We bundled into a taxi early in the morning with the two ladies from China that we had met and the extremely cute toddler that they were travelling with. The journey down the hill from Bandipur was so much more comfortable by car, we reached the town of Dunre and sped off heading north to Pokhara. The roads although still muddy and bumpy were a lot easier to handle in a comfy seat, we chatted and took a little nap, the journey took a couple of hours which is at least half the time it would have taken by bus. Once we reached the town of Pokhara we all walked to a street bursting with hotels, the one we had booked was modern and quite fancy compared to what we were used to. Pokhara is the base for many hikers as several loop walks begin and end in the busy town, it is right on the doorstep of the famous Annapurna mountain range. After checking in we walked into town and realised straight away how much of a tourist hub it is, there were cafés, bars and restaurants alongside souvenir shops, bookshops and outlets selling hiking gear. We wandered along to the shore of Phewa Lake, a huge body of water framed by mountains. There were children swimming in the water, people out in row boats splashing around with their paddles and small groups sat eating picnics on the grass. As we walked along the waters edge we felt like we were seeing a different side to Nepal, here was a bustling town filled with concrete hotels and shops but surrounded by wondrous natural beauty. The clouds were hiding the snowcapped peaks of Annapurna but we knew they were there somewhere, lurking behind white, standing proud over the town.
The next day we decided to go for a row on the lake. Somehow whenever Craig and I decide to embark upon such an activity we always end up in an argument, I'm not sure if it's a power struggle or if we're both just extremely stubborn but we ended up in a tiff out on the water. Luckily once we got into a rowing rhythm our crossed words lifted and we found ourselves having fun. The heat was quite intense as the suns rays bounced off the reflective surface and onto our skin. We rowed for an hour, racing the clock to get back in time. An afternoon drink in a lakeside bar cooled us off before having a look in some of the many bookshops which were selling a wide selection of maps, stationery, handmade papers as well as books. I ended up buying a stack of things justifying it by saying that we were at the end of the trip therefore a few souvenirs were in order. in the evening we went to nearby Café Concerto, an Italian restaurant where we had a wonderful meal overlooking the street and lakeside trees.
With such lovely surroundings in the hotel we decided to relax for the day, we ventured out to the bookstore again to pick up another map souvenir and I decided to test out the new handmade paper that I had bought by making a small drawing of a leaf while sat on the sunny balcony, colourful prayer flags adorning the hotel opposite kept catching my eye.
We'd had a lot of lazy days since arriving in India and then Nepal, possibly because we'd travelled so adventurously for the first eight months through South and Central America, squeezing in everything that we could manage in short spaces of time. With that flight home booked I wanted to make sure that we actually saw a bit more of Nepal so that we wouldn't leave regretting the fact that we stayed close to the hotel the whole time. With that in mind we took a bus to the International Mountain Museum to learn all about the Himalaya, the king of all the mountain ranges in the world. We wouldn't be doing any treks on this trip due to a lack of funds, time and energy so we at least wanted to learn a bit more about the area from an educational point of view. The mountain museum was excellent, sat in its own pretty grounds with a model of a snowcapped peak big enough to climb. The highlight of the museum was reading about each of the 15 highest peaks in the world and how and when they were first summited, having read Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer and been enthralled by it I find the subject of mountaineering especially in the Himalaya to be fascinating. We saw an interpretation of what a yeti looks like as they have been supposedly spotted in the area and chuckled at its weird furry face. We negotiated for a taxi to take us to a viewpoint that overlooks Phewa Lake called Sarangkot which was on the other side of town. The drive up was pretty and full of hairpin bends, we stopped at one viewpoint and got hassled a little by local children before driving to a second point where the view of the town and lake was stunning. In the distance there were groups of paragliders slowing descending from the top point of the hill we were on. In the evening we went for momo's which were delicious.
Our last couple of days in Pokhara were spent walking by the lake, souvenir shopping and eating. We managed to pick up some little bottles of local booze for Craig to gift to his mates, one bottle in particular cost barely anything, we joked that it probably tasted like window cleaner. Another shop sold antiquities, it was like an Aladdin's Cave of curiosities, we bought a pair of Tingsha cymbals for our buddhist friend Lee and had a chat with the friendly shopkeeper about Nepalese politics. When we left Pokhara early in the morning we finally glimpsed the Annapurna mountains which had been hiding for all the time that we were in town, the white snowcapped peaks were like a beacon in the morning sun with the famous Fishtail peak at the centre. How we wished that we could get out in to the hills to see the mountains up close, it wasn't to be this time but we could only hope that one day we would be able to return to Nepal and go hiking to see the highest mountains in the world up close ourselves.
Have you been to Pokhara? If so, what did you think and did you manage to take on a trek? Let me know in the comments below.
If you enjoyed reading then please click the heart at the bottom, share or better still leave me a comment, I love reading them. ❤️
[If you are receiving this via email firstly thank you for subscribing! Secondly please click 'read in browser' to leave a comment and click the heart if you would like to. If you're not subscribed and would like to be, head to the contact page and leave your email.]