Sunrise, Mountaintops and Volleyball
31.05.2010 - 04.06.2010 30 °C
yesterday, we came back from a 5-day trekking trip through the mountains around Pokhara, the second largest city in Nepal. Organised our trip with a really nice Nepalese guy, who arranged all the permits for us, while we were having some last beers on the lakeside.
Trekking was really cool. Quite tiring, some days glad that we reached our destination, but all in all it was a really great experience. Witnissed a really spectacular sunrise on the 3rd morning. We got up at 4.30 am to climb around 500 meters in 20 minutes. Arrived at Pun Hill just in time to see the sun rise over snowy mountaintops, better known as the fishtail (because of its shape, guess what it looks like).
On the evening of the first day, we found our way to a local party, which turned out to be a festival that was already ongoing for several days (since the celebration of the birthday of Buddha). During the day they play basketball and volleyball and in the evening the have a party on the pitch they used during the day for the games. Pretty impressive soundsystem and a bottle of local wine (that was offered by one of the guys that organised the festival) made this the first real party we had on our trip so far. One of the least expected places, but still.... Quite good party, music was unexpectedly good and also the wine was quite tasty. Just a shame that the inbalance in guys and girls seems to be a universal phenomenon.
Anyway, next day, the organisers asked for a donation for the festival and we gave him some rupees. He was very happy and insisted that we stayed to watch one of the volleyball games that was scheduled for that day. And so we did. After a long wait, a couple of announcements about the foreigners from Holland and the Netherlands (think the Nepalese know more about the political situation in Belgium than we do ;-)) and the hand out of a lucky scarf, we finally got to see some volleyball. Very impressive level. We said goodbye to the people form Ulleri (where the festival was held) and continued our way. Little did we know that people actually walked for days to attend the festival. Guess that's the luck you need to have while travelling. Coming across some unexpected experiences that make the trip even more special than it already is.
The scenery on the way was great. We walked along riversides, found our way through jungle tracks, were amazed by forests (?) of rhododendron, walked together with horses on (too) narrow paths, saw gardens where corn plants need to disguise the weed plants they grow, met a friendly guy from England (and not many other tourists, thank god), drank some really nice masala tea, enjoyed a yak steak, spent about 4 hours in a magnificent riverside hot spring and had a taxiride back with a driver who managed to change his tyre in about 2 minutes. Impressive experiences, going trekking was definitely one of the best ideas on the trip so far......
After 5 days of trekking and quite some interesting stories from Anil (our guide) we are back in Pokhara now, where we relax a bit and enjoy the sun and the lake. Tomorrow we'll try to catch a bus to Kathmandu, our last stop in Nepal before trying to get into Tibet. Wish us luck!
Next post will hopefully be from Lhasa.