Jomson back to Pokhara : Flying high across the hillsides
Pokhara Travel Blog› entry 79 of 268 › view all entries
Early flight back to the peaceful surrounds of Pokhara today. An early night last night and my body conspire to awaken me way ahead of time. I'm outside the airport gate at 5.50am staring happily up at the stars. These have been constant companions during my fortnights trekking in Nepal. I follow the path of two of them that gently glide, rather than 'shoot' across the morning sky darkness. A sudden brilliant flash as a much quicker one suddenly blazes across their path, showin' 'em how it's done. Burning bright and then gone in an instant. A very plesant couple, John and Margerat (Kiwis) whom I met in Tatopani also stroll up, on the early flight back to relaxation in Pokhara too.
The plane doesn't actually arrive until 7.30am. A raft of little two-prop planes turn up one after another actually. One for each of the various companies that operate in the region. I had seen some of them cut the dawn skies en route to Jomson the other day when admiring the sun rise from Poon Hill. On board even though there's barely enough room to swing a cat a very smartly decked out air hostess passes by and hands out cotton buds (to dull the noise from the propellors) and boiled sweets. Rather disconcertingly my seat is right next to one of the propellor blades. It glints rather menacingly in the first warm rays of sun to reach this far up the valley. I try not to focus too hard on day-marish visions of rusty old nuts 'n' bolts rattling themselves free at high-revolution in mid air and the propellor scything right through the middle of the plane.
Fortunately the plane suffers from no form of life-threatening metal fatigue and the journey passes of smoothly... well, with some mild turbulence only anyways. The entire flight from tarmac to tarmac only lasts about 25 minutes. I wonder how long it would have taken to walk? :) I don't think we reach much higher than about 8,300 metres. Barely higher than the hilltops at times. Some splendid early morning views of the mountains all abouts. The river concourse far, far below and the little sketched arial views of the mountain villages, towns and cultivated crop lands.
It's nice to be back in Pokhara after all the hard work of the last two weeks. Living on Dal Baht, rostis and mega amounts of garlic soup... the Nepalese believe this latter aids with coping with altitude sickness and I haven't been one to sniff at this received wisdom in my time in the mountains. So back at the Peace Ganga hotel. Double bed. Cotton sheets. Warmth. Hot showers and electricity. The views over the beguiling Lake Phewa Tal and the Annapurna Region now visible at such a far greater distance to the north above the hillside climbs of Sarangkot to the north of the lake. Was I really there? All the way over and up there at Annapurna Base Camp barely a week ago? It feels a world away now. It's been hard work but great, great fun and my time trekking in Nepal remains one of the most rewarding experiences of my journey so far.