Glad I'm Not A Goat!
We have been told about a massive Hindu festival that was due to take place, apparently it's as big as Christmas day back home. Unfortunatlely we wanted to travel down to Pokhara from Kathmandu around festival time and it was almost impossible to get a bus ticket, our lovely receptionist at The Hotel Red Planet managed to get us in on a tourist bus leaving the next morning but it meant sitting in the drivers cabin at the front of the bus, no problem we thought. We were the first on the bus and thought we had struck lucky, the cabin was a good size and we would have plenty of room plus the best view, little did we know that we would end up squeezed in there with another 6 people, plus the driver, this was gonna be a long uncomfortable journey. The bus was only supposed to take 7 hours, but with all the festival traffic it took 10. The roads were jam packed, ques of colourful local buses with their roofs packed with people and goats, it was mental. Part of this festival was that each Hindu family slaughter an animal, the wealthier the family the bigger the animal, we must of seen hundreds of poor goats attatched to vehicles not knowing they were tomorrows mutton curry. Whist up on our mountan trek we had spoke to some Americans who lived in Nepal and had told us about the dangers of bus travel and that the local newspaper daily reported buses going over the edge on their way to Pokhara, this knowledge didn't make for a relaxing road trip thats for sure. The drivers here insist on beeping their horns at every opportunity which is highly annoying especially for 10 straight hours. But it was wonderful getting to see all the small towns and villages along the way, the further away from Kathmandu we got the hotter and more tropical it became, we now had Water Buffalos to add the the variety of stray street animals. Tired, with numb bums and sore backs we hoped that the end was near, then we finally passed a sign welcoming us to Pokhara, in fact the sign went like this ' Welcome To Pokhara The First Open Defication Free Zone In Nepal '
Pokhara was a million miles away from the craziness of Kathmandu. It has a more tropical climate with a laidback, bohiemium feel and the town is set around a beautiful big lake, backdropped by the Annapurna mountain range. Now accustomed to cows being the general public, seeing Water Buffalos roaming free around the streets wasn't a big deal. We chatted to an american guy at breakfast and he recommended us to walk up to the peace pagoda for a great view, he said it would only take two hours or so. Sounds like a plan, cleverly we decided to do it in the heat of the mid day sun, not a good idea, I think it took us about 4 hours round trip, I was soaked through with sweat on the way up, Ryan did it Mathew Mcconaughay style (top off) as per, of course we have to keep up his Mr Goodbody profile. It took some persuasion on Ryan's part to get me up there as I wanted to quit a few times, but the view was worth it.
Paragliding was on our itinery, and we had read Pokhara in Nepal was one of the best places in the world to do it, so of course thats what we did. On the morning of our paraglide the weather was very overcast but by the time we were due to go up the weather had cleared and it was a beautiflu day. We jumped in the truck with a few other couples and had a bumpy drive up to the take off point. I had done this once before but years ago but was still a little nervous. With our harnesses and helmets on we were now just waiting for a good wind to pick up before we made a run for it. Ryan went first, unfortuanatley that particular day the winds weren't great and Ryan didn't pick up a good one and quickly sank. My guy waited a little longer for a good one and off we went, we managed to catch a thermal and went higher and higher and managed to get a full hour in the air,. it was amazing. We found out we were about 1 month too early in the year to get the best views of the mountains, I had imagined we would be gliding surrounded by snow capped mountains, but they weren't visible after 8am around this time of year, gutted. The view was still beautiful though. I started to feel a little sick towards the end, 1 hour is a long time going around and around, when we landed Ryan was already down there waiting, turns out they had only managed to keep in the air for 20 mins or so, Ryan was too heavy and they didnt catch good thermals, but he still enjoyed it. He managed to get a few good pics of an italian guy pucking when he landed, I'm glad I didn't do the same, I would never of lived it down.
Pokhara is our last stop in Nepal before we head to India, although we are excited to try a new country, we really love Nepal and will be sad to leave it behind.
anna-maria nelson so lovely to catch up with what you've been up to, adore the way you write, can picture it in my mind, sounds so exciting, trip of a lifetime! love and miss you!xxxxx
william nelson such good bloggs just like being there .
Gordon Sounds great (not the bus ride) amazing flying with the birds ! you both will be able to chill soon just think of those great beaches in Goa ! but how long will Ry rest for I wonder?? xxxx
Stuart Smith Anna-Marias comments are spot on you can picture everything!!! I would rather not picture the pukeing italian though, looking forward to the indian episode. Remember put the toilet paper in the fridge!!!
Georgina Nelson I agree with mum, this blog is fantastic and you should totally turn it into a little travel book when you've finished! xxx