Pokhara : Sarangkot and other postcards from a recovering trekker.
Pokhara Travel Blog› entry 80 of 268 › view all entries
"Ooooouff!" Boy oh boy it's good to be resting m'weary limbs after all that trekking! Time to let the muscles and blisters ease maybe... or maybe not!
Yep, foolhardily on my first full day back in chills-ville Pokhara the travel dynamo inside of me is still whirring at full pelt and so I've set my sights on a mini-trek up to the hilltop village pinacle of Sarangkot. On a good clear today it apparently offers insurpassable views both north to encompas the entire west to east span of the Annapurna mountain range, and also beautiful views back down over Lake Phewa Tal and Pokhara to the south.
I start out easy and take a cab to the base of the principle trek trail (200 Rupee). Sarangkot as an inhabited entity spreads in pockets of houses and tourist drinks 'n' eats stops windingly all the way up the mountain hillside. Where possible it's best to step off the forever winding and double-backing tarmac of the main road for cars, bikes an' the like. Head into the greenery.
It's a good two hour stroll to the viewing platform at the very peak of Sarangkot, even having taken a cab to the hill base. It has proven much, much harder work than I anticipated. Slugging back water every step of the way. It's another knockout hot day so I've sweated a new river concourse to feed the waters of Phewa Tal below and my leg muscles are very VERY angry with me for this uncalled for excersise after all the faithful service they've rendered me over the last 14 days.
As ever in these situations throughout my journey though, it is worth the effort and pain. Having spent the last two weeks deep within the stoney embrace of the mountain range. Cupped within its craggy hands and straining neck and eyes to the skies to take in Annapurna's mountainous might and majesty, now there they all are! The beautiful snowy peaks, now so much further away, stretched out before me in a line. The skies are mercifully clear and unhazy today.
To the south Phewa Tal, far below, appears as a silvery, glistening mirror above which hover and incongruous coupling of eagles and parascenders, floating together in a beautiful, colourful aerial waltz upon the thermals. There are loooads of parascenders out there today. I count a good 15 and more floating and gliding about one another. From this distance it seems a miracle that they don't collide into one another and spiral down into the waters below.
I have a pleasant, if knee-jarring trek down the winding stoney stairway accompanied by two affable Israeli brothers Itamel and Iftah. Some monkeys are spotted in the trees. The lake glistens all the way, and it's a nice way to re-enter the main lakeside stretch of Pokhara by strolling around the lakes shores. There's nothing more complicated to do with my day than sit in shaded coffee houses and read. Finally giving body and mind the respite it really, really needs now. No more mountains for now, love them though I do. After two weeks of living a fairly rough quality of life I also treat myself to an important Travel First. Letting another man put a sharpened blade to my throat for the first time in my life for a much needed shave. This is a nice experience only soured by the fact that the stated cost of 50 Ruppee suddenly turns into 500 Ruppee (!!! haggled down from 600 !!!) the extra being due for the uncalled for, but pleasing enough snip to my locks and a lame-ass facial and shoulder massage.
My remaining day or so in Pokhara are pure R&R (Rest and Recouperation). I take morning boat ride into the lake and across the waters to visit the highly sacred Barahi Temple that rests upon a small island at the lakes centre. Literally busloads full of devotion bearing hindus visit this shrine every day. It's always busy. Only 25 Ruppee for the boat there and back.
And so, my legs slightly eased and soothed. It's time to move on again. Time's ticking away on my Nepali visa sadly so it's time to get back to where the action is, although Pokhara is definitely a wonderfully relaxing and pretty destination where one could become entrenched quite easily in the joys of Slow Life and not go anywhere else.