Nepal

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Our Trip to Nepal was in November 2010. It was yet another not so well planned trip. In the sense, we left the planning to the travel agents and went ahead to enjoy our Eid Holidays in Nepal. Big Mistake!

Upon landing in Nepal and exiting the Katmandu airport, we were received by representatives of the travel agent. Flower garlands were gifted and we proceeded in their minivan. Due to certain miscommunications we ended up at a not at all acceptable hotel accommodation. We had to spend quite a bit more to be transferred into a better place.

Kathmandu, is a crowded, polluted city. We spend most of our time in Kathmandu stuck in horrible traffic jams. We missed out on visiting the three Durbar Squares because of this. We did make it to the the Boudanath Stupa to visit and experience the serenity of the place. We had to satisfy ourselves with a view of the Swayambhunath Stupa from our hotel.

We took the bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Not a good decision at all. Apparantly, there are two kind of the bus services that the travel agents could book us in, and they booked us in the wrong one. The trip takes anywhere between 7 – 10 hours! The scenic views we witnessed on the way to Pokhara brought some solace to the otherwise dampened soul of mine. I was not able to click proper pictures from the bus. If only I had worked more on the Itinerary for this trip!

Thankfully, the guide , the car and the hotel in Pokhara were much better than the ones in Kathmandu. Pokhara is in complete contrast to Kathmandu. Laid back, clean and peaceful. Here is where most climbers stop before they move towards the foothills of the Annapurna Range. Beautiful from every direction. Mount Fishtail is the only major thing that anyone talks about here. You will also find this Sacred mountain on every souvenir that you can think of. Fridge magnets, pack of playing cards, books, photos, postcards and more. There is a lane for shopping in Pokhara, complete with food outlets of varied kinds. There I saw something that I have never seen before. Paid Washing Machine services! We even found a Punjabi Dhabba there.This was not too far from where we were staying. Although we did visit the market during the day for grabbing a quick lunch, we actually got a feel of the marketplace when we walked along its length and breadth that same evening.

During the day we visited the Seti Hanging Bridge, Davi’s Falls, took a boat ride towards an Island that hosts a temple and climbed up a hill of sorts to reach the Pokhara Viewpoint to view the Annapurna Range. A Telescope is available there to take a closer look at the range. The climb up to that point was very exhausting, but the view and the feel from the viewpoint were amazing.

The next day we hired a taxi back to Kathmandu. Yes, we made a brilliant choice finally. No, I couldn’t click lovely pictures on the way back. I was so exhausted from all the walking the previous day that I slept most part of the journey. During the stay at Pokhara , I managed to log into my FB account. There a blogging friend had recommended a “must see” spot in Nepal. And hence we stopped at Manakamana Temple on the way back. That is where we had lunch from too. We took a breathtakingly beautiful cable car ride from the base to the temple. We didn’t enter the temple due to time constraints. The place was over crowded too.

The fact that I remember so much about a trip I took almost two years ago is a testimonial in itself to the lovely experience Nepal was. Even with the drawbacks of improperly planned trip and a few tiny mishaps, our Eid 2010 getaway to the Kingdom of Nepal was a remarkable experience.

The photos were clicked using a waterproof Canon Powershot D20(which my son later destroyed during a swimming session). I am sure if I had a DSLR back then, the images would have been much better. But then, with two kids and a bad back, just the break away from the routine everyday life was good enough. Maybe I can get better pictures on my next trip to Nepal, God willing. Something else that I would like to try next time is the plane ride through the Himalayas. Those tickets have to be booked well in advance, especially during the peak seasons.

 

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