Sorry for the wait….. I will be more consistent, I promise!

Pokhara, Nepal. This was a very fun little city and trekker trap. During our trip we were in Pokhara for 2 days and then an extra day and a half before flying back to Kathmandu, we ended up spending more time here than we originally planned due to some cancelled travel arrangements (stay tuned for that story in a few days).

Sampada Inn

View from the terrace

View from the terrace

We arrived in Pokhara by jeep from Kathmandu. After a 6hour ride, we were ready to rest up. We were lucky to stay just off of the main road, Lakeside, in an awesome hotel, Sampada Inn. The beds here were much more comfortable than the ones in Kathmandu, and we had a fun view of the city and surrounding mountains. It didn’t hurt that the staff was kind and very helpful as well.

Pokhara street Pokhara Street2  Lakeside is a fun street with shops, restaurants, and trekking offices everywhere! No matter which way you started walking you could easily find all types of food (in fact most restaurants served a very wide variety), lots of souvenirs and hand made Nepali crafts, and all the knock-  off NorthFace trekking gear your heart could ever desire. We had so much fun wandering the street to shop and eat, it was very relaxing.

True to its name, Lakeside is next to…… you guessed it….. a giant Lake! Beautiful mountains surround the lake and it wasn’t full of jet-skis or large boats pulling water skiers.  One evening we decided to rent a canoe for several hours and we paddled our way across to the other bank to try and get a different angle to take pictures of the sunset. Where we could actually land our canoe our view of the mountains was blocked, so we ended up going out to the middle of the lake to get some photos and enjoy the evening light as it faded behind the mountains.

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copyright: Tony Murray Photography

copyright: Tony Murray Photography

copyright: Tony Murray Photography

copyright: Tony Murray Photography

Although the shore was crowded with people and shops along the shore, as well as several canoes in the water, it remained peaceful and somehow serene.

Another enjoyable thing we did in Pokhara was the Sarangkot sunrise. There is this small mountain that looks over the lake on one side and the breathtaking Himalayan range on the other. We hired a taxi to drive us up to the small town on Sarangkot. After he dropped us off we hiked for another 30 minutes or so to reach the top. On the way up you hike on this trail that goes past small Nepali houses and huts. It is so dark you can’t see very far and you wonder how many more “stairs” you will need to climb and how much further you really need to go.

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After hiking by flashlight for about 20min a gray light starts to cover everything and its just enough for you to see ahead of you, but not enough to see what is off the side of the mountain. Close to the very top there is a small Buddhist shrine and the only about 50 stairs left. At the top of the stairs there is this fantastically old arch, and the scene behind it was breathtaking. All this time hiking in the dark I had no idea the mountain were that “close”. It was incredible to have your view through this arch be fully encompassed with mountain, no sky, no ground, just huge giant mountains. As you finish the hike and find a spot to sit on the viewing platform, just in time, the sun starts to peak up over the hills and light the Himalayas in an incredible way! It was beautiful and I am actually happy I woke up early to see it.

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On our extra day in Pokhara, before heading back to Kathmandu we actually did Sarangkot again for sunset. We didn’t go all the way to the top, but found a nice little field off behind this man’s house that he let us use. It was again, beautiful to sit and take in the scenery as the sun went down.

copyright: Tony Murray Photography

copyright: Tony Murray Photography

Later that night we began our shopping. We didn’t want to buy anything on our first 2 days in the city, because we didn’t have much space to carry souvenirs in our overnight backpacks, and we did not want to have the extra weight for any hiking we might do. So—we crammed all shopping into the evening and next morning before our flight. It was fun to look for scarves, jewelry, art, etc. We were able to buy several fun/good quality things for not too much money…. Unlike the souvenirs in Mexico- that always feel cheap and half of them are made in China ;) It was nice to buy some things that were truly locally made by Nepali people.

Overall, Pokhara is a fun town to shop and dine. Although we had more time here than anticipated (and maybe didn’t do as much hiking as we wanted) it was a good place to spend our time and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

*I promise to blog again in 3 days! Up next Travel in Nepal- scary and harrowing jeep rides through unpaved canyon roads…..

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