The sky is blue, the sun is out, it’s warm and I don’t have anything to do! Welcome to the lakeside town of Pokhara. I’ve been here a few days and until yesterday morning I haven’t done much of anything…
Yesterday (Tuesday) I actually got off my fat arse and went for a walk but it started out by me sitting down. The small boat glided across the calm waters of Phewa Tal heading to the other side of the lake where the trail to the peace pagoda started, which is perched high up on a mountain ridge. After an hour’s walk up moss covered steps I made it to the top, little bit hot, slightly sweaty and with a right hip that was starting to ache (am i falling apart?). The views were 360 fabulous and through gaps in the clouds I saw huge snow covered mountains looming large whilst still being 60 miles away.
Thursday: today I did something new again! I ran down the side of a mountain and soared into the air on a tandem paraglider like an eagle. For the next 90 minutes I rose high into the sky on the billowing thermals as beneath my dangling feet 100s of metres below me was the very solid looking ground. Do you know what…I loved it!
In fact, I enjoyed it so much that the next day I signed on to do a 10 day paragliding course. As the course doesn’t start till mid November ( currently all the training take off and landing sites are being used to grow rice which they don’t harvest till then) I still have plenty of time to do nothing. Of course, once I am a fully trained paraglider pilot I’ll be spending December and January flying. So here’s the plan…I am able to stay in Nepal till I’m at least 39 years of age so it looks like I am over wintering here in Pokhara. This could become a theme in my travels; I mean everyone needs a break from the day job! I have already looked at one flat which I can rent for less than £30 a week. It’s a two bed apartment, so if anyone needs a holiday
Saturday, 13 September 2008
Saturday, 6 September 2008
1. Arrive by helicopter.
2. Walk up the 1500 steps.
By now the lowest clouds had disappeared and the views across the valleys opened up. Top place, top views!
The 2nd place to visit before I reach Pokhara is the mountain top village of Bandipur, straddling a ridge high 1200 metres above the valley town of Dumre.
The bus from Gorkha went as far as Dumre and from there it was an 8km ride in the back of an overcrowded jeep going up a very steep and narrow mountain road. Jumping out of the jeep it was a short walk down to the main street and the 1st guest house I saw. The guest house is compact but charming and for £2 a night I have a bedroom that looks out over a valley and all I can see when lying down on the bed are mountains and clouds. This is the 1st time in the Indian sub continent that I have come across a village as picturesque as this (imagine a small seaside Dorset village but without the sea and on top of a mountain instead).
…when I finally left the village three things happened. One was cool, one was of great mental relief and the 3rd was annoying.