barely see the lake. No chance of any views. After maybe 2 hrs we reached the top. From here i am assuming there would be amazing views of Pokhara and the Annapurna mountain range, but not today. They still had the paragliding happening, but unless you had no choice why would you do it on a day with no views. Not for that amount of money anyway.

I was sweating immensely, my shirt was soaked but it got easier from the top as it was pretty flat from then on. We passed small villages and took photos of the scenery as best we could. When we reached a small village where the dirt road meets the main road back to Pokhara we stopped to get some cheap fruit. We we pursued by Tibetan ladies trying to sell us bracelets and necklaces. We both bought something, but I knew i we were paying extra but we bargained them down to half.
We then proceeded 30km downhill to Pokhara. There was some nice views of the tierd farms and green hills all around, so shattered it was a cloudy and misty day. It would have made for some brilliant photos.

Not far from Pokhara was a Tibetan refugee camp, we decided to enter and have a look around. I ended up buying another bracelet, but at a much cheaper price than before. But eventually we couldn't be bothered looking around so we glided back into Pokhara and dropped off the bikes.
It had been an amazing day, very bumpy and intense and when we came to drop the bikes off in a dusty state as well as Radeks bike handles were loose, the guy knew we had taken them off road and told us that they were city bikes, but we said we didn't take them off road.
We got back to the guesthouse and cooked up some noodles on Radek' gas stove. We rested and I went to book my train to Varanasi. We grabbed a Dal Bhat for dinner, it was so much food and i couldn't finish it but Radek did, including some of mine. We then went for a stroll along the main street where i bought a few things.

We planned to go to the World Peace Pagoda the following morning and had hoped the weather was going to be good, but it was crap yet again, we still went though. After waiting an hour to collect my train ticket we headed off to the trail near Damside which took a bit less than 2 hrs to the top, walking through the forest where there were many trails diverting all over the place, sometime hard to get your bearings. It was also Humid and i was sweating. As we got to the top it started raining. There was a big goup of school kids having lunch up the top, but clearly girls and boys clearly separated. I have noticed a lot of school kids in Pokhara, i think most attend the boarding schools.
The views were limited, misty and cloudy from the rain. It started to rain while we were walking around the pagoda in socks, so we decided we would leave. We went back a different way, real local trails, small trails that somehow got us back onto the main trail. We stopped for some cake, and for the first time in 4 days the weather slightly cleared to see some of the mountains. Radek had not seen the mountains since arriving in Pokhara so he was excited about going back up to the pagoda the following day.

It was myself and Radek's last night together, as i was heading to Lumbini in the morning. We grabbed a cheap dinner with some beers and went to bed.
Morning came and i was up early. I said goodbye to Radek and walked to the dusty vacant lot where i arrived from Kathmandu. My bus was scheduled at 8am but i was 45 min early and caught an earlier bus. The bus headed towards Kathmandu and i started wondering if i was on the right bus, but about half way to Kathmandu it cuts back to Sonuli. This accounted for the 8 hr trip. When i reached Bhairahwawa ( Here the Indian presence is more common ) I hopped off for a local bus to Lumbini which was packed to the rafters, no space whatsoever. luckily it was a short 45 min trip. I reached Lumbuni around 5pm, checked into my accommodation and took a walk around. I briefly checked the small local vegetable market and scoped out the town as i was to visit all the monasteries and birthplace of Buddha the following day.
I grabbed some dinner and was joined by and Asian Canadian named Albert, funny and strange guy who was into Meditation. He hated traveling in India and had the visa problem as well. I ran into Glen, the American guy who went to Royal Bardia with Radek and who i had briefly met in Kathmandu. I invited him to join us and we chatted for the rest of the night.

The accommodation i stayed at was infested with mosquitos, my room had many buzzing around so i lathered myself in repellant before heading to bed. I woke in the middle of the night to some rustling, a mouse had gotten into the rubbish bin and was sifting through my discarded chocolate eclair wrappers. Then some scratching happened throughout the night that i couln't pin point the actual location. At 4am people awoke making some loud noise, and by 5 am the owners and staff were in full swing making a huge racket outside. It was a dreadful nights sleep but even if i had a different room it would have been the same, except for the mouse.
So eventually i got out of bed and had some breakfast.
I hired a bike from the guesthouse and rode around all day looking at all the various different country temples and their takes on Buddha's bith. The place is big so hiring a bike is advantageous. Most of the area is empty land. I also visited the museum and peace pagoda on the north top of the area. Some of the monasteries were closed and rennovations were happening all around.

I got back and had a shower and relaxed for the rest of the night. The power cuts still happen and it was abut 7:30 when the power came back on, I leapt out of the room and headed to the Internet, but the power was cutting on and off, so it was pointless. I met with Albert for some dinner and then headed to bed.
It was my last day in Nepal, my visa had run out so i had to leave Nepal. I waited for the local bus back to Bhairahwawa which again was packed to the rafters. At the start i had to ride on top of the bus. It was a lot of fun. I then caught a rickshaw to Sonuli at the border and re-entered the busy, noisy and dirty town of India.
Nepal has been so amazing, what a country. There is so much to see and so here that i am looking forward to returning one day.

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