Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pokhara

The 3rd day in Nepal had us heading from Kathmandu to Pokhara (Nepal) by bus on June 24th. The trip there was soooo crazy. How crazy you ask? Well, in Celtic logic, it could be described as a 200-km journey that took 400 km!

At first, it was a horn blaring, bumper to bumper, stop and go, bumpy narrow road as we climbed out of Kathmandu to a high pass.

Colourful transports

Then back down again along a road cut into the steep side slopes with no let up in congestion. The scenery after the pass was beautiful. We were tracing our way through foot mountains of the Himalayas. Verdant steep slopes covered terraced paddies and grow plots along with the humble tenant shacks that speckled the mountain walls as far as you could see.

Traffic block a kilometre ahead

Once down in the valley, the going got faster and the traffic eased a bit as we flew through little towns and settlements and along the streams and rivers, some raging with churning rapids.

Arriving in Pokhara after about 7 hours, we again were met with hotel pickup, and 5 minutes later, we were checked in (Hotel Family Home) with the same effusive manner as in Kathmandu. We had time to clean up and take a late afternoon/evening stroll along the lakeside path where we dined till dark to the enjoyable sounds of a local band.

Tranquil lakeside twilight

Overnight, we heard it rain and the next day began by threatening us with more of the stuff but by noon it mostly cleared. So we rented a classic Royal Enfield motorcycle and headed for some adventure riding in higher elevation with the hope of seeing that part of the Himalayas known as the Annapurna Mountain range.

We climbed out of Pokhara into the thinning air along a rough narrow road, through mud and over boulders, looking for a view point. At the best high vantage point, the majestic Annapurna range kept itself almost totally cloaked in clouds teasing us with only glimpses of its mighty peaks here and there.

Peaking peaks

We continued past peaceful villages where the children were playing, farmers were busy with their water buffalo plowing the rice paddies in the shadows of their meek homes, and men and women were packing large backloads of greenery in bamboo baskets.

Heavy load

With waning light, we reluctantly descended on switchbacks that would bring us back to civilization.

Mountain village

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