Sunday, 5 March 2017

Pokhara

A six am alarm call then sleepily down to the car at seven. Bags loaded we squeeze into the tiny car, Michael in the front and me in the back. As we leave the village on the bumpy, dusty, unmade road we are followed by dogs barking and chasing down the car. Through the three one lane bridges, then a quick stop at the driver's office, then we turn north towards Siddhartanagar and then begin the drive into the hills. The roads are incredibly windy and I am soon feeling terribly sick in the back of the car. It's not helped by the heavy braking and swinging about the driver does in an attempt to avoid potholes, not to mention other vehicles. Every so often the poor quality tarmac ends and we drive on gravel and rocks. We pass villiages and agriculture, in places the land has been terraced to grow rice and other crops. The road is filled with bikes and scooters and many 'deluxe' busses as well as trucks. By the time we reach Tensen and stop for breakfast, I am positively green. We have a samosa each, and a sel roti, which is a kind of skinny donut made of rice flour with cardamom and cloves. Back in the car and I am so miserable in the back, so at one of the security checkpoints we swap and Michael folds himself into the tiny back seat. I am soon recovered, but Michael is soon realising why I was feeling so bad, the rear of the car having no suspension at all. There are a couple of hairy moments but on the whole nothing too bad, and we conclude that busses will be no problem for the rest of the trip, as this is hopefully the worse road in our trip. We find a hotel at the edge of the lakeside area and head out to explore and find a late lunch.



We are really unimpressed with what we find, lots of tourist restaurants, gift shops, and booking offices. Lots and lots of them, and then, of course all the tourists that go along with them. We are looking for a local restaurant but there are too many Baskin Robbins and falafel houses and coffee shops. This doesn't feel like Nepal should feel. It feels like Franz Josef in New Zealand. We take a couple of days here to relax and recover from India, the lake is lovely an we hire a canoe and spend half a day on the water, we try and fail to hire a motorbike to explore a bit further as there is no helmet available that will fit Michael.