THE LAUGHING TAXI DRIVER
Our trip from Dhulikhel to Pokhara was a nightmare. The route usually takes about 6-7 hours and the roads are mostly congested mountain passes. We hit a number of accidents and breakdown that added a few hours to the journey. The ordeal was added to by our drivers enthusiam for taking pot-holes, fords, speedbumps and bends at dangerously high speeds. The result was a ten hour, edge of your seat, rally. There were also some scary security check-pionts. The final hour and a half of the journey was spent in Pokhara searching for our hotel in the dark. Our driver didn't have a clue and kept getting out to ask people for directions every 100 yards or so. This, in itself, would have been fine but for some reason he chose to disregard the directions the locals gave him (or anything we said!) in favour of driving randomly around town - all the while laughing at the fact we were lost! We eventually lost the plot with him and took matters into our own hands, directing him with a map we had.
The hotel is really nice - set back from the main strip in a really pretty garden. The weather is still hazy so we haven't had the views we'd hoped for.
We've been on a boat out into the lake which is very beautiful. There are lots of Tibetan refugees who live around this area and most of them earn a living by selling jewellery to tourists, around the lake. It's a really nice place. There is a great atmosphere here even though it's quite touristy.
We've really enjoyed Nepal and wish we could stay here longer.
Next stop Beijing (via a night back in Kathmandu)....