Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
163Trip End May 02, 2013
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Where I stayed
In a flashback to Laos, a young Nepali girl threw up into a plastic bag halfway through the five-hour trip. Much of the hazy, hilly scenery also resembled Laos.
We opted out of the all you can eat, fried everything pit stop and snacked on peanuts, raisins and dried plums instead. An ample supply of Snickers bars kept us going the rest of the way. As our weary heads bobbed intermittently, Jason's iPod belted out the same playlist
Our pickup in Pokhara never showed so we took a $2 taxi to the hotel instead. No apology was offered, but the place looked nice enough so we just dropped our things and went out for a late lunch. China Town was the name of the restaurant that served us up some decent noodle dishes and a large Everest beer.
We walked down to the lakeshore in the late afternoon. The water scenes were engaging but haze and cloud dashed any hopes of mountain views.
Nepal's unreliable and unpredictable power situation meant that we had the first half of dinner by candlelight and the second half under electric light. Afterward, Sylvia put her research cap on but Jason ran out of steam and fell asleep.
Despite the warnings about robberies on the trail, we braved a half day walk along the lake, past the people washing in the river near the dam, up the hill through a lovely Sal forest and emerged to see the World Peace Pagoda shining white and gold in the warm sun. Built by Japanese Buddhist monks, it was once foolishly destroyed by the Nepali government, but devotion and perseverance saw it rebuilt
Jason was overheating and exhausted, almost passing out at the table. Sylvia's Indian curry was tastier than Jason's Chinese pineapple chicken.
Besides dal bhat in its various versions, true Nepali food is actually quite limited. Most of the good stuff comes from either Tibet, the rest of China, or India, and we were really looking forward to the latter.
We popped into a few shops along the way back, then Jason took a nap while Sylvia caught up on emails and research. He woke with a craving for the chocolate croissant he'd seen the previous day and acted on it. It was fantastic, generously-sized and the price was twice as nice at 30 rupees (~ 35 cents). He couldn't help but buy two more.
That night we went out to Byanjan for our best dinner in Nepal. We changed tables three times, eventually finding one on the terrace overlooking the main drag that was just right. Sylvia had spaghetti carbonara while, being on the lake, Jason selected the Bengal fish curry; both were to die for. Where else can you have amazing Italian and Indian food in the same restaurant?
We had breakfast outside on the hotel balcony at sunrise and at last, the mountains appeared. We savoured the view for a few moments but soon had to shuttle off in a taxi to the bus station.