Mittwoch, 27. April 2011

Pokhara and the Himalaya's

I have been to Nepal before, years ago and just for 3 days, so I couldn’t remember a thing and didn’t know what to expect and as so many other things on this trip, coming to Nepal was not really planned but just happen to happen.

I heard many good things about Nepal from travellers I met on my way but the last 2 friends who went there, weren’t crazy about it, so I went with mixed feelings to Pokhara AND luckily loved it.

Of course it is quite touristy nowadays but it is a good place to relax from the craziness of India and just enjoy a bit of comfort. 

Pokhara's main road on the lake side - book, cloth and hiking gear shops, restaurants and cafes - all you need is there.

The lake of Pokhara.

World Peace Stupa, Pokhara - my 1st hike up the mountain.

Pokhara from above, a bit like Lucerne: a lake and a small city surrounded by mountains and  forest.
Pokhara is a hub for most travellers, a starting point for many treks, like the Annapurna Base camp trek (ABC trek), the Annapurna circuit trek and the Ghorepani Poonhill trek. Annapurna is a series of peaks in the Himalayas of which the highest point, Annapurna I, stands at 8091 m (26,545 ft), making it the 10th-highest summit in the world and one of the 14 'eight-thousanders'. Pokhara is an excellent place to gear up on things you need for trekking there.
The Annapurna's
Since I didn’t have much time before my next Vipassana, I chose a 5 days/4 nights trek - the ‘Ghorepani Poonhill’ trek.

I started off with a friend of mine from Belgium but after 2 days she left to do the ABC trek and I went on my own. I had no guide or porter and didn’t need any. The hiking trails in Nepal are very well maintained and there are lots of signs and people on the way to ask and I had my map which was of good use.

At times it has been quite tough (steps up and down) but mostly amazing and beautiful. I have been walking through Rhododendron, Oak and Bamboo forests – Rhododendron is in full bloom at the moment and makes parts of the forest look pink and pretty. I walked through small villages, fields; saw cows, dogs, horses, donkeys, waterfalls, rivers, mountains and lots of prayer flags. 

I walked on bridges...

Path to heaven...the motto of this trek was: tanned and toned :)

...crossed rivers...

...walked through mountain villages.
The guesthouses I stayed in were all really nice and clean. A night costs € 1, - but the food gets more and more expensive the higher you get, since they have to carry everything on mules up the mountains.

Mules at work

Our first host at the 'Sunny Guesthouse' in Tolka.
The Nepalese are very friendly, helpful and hard-working people.

Taking it easy with a cup of coffee...
The highlights of my trek have been:

  • The hot springs at Jhinudanda – it feels really good to dive into a hot spring after a long day of walking and have all muscles relax at once;
  • The best chocolate cake made by ‘Sugar Mama’ in Chhomrong;
  • To reach the top of Poon Hill, which is 3210 meters high – even if I had to get up at 4 am in the morning to see the ‘cloudy’ sunrise J;
  • And in the end, after going 3000 stairs down – a cooling footbath in one of the many small rivers.
'Sugar Mama' and me.

Article about the best choclate cake from the 'Time Magazine'.

After 4 days of trekking - the reward: Poonhill at 6 am!

...I am sure the water temperature of this creek increased suddenly by some degrees - my feet were burning after 7 hrs downhill hiking.
On the 1st of May I will be starting another 10 days silent meditation retreat close to Pokhara – this time it’s another method than the last time in Thailand – more sitting and meditating and no yoga or chanting. I will let you know how it all went.

Smiles and sunshine greetings from Pokhara (31°C).
Namaste, Eylin

1 Kommentar:

  1. looks lovely Eylin- gorgeous pics...seems like you sure are having fun!