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Relaxing in Pokhara, the vacation city

21/11/2021

I was too excited about the plane to sleep fine. The alarm sounded at 5:20, since we had to be at the airport at 6:00, or so we got told the day before. At 5:55, it was all empty, except the gate guard, Max, the french boy, and a Nepalese guy. Everything was closed. Lights turned off. 15 minutes lates, two guys looking like they just rolled out of bed appeared and turned the lights on. Then, all of a sudden about 30 Nepalese appeared. I saw that, apparently, check-in started, so there we went. They weighted our bags, and from that point, militars took control. They made us open our checked-in ags and checked everything, and then we went to security check, inside a small room where they checked out our cabing bag and ourselves. The girl threw my batteries away, but she was really nice, she said she was sorry and always helped pack back what she opened. Then we had to wain in the next room, just 12 people. A helicopter came and went a couple times, but otherwise nothing else was happening for 45 minutes. Finally, a little plane arrived at 7:35 (we were supposed to fly at 6:40). People came down, we and our bags got up, and at 7:45 we were in the air! It was really loud, we had a stewardess who had to shout the security instructions (mainly: door is back there), and that because of covid they were not offering anything on board. Which sounded funny, since it was just a 20 minute flight. The plane didn't even go all the way up, we flew between the mountains with amazing views. We landed exactly 20 minute later, the French guy stressed because he had a flight connesction in 25 minutes.

Our little plane
Our little plane

We undressed a bit, since it was way warmer and started walking towards a café and hotel we had checked the previous night, in Lake side. Google Maps sucks in Nepal and took us a couple times the wrong way, through streets that don't exist, so we opened Maps.me and everything was perfect. We had some sandwiches and tea for breakfast and went to the Hotel Blossom. Got  a room for 3 nights (cheaper than on Booking), got up and showered. Alex was destroyed, so I washed some clothes by hand and went to the take the rest for laundry, walk a bit around and buy some cookies. Then I came back, finished washing some stuff and went to the hotel café to chill with a coffee until Alex was awake.

We went out, and after a couple minutes walking we decided to get a pizza at "The Godfather". And two beers, because it was happy hour. The pizzas were ok, and the beers 650ml! After finishing, we walted to play pool. Our teenager waitress decided I was not good enough to play or something, and asked to play for me (I thought for a round), and she ended playing against Alex, hiding from her boss and running around to tend the tables. Lol.

We walked on the main street, bought myself a pashmina and walked along the Promenade at night. We saw the creepy Pokhara Disneyland and stopped at a bar for a beer and a tumba, a warm drink that is some stuff fermenting you refill with warm water. We read it makes you tired and some times hallucinate, but we felt nothing. The band playing at the bar were good, but way too loud and the sound was terrible. We were the only ones clapping, so they dedicated a song to us!

Waiting for our plane
The small plane
Flying between the mountains
Arriving in Pokhara
The lake from our lunch place

22/11/2021

 We slept SO fine! And LONG! Aroune 11 hours? Woke up at 8 and got some breakfast at our place. After a lazy morning start, we went to "Seeing Hands", to get a massage by blind people. We chose the sports massage. My guy really pressed, cracked and even hurt me a bit (and got a couple blue spots in my back). The one from Alex just made him relax, and he was so jealous, lol.

Then we walked the Promenade by day, until after Disneyland and had a very nice lungh at a place a bit shady. After, a tea and a shared pastry at a French café and then went up the Pema Decheling monastery, a golden Buddha with some nice views.

Welcome to Pokhara Disneyland by day
Welcome to Pokhara Disneyland by day

Then we walked to our place, checking some shops on our way. We asked them in the morning if they could help us with some rafting recommendations and they gave us the name of 2 companies, both very close. One had a nice website, the other one was hacked. So... we went to the one with the nice web (Paddle Nepal) after investigating what they offered and thinking we would like a half day trip, and got it there.

We bought some ginger ale in the supermarket, drank it sitting by the lake and decided to go to the Maya, a local that reminded us of our favourite place in Chiang Mai. Alex ordered a tea and the waiter's reaction was VERY awkward. Then, Alex's dinner was very spicy and he asked for the drinks menu agaian, just to end up paying the bill and running away since we didn't feel like drinking anything else. Uncomfortable! We can't go back there.

The lake from the promenade buu day
Views from the Pema Decheling
The golden Buddha
Welcome to...
...Pokhara Disneyland!

23/11/2021

Again, around 1000 hours sleep. Is is a very nice bed. We woke up and went straight to the German Bakery to have some breakfast. Today is way colder and cloudy, but still nice. Breakfast was tasty, a lot and cheap. We dreamt about getting a motorbike to make part of the Annapurna Circuit ending and came back to the hotel to chill a bit a try to find information about PCR tests, since we need one for our flight back.

When leaving the hotel we wanted to ask if they/we could call the PCR test center, but they told us they had already organized some, they even come to the hotel to get the sample and give the result back (you need the original paper). And so, with that solved, we started walking towards the Peace Pagoda. Some nice beggars got some money from us, just before it started raining and we stopped for a coffee. Then, a "spontaneous guide" that we didn't need got a couple rupees more. Devi's falls were pretty lame, but the temple/cave at the other side of the street was cool. Then we took the "jungle path" to the Pagoda, got a bit lost and crossed just trees for a while. When "emerging" we got some drinks before finding a place where we ordered some burgers. The Pagoda was beautiful, sadly with no views since it was so overcast.

Peace pagoda
Peace pagoda

After, we came down and got ourselves a guy to row us to Lakeside. A "Hare krishna" party boat was the highlight of the short trip.
 We chilled a bit and Netflixed before going to have dinner to a japanese, Mangetsu. We ordered so much! It was delicious, and expensive for Nepal but still ok for the quality.

Looking cool
Devi's falls
The temple/caves
Peace pagoda
From the top

24/11/2021

We went rafting! Got up soon-ish, went to a café to have breakfast (coconut muffins sound better than they are) and went to the office of the tour company, Paddle Nepal. They told us two more couples were coming, yay! They were 2 Nepalese, and a British + Indian one. We drove with a 4x4 bus to the start, they explained us what to do, what not to do, and gave us safety instructions. We were going with a guide in the raft, and 2 safety canoes. Then, the Nepalese girl, who, by the way, had already been rafting, said she didn't know how to swim, was scared, and wanted to just hold herself and not row. Huh???

The first half was ok, Alex and the British guy were in the first row, I was in the second with the Indian girl. Then we had to get down to walk a too rocky dangerous part and the guide asked if I wanted to go front with Alex. Fuck, yes! A calm part came were we could come down and swim (freeeeeeeeeezing cold, which ofc from a river coming down the Himalayas makes sense), and then there was a spot where we cliff jumped too. Crazy guide crashed us face first against a giant rock just for fun, but we felt safe all the time. At the end we could change to dry clothes, and they gave us a sandwich, juice and a banana before driving us back to Pokhara. Very well organized, profesional, save and fun!

We went to the hotel to dry our things and chill a bit before going to eat something to Little Windows (after we had a small disagreement about it). We Netflixed with coffee there and came back to the hotel to ask about a recommendation for a motorbike rental. They sent us to a street where there were 4 different rentals together. It was very overwhelming, they started screaming at us and fighting each other so we left, since we found it sketchy, too. Like: if you go offroad you have to pay more, I need some money so I can make some fixes now, if you break it you pay it (who know how much)...

Then we saw the French girls, talked a bit and then decided not to go on our motorbike two day tour so... we booked a horse (or pony, we'll see) tour in Ethik Trekkers and chilled a bit more. Then we went to Fritteuse 1, a place in our street that is always full, where they have beer, burgers and belgian fries. The fries were ok, Sherpa beer too but the burger was the worst we had in Nepal. Then we walked a bit before going to sleep.

25/11/2021

We had breakfast in Metro, crêpes. I think sweet would have been better than the savouries we had. We went to Ethik Trekkers, where the guy took us to the "Pony Farm" (actual name, lol). There we got our 2 big ponies and our guide Santos (not sure about the spelling?) with his. He was very nice, we got all the way up to a viewpoint and got to trott a bit. We got a tea pause before coming down. My pony was supposed to go last because "he likes kicking the other ones" and it totally did the moment Santos stayed behind for a second and came from behind. In the end we tipped him and walked to the Umbrella Café for lunch.

Horsey life
Horsey life

Alex ad a niiiiice Pad Thai and I got an even nicer Smoothie bowl. And some coffee and dessert. While waking back to our place, we met the couple from Latvia, and she told us there was a yoga class at 5 in "Vegan way". Alex had his beard trimmed while I charged my phone in the hotel. A Helicopter started taking rounds and rounds over the lake with people hanging from it, probably to train rescue operations?

We walked to the café with the yoga class nd I took it while Alex walked and drank a coffee. Then we met two of the French girls and tould us where they would be to party. We had some happy-hour cocktails in the sports bar "Paradiso", but found food to expensife, so we went to the Indian in our street. A kind of very nice Dal Bhat with Naan, and then decided to skip party and just go to sleep.

Alex and our guide
Mandatory horse couple pic
Giving the cuties a rest
"Sorry I kicked you"
Very strange things

26/11/2021

Woke up late, checked black Friday deals, went out late. Got breakfast in Umbrella Café and Alex was phone-hooked. The place we wanted to reant a motorbike didn't have one available and Alex was phone obsessed, so we decided to stay to shop around.

We had lunch in the Chinese restaurant, rented a boat to go to the temple in the middle of the lake, checked lots of shops, bought some beers and yak cheese.

Pokhara lake
Pokhara lake

Then, the PCR girl cme to take the sample: sketchy, she insisted it was ok to take the sample now but put it in the system tomorrow. All because the hotel owners are getting married on Sunday nad the insisted it would be uncomfortable for us for her to come on saturday. We'll see. For dinner, we were just not hungry.

Normal people
The temple in the middle of the lake
Selfie. Because everyone was taking one.
Now imagine: back there we shold be seeing the mountains
Beer and yak cheese...

27/11/2021

We woke up soon and asked in the hotel if they could arrange a tourist bus for us for the next day, which they did in the moment without a problem. Ten we got breakfast in Perky beans, some nice wraps and tea.Then we got a scooter for 1k plus another for deposit. Jaume had asked during the night if we had seen some infos about the Gurkhas for his new novel, so we made an impromptu stop at the Gurkha Museum, which was on our way to the Bat Cave. We took pictures of everything, and just going out, the teens from the school visiting the museum went bananas and all wanted pictures with us. Even the security guys were laughing. Pretty sure that is how it feels to be famous. Then, we went to the Bat Cave. Pretty meh, lots of people and bats... the coolest part is crawling your way up out the cave. Then we wanted to go to the Shiva Temple, and on our way we stopped at the Elite Café, the place we already ad a burger next to the Peace Pagoda. It was a steep dusty way there, and even more to the temple. We had to park down and hike up. The Shiva temple is not done yet, but it was already very full of people and the views were very cool. Then we drove back to Lake side, stopped to buy some tea and chilled in the Perky Beans again. Alex wanted a pancake with ice cream, so we asked the waitress if they could do that. Then, the cook came with the pancakes (with fruit) and told us that the lemon in the pancakes would ruin the ice cream. So, ok, none.

Beautiful way down the Shiva temple
Beautiful way down the Shiva temple

After chilling, we got out and Alex started the motorbike from our parking spot to just the next one with what we thought it was our motorbike, The shop guy came screaming at us that that one was not his, that we had taken the wrong one. Wtf? Lol? Same colour, same key. Luckily, that just had happened at the very end, 2 meters away... Then we shopped some spices, a Kamasutra for Tobi (lol) and went to the Pork Station, a korean-nepalese fusion to try a couple pork momos. We went to the hotel to drop the things and pay the bill, watched some Netflix and went to the Tibetan restaurant in the Tibetan mini-market. We got tumbas, momos, Tibetan bread and tingmo (a sour of braided bread) with curry. The place was very familiar,  they were eating the same as us, and cheap. And the waiter asked us our opinion and agreed tumba is an acquired  taste. We arrived to our hotel at 20:45. Our PCRs shoud have arrived at 20:00, so Alex asked the groom, since the hotel was in party mood. He called the lab, and the girl said she had a computer problem for the first time, and that se will drop the results in the night. And email does not work, it has to be an original copy because the government want to fight fake ones. 

At 9:15 they knocked at our door, "the results are here, come down to check them". Mine was ok, but Alex's one was missing his picture, that apparently is not important (I don't think anywere else in the wolrd they put your picture in the PCR test), but the girl wanted to make it again, and they said she will bring it back and leave it at the reception for us to pick up in the morning... ok...

Gurkha kukris
Bats in the bat cave
Views from the top
Under construction
The alternative way up/down
Published: 17 January 2022, by susana

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In the after still during Covid times, we decided to go to the usually overcrowded Annapurna Circuit to do our first multi day trekking on our own!

Entry 4 out of the 5 from this trip