Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 119 - Kathmandu to Pokhara

Another early day wakeup to catch a tourist bus to Pokhara. The ride was bumpy and the bus had weak suspension as we climbed up and down the mountains and valleys to Pokhara, which is lower in elevation compared to Kathmandu. The drivers here are pretty fearless as they pass each other on the roads, and I saw a couple accidents on the ride there.

Upon arrival in the city, we met with a guy from Finland who was also planning on doing the Annapurna Base Camp trek. Since he was alone, we asked if he would like to join us. Other people on the bus were already in groups or had hired their own porter and guide. We were told we wouldn't need a guide on this trek since it was fairly easy to navigate and the locals were more than happy to help us with directions.

The city of Pokhara itself was a lot more calm compared to Kathmandu, as expected. It is located next to a huge lake called Fewa, where most of the tourist area is located. Similar to Thamel, there were tons of trekking shops, restaurants, and guest houses, but since we came right before the busy season (which starts in October), there wasn't much activity in the shops.

We spent the day relaxing before having dinner at a Japanese restaurant, which was a little pricey, but it was the first Japanese meal I'd had in a while. We met up with our new trekking buddy, Aki, who was in a similar situation as both Niels and me. We all quit our jobs and were on a 6-month traveling excursion. Niels was nearing the end of his trip, with Nepal being his last stop, and Aki was just starting his own journey in southeast Asia, with Nepal being his first stop. Tomorrow we'd all get our Annapurna Conservation Permit and TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) Cards before we begin our trek.

Early Morning in Durbar Square

Drink like a Gorkha Soldier?

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