Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Boating and swimming in Nepal

The next morning it was up at 7 and after packing kit, we headed off towards the other hotel for breakfast. It was pretty good with potatoes, eggs, and even little sausages and bacon!!

After saying our goodbyes to all the staff and people we had met, we got aboard the bus and headed off towards Pokhara.

It was a good journey with great views down steep valleys with a big river running down it. We stopped off at our guides home and he introduced us all to his family and fed us with fruit and prawn crackers. There is a festival on at the moment ad it is tradition for everyone to have red rice and paint on their foreheads, so we were all blessed and painted by the eldest man in the family who was 75.

After leaving their home we had a toilet stop in Gorkha town, where there is a hotel and bar for ex Gurkha soldiers. After having a look around we boarded up again and finally after another long day we arrived in Pokhara in the middle of a downpour just about 5pm.

Everyone booked into their rooms and then a massive pile of washing was handed into the reception, as we had all got so dirty in Chitwan and it was so humid, the clothes didn’t dry properly and were beginning to smell.

Then I went out for dinner with Donna, Jaime, Bev, Lisa, and Mills.We found a great little restaurant that did brilliant steak, which I haven’t had in weeks, so it was really really nice and along with the beers and the gin and tonics it was a good place to be. Afterwards we hit one of the local bars where there was a really good live band on and the premiership football on TV too! We all enjoyed a few more drinks and talked a lot of shit. It was a good night. When the place closed we all made our way home and me, Donna and Mills ended up drinking with the staff in the hotel toll nearly 3.30am. Finally I went off to bed!

Surprisingly I was up in time for breakfast just before 10am. The rest of last nights gang also made it out of their beds, but after they had eaten they all went back for another sleep. I was at a loose end and so followed Amanda, Barry, Mark, Isabelle and Vicky down to the lake, where they were going to get a boat. It turned out that I had made a good decision, as we had a really good time. Me, Mark and Isabelle managed to get our boat going quite well and reasonably straight, but in the other boat there were howls of laughter and sniggers as Amanda, Barry and Vicky didn’t seem to have much control of theirs!! We visited the little island on the lake where there is a small temple and loads of massive fish, fed by the visitors. Then we continued out across the lake and to a small cafĂ© at the far side, where you just paddle up in your boat and leave it in the water while you go for lunch or a drink. We spent a while there, whilst Vicky plaited me a nice red bangle and I decided (Stupidly\) to run up a series of steps leading up the hill. I did quite well, but suddenly the lactic acid built up in my legs and I had to stop. It was worth the view over the lake though.

After I went back and we had finished lunch, we paddled back across the lake to hand the boats back, but by now I was feeling a little queasy – due to the beers from last night, the boat and the exertion of running up the steps. I decided to head back to the hotel for a rest.

After an hour or so I felt much better, then Lana and Kenneth invited me along to the lake, to paddle around in a boat......again. I though 'bollocks to it', and put on my swimming shorts before trekking back into town with them. Once again it was a good decision and we spent the next 3 hours paddling around, swimming and generally having a good time. Lana took loads of pictures, some good and others not so good, but I’m so glad we went back down. There was a point when about 30 locals were watching from the Island as the stupid Europeans swam round splashing each other.

After handing the boat back I headed into town to get myself some new flip-flops as my old ones were broken during the jungle trek in Chitwan. Then there was an organised meal at 7.30pm, provided by the hotel staff. It was traditional Nepalese food – rice and various dishes and was really nice. Everyone enjoyed it and then we split up and did our own thing. Becky, Laura, Frankie and the boys headed off to the Blues bar where they had a good night singing and meeting other travellers. Some of the group headed further into town to enjoy a night out and just a few of us stayed in the Hotel chatting and headed off to bed reasonably early as we were getting up before 5am the go and see the sunrise over the mountains.

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