I have not visited Pokhara in Nepal since the autumn of 2000, so it was about time to return to this tranquil lakeside town, before we go trekking in the Annapurna mountains.
We arrived Pokhara a couple of days ago. The tourist bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara is a 7 hours journey and cost 400 rupees. Last time, more than 10 years ago, I remember I was sitting on this bus and vomiting the entire journey because of a bad pizza I had eaten the evening before. One of my worst bus rides ever. But now I kind of enjoyed the bus ride, even if we had no views of Manaslu.
I knew that my good friend Tommy from Italy were staying in Pokhara, so we agreed to meet at Rustika Guest House. The rooms here are really nice and cheap (500 rupees), and it's just a short walk to the lake. Together with Tommy's friend Karina from St Petersburg, we hired a boat and enjoyed the afternoon hours on the lake. We ended the day with a delicious meal at a steakhouse.
Next day Emily and I decided to hire a boat again and paddle over to the shores on the other side of the lake where the trail to the World Peace Pagoda starts. We payed 600 rupees for a whole day of rent, and once we reached the southern shores of the lake we deposited the paddles at a restaurant. According to the boat rental guy, there are no risk for the boat being stolen, only the paddles. It was a nice and scenic 30 minutes hike uphills to the pagoda. We only wish the Annapurna mountains had not been hidden in haze and clouds, otherwise it was a perfect day.
In the evening Emily got severe pains in the upper portion of the abdomen and around to her back. After 2 hours, we decided to go see a doctor. He diagnosed it as Acute Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), so for the next few days it will be rest, simple food and plenty of medicines for Emily. This also means that we must postpone our trekking to March 29.
So until then we will continue to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Pokhara. Every morning around 7am, I will start my day as usual, which is to climb the stairs to the roof of the guest house to watch the Annapurna mountains, while I put a big portion of Nepali chewing tobacco under my lip. What a perfect start on a day.....