Pokhara : A little calm after the chaos.
Pokhara Travel Blog› entry 68 of 268 › view all entries
Well yesterday caught a bus from Kantipath, Kathmandu to travel to Pokhara. Pokhara is Nepal's second city and sits approximately 250 km west of the capital. Now for the most part, most tourists to Pokhara are heading there for one of two reasons. To get some chillout time after their varying (often negative) reactions to the sensory maelstrom of Kathmandu, or to use it as the logical jump off point for so many of Nepal's incredible trekking routes in the central Annapurna region of the country. Tourists rarely wander away from the super laidback stretch of hotels, shops and bars that run along the more northerly banks of the very Phewa Tal (lake).
Arriving in town with my new 'Five Minute Friend' from the journey Yves (an early retired U.S. Army Flight Nurse Major) your first taskis to battle your way through to some sense ofcapacity to think straight whilst you are harrassed to within an inch of a mental breakdown by all the hotel tout-come-taxi-drivers who all look and sound like they will expire right there on the spot, there's lives a worthless failure if you do not choose their hotel. Obviously usual rules apply. Have somewhere in mind already to blag your way through or HAVE somewhere booked. Yves and I though have a bit of chaotic fun trying to stick to one of hisfavourite laws of travel - he's done a LOT of travel! - which is "Always ignore the 1st person to reach you, as they're TOO desperate.
The next day is just about me, introducing myself to Pokhara and giving some last minute thoughts and preparations to a proposed two to three weeks trekking in the Annapurna region. First of all though it's time to put the leg muscles to the test and see if they're ready to wake up for the task ahead. I decide toroad test them with a nice gentle hike up the hilly far shore of Lake Phewa to the high-set Vishwa Shanti Stupa, more commonly referred to as 'The World Peace Pogoda'. This shrine sits some little way over 1,000 metres above Phewa Thal and I believe was bequeathed to the Pokhara skyline around about a decade ago by The Japanese Buddhist Society.
Sat at the top a small group of fellow trekky touristssit on the pristine white steps of the Stupa chatting and eating in the hot, hot sunshine. Yes the weather again is cracking but sadly the conditions around are not perfect today for the main reason people make their way up here (although I'm sure the Pagoda's stated aim of promoting world peace comes a close second! :) .
So I head back down. Purchase a brightly coloured long swatch of cotton-stitched material of a withered Old Soul of a smiling Tibetan lady which will become my 'good luck' trekking belt once tied about m'waist. Back in Base Camp Pokhara Lakeside I buy a few last minute trekking essentials.
...darn it! I used that acronym again didn't I! ;D