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Peace in Pokhara, Nepal – Boating and beers on the Phewa

Day 9 – Nepal 2008

So, away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, out in the countryside and the mountains, Pokhara was bliss. We left the U&I hotel after a pretty spectacular breakfast, amazing for the accompanying views rather than an orgasmic piece of toast and jam. The hotel’s eating area was right on the top floor, looking out over the Annapurna mountain range, and we scoffed our


eggs and bacon gazing out at the crystal clear blue sky lighting up the 8000m+ peaks. This was more how I pictured Nepal, not a tuk-tuk or a tiger balm tout in sight.

The walk into town after breakfast was long but pretty scenic as the main road in skirts the edge of Pokhara’s watery pal, the Phewa Lake, with the royal palace on the left and various shops and restaurants along the way. We’d decided to stay at the Yeti Guest House and found it about half way up the main street set in a serene little garden with little tea-drinking pagodas and couches dotted among the trees. The rooms were great too, a mere ?7 a night between us, and the owner was the most friendly man in the world. He sat us down for tea around a kneeling table under the biggest pagoda and chatted away about what we wanted to do in Pokhara. Amazingly there wasn’t a sales pitch in sight and he just wanted to offer as much advice as possible. Cat and I looked on in envy as he talked Bastion and Steff through a couple of treks they could set off on and we decided in earnest that we were coming back at some point for the Annapurna circuit.

The rest of the day was pretty much spent relaxing and recovering from the stresses of Delhi, Kathmandu, spider infested forests and various life threatening forms of transport. While we’d been loving the travelling so far and seen some amazing stuff, the less documented part of the whole adventure caper is the fact that it’s often fecking hard work. We’d barely stayed anywhere for more than 1 or 2 nights, moving just about every morning, and constantly figuring out what you’re doing next does your head in after a while. We knew we were in Pokhara for the next 2 nights though – let the relaxing begin!

That afternoon we hired a boat between the 4 of us and rowed out on the lake. It was blazing sunshine and the scenery was amazing, the mountains reflecting off the surface of the water. There was even a little island in the middle of the lake with a shrine buried within the trees. We landed there, thinking to have a look at the quiet little temple only to find a stream of boats landing on the other side bringing hundreds of tourists, cameras flashing away. Oh well, back on the boat, over to the dock and into the bar. A quick beer and a chocolate milkshake later and all was well. After heading back to the boat and rowing for another hour or so we headed back to the original dock before trooping back to the hotel for a wee clean up.

That evening we ventured out onto the main road in search of sustenance and were greeted by a wealth of choice, just about every kind of food you can think of on offer. We went for a little place just a couple of doors down from our Guesthouse, mainly through sheer laziness, and I treated myself to the weirdest steak I’ve ever had. It came out on one of those grill pans that sizzles and hisses like a bag full of snakes and turned out to be a plate full of really skinny frying steaks covered in cheese. Undeterred though, and dicing with another bout of scoots, I got stuck in (all the meat I’d seen so far in Nepal was stored in the highly hygenic fashion named hang-it-in-the-street-so-the-flies-keep-it-clean). It was pretty good anyway, and even better for a few accompanying beers. We didn’t stay out too late though, all four of us pretty knacked after the bus the day before, so back to the Yeti we went at a highly pitiful 11pm.

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