Monday, 17 April 2017

#16 Pokhara part 1 - Hail showers and brownies

Next it was time for me to catch another bus to Pokhara which took half the day.

I bumped into one of Sanju's volunteers I had met in Kathmandu so we had a drink and then the rain started right on time and we scrambled back to our respective hotels.

The next day I hung around in the morning and shifted to a better hotel with a nicer atmosphere where I had a Skype interview for a teaching job in Thailand.

That afternoon I explored more of Pokhara and which mainly consisted of wandering up and down the main street looking in shops. I couldn't find anything else worth doing that didn't require spending a lot of money and as I was not sure I had a job lined up I was still in stingy money mode.

In the evening I found an outdoor movie garden. They were screening the film Gandhi which was really good and I wished I'd seen it before going to India. It gave a great background to the country. They also served amazing pizza and I completely forgot I was in Nepal for a good three hours.

Previously that afternoon it had started to hail. I've never been anywhere where it hails whilst still being so warm. To avoid the weather I jumped from cafe to cafe guiltily getting my fix of western food. Brownies, hot chocolate, you name it, Pokhara had it.
There were a lot of German bakeries and they served really good coffee. I'd even go as far as saying the best I've ever had. New Zealand included.

On my third day in Pokhara I got up early and hiked to the peace pagoda which is a large buddhist stupa on top of one of the surrounding hills. I took a boat to the start of the track first and walked 45 minutes up the hill where I got a fairly good glimpse of the Annapurna Range amongst the clouds. Clouds hide the surrounding mountains as soon as the air starts heating up so it's best to get up for the sunrise but I wasn't that keen. I figured I woud get good views during the Poon Hill trek.

I had decided to walk all the way back down which was supposed to take two hours but I stopped at a cave and Davis Falls which were named after a Swiss woman who drowned there in the 60s. Most peculiar. I wondered what they were called before that incident.

The caves were very interesting. You took a long flight of stairs spiralling down into the ground and then walked to where you could see part of a waterfall. I am now also in many Nepali people's holiday photos. I didn't really feel like obliging at the time but felt so mean saying no... So I humored them.

That afternoon I got a little lost walking back along the road and ended up jumping in a taxi back to the lakeside. Lucky I did because I was still miles away and I'd been walking for what seemed like forever. By this stage I was hot and hungry and annoyed with myself for failing my adventure attempt.

I found a cool cafe by the lakeside and chilled in there for the hottest part of the day. I ate a huge plate of nachos and made my coke and Apple cider last as long as I could so I could continue sitting on their comfy chairs in the shade. I really couldn't see anything else to do in Pokhara for free so I told myself I was resting and eating up in preparation for the trek...

Peace Pagoda - Pokhara

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