Pokhara, Nepal - Sarangkot & more
Pokhara Travel Blog› entry 232 of 247 › view all entries
As you already know hitchhiking works wonderfully in this amazing country.
It’s almost as if the folks stopping to give lifts actually are part of the public transport system!! They stop for everyone, pretty much, and I’m not even exaggerating!!
So, of course, there is never a dull moment during our rides. Not only were the passengers incredibly warm and friendly, the landscapes in and around Nepal are magnificent.
Everything about this country is stunning. The people are absolutely gorgeous, the culture is fascinating, and the food is quite tasty.
Sounds like a bit much, but this place is truly something else.
And well, now our adventure has taken us to yet another astounding place, Pokhara.
The journey went smoothly. We managed to catch lifts pretty easily. But again, as has been the case sometimes, Arnaud’s white skin never failed to give off the impression that he’s loaded.
Again, unfortunately NOT the case!!
Funny thing about hitchhiking was that as everyone hopped on and off the trucks, not once was anyone asked to contribute any money. But wait, not so fast, not you Mr. Arnaud!!!
He, on the other hand, was frequently asked to pay a little something something!! Go figure!!
Still, even though it was a bit irritating to see this type of prejudice persist, he would just brush it off, and go on his way.
Fortunately, we were never faced with a problematic situation, in which the driver was so persistent that we found ourselves in a jam.
Upon arrival in Pokhara, we did, however, find ourselves faced with a problem, since our host was unable to put us up.
A problem for us, because being that Pokhara was a pretty large city, and a massive tourist destination, the possibility of pitching our tent anywhere was slim.
So, what were we going to do?!!
Well, it was quite simple, we decided to skip over our visit here for now and head straight for Sarangkot, which was actually the hotspot in and around Pokhara for catching great views of the Himalayas.
And so, it was settled, we’d be making our way there and attempting to do so before dark!!
Again, another inconvenient situation for us, because we were unaware of how far this place really was from Pokhara.
And as I’ve already mentioned, we were now in Pokhara, a rather big city, which meant that hitchhiking would be hard and nearly impossible to do from there.
Now what?!! Well, what had we done in previous situations? . . . Walked!!!!!!!
Yes and walking we did!! I think that late afternoon we walked a good 5km, maybe more.
And what made it so hard was not only walking, and with our heavy backpacks mind you, but also the steep hills ahead of us. It was indeed a workout!
Luckily we did manage to get a lift for a bit of the way, which was a huge help to us. But still, we were pretty far from where we needed to be.
And as nightfall began to approach, we got a little concerned because we were ways from Sarangkot and we had no place to stay for the night.
The number of vehicles heading up to Sarangkot was limited and there weren’t many places we could pitch our tent along the way either.
At one point, the thought of finding a potential yard, roof, or balcony, crossed our minds. So, that’s what we did!
Right about now, you’re probably thinking, ok, so they settled down for the night then . . . Nope!!
Although we had found a nice little sheltered spot to crash for the night, we decided to keep on going; best thing to do especially if we wanted to witness another incredible sunrise from the perfect spot.
Fortunately for us, as we continued on our hike, the local bus drove by and we stopped it just in time to hop on. Phew!
Didn’t think I could walk any longer!!! The bus ride was an interesting one, no doubt.
Didn’t think we’d have the chance to experience this, but we did. A bit of a shame it was pitch dark out; because I would have loved to get some photos . . . was definitely a Kodak moment!!!
Until that point, we had only seen this image from a distance, while hitchhiking. Hilarious, really!
Anyway, although the ride up to Sarangkot was a bit sketchy and not very comfy, at least we did make it to our destination.
Why was the ride uncomfortable? Because we were sitting on the roof of a bus!! And why was it sketchy? Because we were traveling up a bumpy mountain road, at night, with a bunch of drunkards!!
Our only concern was that we wouldn’t get robbed or anything.
So, eventually we made it up to the top, so that little problem was resolved. Now all we needed to do was find a place to pitch our tent. But where?!
We tried making a deal with one of the two hotels we went past when walking into the tiny town, but unfortunately the owners were a bit too greedy, so we opted out on that place.
Instead we went back to the first hotel we initially noticed, and good thing we did, because the folks were quite friendly and willing to accommodate us. Great! A relief for us because we were exhausted after the long day we had had!!
We were thrilled because it seemed as though we had negotiated quite well . . . Ah! Human nature!!
The next morning after we returned from our little escapade, we found out that the owner of our hotel had been just as sneaky as his neighbor!!
No reason to huff and puff, but it still bothered us to know that this seemingly honest person intentionally lied and ripped us off.
The crazy and unfair thing about this all was that he wasn’t completely upfront with us.
That night we had paid to pitch our tent on his rooftop, but little did we know that he had actual rooms, which were cheaper than sleeping in the tent! What a jerk!! He could have mentioned it to us, but I guess his greed over-powered him!! :(
It’s unfortunate that this incident occurred when it did, because we had had such an awesome morning up until then. And despite having stayed in the tent that night, we did get a good night’s sleep and all.
We’d gotten up extra early to be among the many visitors eagerly awaiting the sun to rise over the Himalayas at Sarangkot.
The view was spectacular, however I gotta say that I much rather preferred our experience at Daman because the spot allowed for a much more intimate moment.
At Sarangkot, it was nice too, but the mood was just ruined by the presence of all the tourists and the noise of their cameras snapping away. Oh well.
So with that now accomplished, we needed to head back to Pokhara and figure out what our next plan would be . . . sightsee a bit there or continue onward.
But, first things first, we needed to get to Pokhara!! Ok, let’s get those walking shoes on again!!
So, there we were walking down the mountain, when suddenly we hear the sound of a tourist vehicle heading our way.
Of course, we were gonna try our luck to see if it would stop to give us a lift. And it did!! Our lucky day!! How awesome was that?!!
We managed to hitch a ride with tourists, who had probably paid the big bucks for the same experience we had had! Gotta do what you gotta do, right?!! :)
Anyway, we reached Pokhara pretty fast, and so we walked around for a bit, but soon after decided to continue onward as opposed to sticking around here for another night.
We weren’t really impressed with what we had seen there, so we weren’t too keen on the idea of visiting the city more in depth. Plus, we were tired and just wanted to keep on going.
And so, it’s farewell from Pokhara. It was fun while it lasted, but gotta keep on going . . . Next up, our final destination in Nepal!!!
Le trajet, une fois de plus allait être long et difficile.
Après avoir eu fini notre petite visite sur la tour et replier la tente, on reprit la route avec un camionneur, toujours aussi généreux ces chauffeurs, eux qui aménagent leurs camions comme des palais.
Remplis de banderoles en fleurs, de toutes les couleurs, une cabine en bois, entièrement faite à la main, conçu avec des portières ressemblant à des fenêtres ou des portes de maison, vu la population culminant à 1m50, il était difficile pour moi de juger.
Autrement dit, c’était leur 2ème maison, des miroirs en guise de décoration, les différents dieux matérialisé par des petites figurines ou bien des gravures, la musique en fond et toujours plus de fleurs, un vrai temple sur roue.
Pour aller à Pokhara, j’allais voir à quel point ces cabines de camions sont grandes, jusqu’à 17 personnes !! J’ai filmé cela tellement que je n’en revenais pas.
Quand je pensais que la cabine était bondée, il en prenait encore et encore. Vraiment la générosité faisait corps avec la mentalité.
Une autre belle leçon, la vie est toujours, une histoire de point de vue.
La journée semblait interminable, on utilisait des routes de montagnes, à 30 kilomètres/heure, c’est long.
Une petite surprise nous attendait à Pokhara. On voulait visiter cette ville en raison de situation géographique. Elle était simplement au pied des montagnes, donc une vue imprenable sur les montagnes.
Sauf que dans cette ville, il y a un endroit particulièrement important qu’il ne faut pas louper Saragkot, le couché et levé du soleil sur les Himalaya est immanquable, et on allait y monter dans la foulée, y monter était la surprise.
Le point stratégique se situait à 15 kilomètres de Pokhara, et de plus il fallait y monter.
Après une journée de stop, le ventre au 3/4 vide, les sacs de 100 kilos sur le dos, une montagne à gravir quand la nuit tombe, pas d’endroits où dormir, la routine quoi...
Miraculeusement un bus passa et surtout s’arrêta, on nous demanda de monter ou du moins on nous faisait signe de monter. Le bus était rempli de tout les cotés, sauf que sur le toit, des places étaient disponibles.
On prit alors le ticket plein air (panoramique), en pleine nuit ma foi, sur des routes infranchissables, un bus affrontant les lois de la physique, des compagnons de bord complètement bourrés, le responsable des tickets essayant de nous arnaquer, la vie de Juanita et Arno dans toute sa splendeur.
On arriva à destination en pleine nuit. Il fallait grimper un peu, il était un peu difficile de s’orienter vu qu’on ne savait pas où aller. Ma petite torche nous aidait guère car les piles étaient aussi fatigués que nous.
On utilisa alors la bonne et vieille méthode de j’ai vu de la lumière je me suis permis de rentrer, alors que l’on croyait notre soirée fini, on n’était encore loin du sommeil profond !!!
Les népalais sont différents quand il y a des touristes dans le coin, le site était très touristique.
Donc sur les 2 maisons, ils voulaient de l’argent en échange d’un petit morceau de jardin pour planter la tente.
Je ne voulais non plus trop négocier, on était épuisé. On choisit donc de mettre notre tente sur le toit de la maison, pouvant utiliser les toilettes pour quelques dollars. On profitait de ce repos bien mérité.
Avec du recule, je pense à ma femme qui a vécu tout cela à mes cotés, et à aucun moment ne s’est plaint, a refusé les conditions de voyage, wow cette femme, c’est la mienne !!!
Quelques heures plus tard, il fallait se lever pour voir le lever du soleil. Le plaisir était partagé, pas dans les sentiments, mais par le nombre de personnes présentent sur le site.
On ne s’était pas vraiment rendu compte, étant arrivé la veille au soir, il faisait noir, on était entouré d’hôtels, de maisons d’hôtes et de restaurants pour les touristes.
Ce n’est pas un mal, mais ça gâche quand même le plaisir.