This morning, bright and early at 5 am we were up. By 6 we were leaving Manaslu to catch a bus to Pokhara. Well, what an ordeal this day turned out to be. First we had to walk all the way from our hotel to the pick up spot, which is a walk we have done many a time. Except this time we were all carrying luggage, I don’t know about anyone else, but it wasn’t so easy for me. I was dragging my suitcase, with everything I have, plus all the souvenirs I’ve bought/received since I’ve been here and, boy was it heavy! My suitcase is definitely a whole lot heavier than it was when I got here. But I don’t have an extra bag I could have used to put stuff I didn’t need in storage at the hotel, so I had to tote everything along. And poor Laura had to chug along with both her bags, camera equipment and all, because she leaves for the states from here.
A walk that should have been quite easy, especially after Doti, was pretty difficult especially because the roads and sidewalks are incredibly uneven. Now the entire under side of my bag is ripped up :(.
So after all our huffing and puffing and dragging we finally got to the bus where we all played musical chairs because the conductor kept moving us around and putting us in seats even though it was a public tour bus…?
Anyway, some time after our actual departure time, we were finally underway but we made multiple stops to pick people up. After we had to walk all that way, they got to be picked up! About 45 minutes into the trip, the AC is turned on and the cconductor comes around to close the windows, at which point I try to explain to him that my window has to be slightly open because the person sitting beside me will get sick without fresh air. He tells me it has to be closed. So we explain again. He tells me there is air coming out of the vent. I say again ‘she needs FRESH air.’ So he says okay but it has to closed a little more. He leaves MAYBE an inch of space. So he walks away and I open it again. This little fight between us over the window actually continued for some time. I suppose, here in Nepal, where people have grown up driving on these roads, they don’t understand the concept of motion sickness, but I’d like to think we explained the issue pretty well. I just opened the window every time he came around. But at one point I told him not to touch the window because she needed the air.
Outside of this, the ride was very very bumpy and it was a little hard for me to sleep but I eventually did only to be woken up because we now had to get off the bus and get on another bus. On the other side of the bridge. Which meant I had to walk, with my suitcase, again.
Apparently, the locals were on strike because the government was supposed to be rebuilding the bridge but they didn’t do a very good job so there was a line of busses backed up really far on both sides of the bridge. Fortunately, the tour company had a bus on the other side of the bridge and instead of making us wait two hours for the strike to be done they had us get off the bus and walk across the bridge to the other bus. And the people on the other bus did the same. It was so hot and a much longer walk than I had expected but we eventually made it and the new bus was a little nicer than the other bus.
Everything was pretty much smooth sailing after that. Until we got to Pokhara. The roads are so bumpy here! But the houses were so cute. They all have the same basic design but they’re all different colors. The houses in Pokhara really depict the Nepali culture of embracing colors and complement the landscape well. And they were all two toned, but it looked nice and not at all tacky. I hope we get an opportunity to take pictures of them.
It took us about another 45 minutes to get to the hotel after the pretty houses but the surrounding area is quite pretty. I think Doti was prettier but that’s because it was completely unspoiled and natural. A lot of people say Pokhara is one of the most beautiful places here, but many have never been to Doti. In fact, the ticket guy for my flight to Kathmandu was from Pokhara and he asked me where I was going and I told him Doti and he had never heard of it. So I suppose as far as easily accessible and highly populated areas, Pokhara would be one of, if not, the prettiest places. But Doti and far western Nepal is by far the most gorgeous landscape I have seen here.
After the bus ride, I relaxed and caught up on my Internet-ing and then took a walk with Carrie just to check out the road. There are mostly stores but as we discovered earlier this evening, there is a whole bunch of life around the corner. Literally. When we got to the end where the road blended we decided to go back because we thought that was it but it turns out there are tons of restaurants, bars and lounges and the night life here seems pretty active. There were some restaurants that looked really nice that I wouldn’t mind checking out but tonight we went to a sort of bar/pub called the Busy Bee. The food was pretty good and they had live music which was also nice. Haley and I played a game of pool as a team against two guys and we were winning too. And then I don’t know what happened. They come from behind and beat us. But it was still pretty fun. Haley and I make a solid match for pool, if I do say so myself.
So now I’m back at the hotel and dead tired. We have an active day tomorrow but I’m sure it’s going to be really fun. We’re doing a short hike and then were going to the mountain museum, which is about the Himalayas, and something else that I can’t remember right now but its going to be draining so I need to get some sleep, especially after today.