We arrived back in Pokhara very sore, very tired and very wet. We were greeted by a nice bed and a hot shower, followed by laundry service that actually used a dryer (a rarity in these parts). We said our goodbyes to Shanta and planned to relax and recover for the next two days before pushing on to the final leg of our Nepal adventure, the jungles of Chitwan.
Pokhara is the hub city for trekkers and adventure seekers (picture above was taken from Sarangkot lookout - that is Pokhara). It has a calm lake that reflects the mountains and is an ideal place to soak up nature. We spent most of our time taking it easy at lakeside restaurants and cafes; we finally found freshly brewed coffee! We indulged in traditional Nepali food (similar to Indian food but more basic) and found a new favourite - vegetarian momos (Tibetan version of a steamed stuffed dumpling - think vegetarian gyoza with curry but not fried).
Our hotel has a rooftop patio that offers great views of the lake and mountains, albeit when the weather cooperates. We were fortunate to have ha d a few moments where the mighty Himalayan peaks (including Annapurna 1 at a phenomenal 8,091meteres and the pyramid shaped Mt Machhapuchhare) presented themselves to the delight of onlookers in Pokhara.
We left the chilled out atmosphere of Pokhara and boarded our 'tourist' bus to Chitwan early in the morning. It was sunny when we left the hotel but a monsoon hit almost as soon as we got into our taxi. So once again we were drenched while waiting to board the bus, except this time we had all of our gear with us. And just like every other moment in Pokhara, once the bus started moving the rain stopped. It was actually quite comical. The bus trip was cramped and fairly uneventful, but it passed through some of the most stunning landscapes that we had seen in Nepal.
We arrived at our desired location on time and in good spirits, so no complaints. We were very excited to be in Chitwan to search for the elusive tigers and rhinos!