Sunday, 8 February 2009

Darjeeling to Pokhara

We spent 2 days travelling from India to Nepal, staying in a small Nepalese town on the border overnight before a long (17 hour) bus journey to Kathmandu, slightly hairy and involving a long walk with all our stuff over a bamboo bridge, but with amazing views. We spent 4 days chilling out and trying to sort out trekking permits, visa extensions, flights etc in Kathmandu. British Airways held us up from our original plan to trek last week, so we headed to Pokhara (another popular town near the trekking route) in the meantime.

Pokhara is a beautiful place, set on a lake, surrounded by hills with the snowy peaks of the massive Himalayas reflected in the lake. So its a really nice place to chill out (and spend Alice's birthday!). We took a boat out on the lake in the pitch black at 5.30 on our first morning to watch the sunrise. It was definitely worth the effort, absolutely magical, and worth all the paddling in the end. Yesterday we walked up to the world peace pagoda, a big buddhist stupa up a hill for some more amazing views. Today we went paragliding from a high hilltop, it was an awesome experience with views up at the Himilayas and over the lake.

Our flights are finally sorted (no thanks to British Airways but a big thanks to STA!) so we finally leave for trekking in the morning. We are doing the Annapurna circuit, which takes about 3 weeks. Its a pretty well-walked and popular trail so we decided not to bother with a guide, and this is much cheaper! Its supposed to be a really good trek with good scenery and culture as well as reaching an altitude of about 5500m. Luckily the hotel is allowing us to leave a bit of our stuff behind so we don't have to carry all of it. Will let you know how we get on!

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