(Before that) After a small party at the landing zone for our first ever extreme sports experience, we then headed towards Pokhara city with paragliding agency. There our travel agent Mr. Happy was waiting for us to take us to city tour. First we went to the fascinating museum ‘International Mountain Museum’ which allowed us to see the history of Himalayas, ethnic groups and their cultures. They displayed 3D model of some great Himalayan ranges and information about all the highest peak of the world. It was bit old fashioned museum but the information they contained was well curated. We spent there about 1 and half hour and then we went to visit Devi’s falls at Shital Path, Pokhara. Not worth a visit, view point was restricted by fence due to visitor’s security. There was nothing much to do except looking at the streams from the top view point. Only the best part I can recall was finding buffalo meat ‘Momos’ (Nepali dumpling type food) outside Devi’s falls gate.
Then we went to the Tibetan Monastery. In 1967, His holiness the 14th Dalai Lama named the monastery ‘Jangchub Choeling Monastery’ and officially recognized the monastic community under the guidance of Dupseng Rinpoche. Starting from 35 monks, the monastery now has more than hundreds of monks. Walking inside in any monastery is like meditation. This Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Nepal shows Tibetan culture, traditions and their holy spirit. Outside the monastery, they have small shops where Tibetan people sell some souvenirs and jewelry. Stop by and buy some handmade crafts from them. You will see the best smile of the world from them.
As part of our half day city tour, we went to old Pokhara town to see the suspension bridge over Seti river. This type of bridge is very popular in Nepal. Since Nepal has more than 6,000 small rivers and mostly lying in hilly and mountain areas, this type of bridge plays a significant role for their socio-economic development. It connects rural and countryside areas to city areas. We walked across the bridge and got fine views of the river below. It was almost evening when we got back to our hotel.
Got into the hotel Fewa Holiday Inn’s reception at lakeside, Pokhara, we were informed that our hotel room booking was not done. Our friend Ruba had the printed copy of the booking confirmation with her and we got so mad how they could mess up with the booking system of a world renowned hotel booking system. Later they told us, their computer system got crashed and they couldn’t check any reservation through that renowned site rather they gave our reserved room to other guest. Well we all knew that everything wouldn’t go so smooth especially when you are outside of your country. Hotel owner was in abroad and the manager couldn’t sort out the problems. After quiet a harsh talk to them, we took back our money and made a reservation to another hotel at Lakeside. Our friend Moona is quiet master in making itinerary, picking the right hotels, selecting places to go. She always has her pre-vacation research which makes every trip worry free. This time again, she rescued us by choosing another hotel in a jiffy. We were so worn out when we got into the hotel.
In the next morning, we had one-day trek to Australian Base Camp and Dhampus village, Pokhara. Mr. Happy organized everything for us to make the trek enjoyable one. His travel company provided hotel pick and drop facility, excellent guide Mr. Raju, breakfast and lunch. From the trail head, we walked through the small villages ascending to the steep stone paths. We had our breakfast in the Australian Base Camp and rested there awhile. Then our trek started from the hilltop to Dhampus village through jungle. I was expecting a lush jungle with monkeys swinging from the trees but only animal we met was a deadly snake on our way. Gladly our guide Mr. Raju spotted the snake first and then me. We waited for it to pass the stone path. Mr. Raju told us, wild animal like Cheetah and Bear were still seen deep in the forest. But glad we didn’t meet any.
The scenery that I will treasure for long was trekking through this amazing Dhampus village. Dhampus trail is not just a Mountain View point rather it offers hills, forest, sparse villages, diversified communities of people, cultures and traditions. Dhampus village trek was relatively easy but quite rewarding trek. We got to see this amazing village on our walking down the hill. Our travel agency arranged our lunch at the village restaurant to have their traditional meal and to let us enjoy the scenic beauty of this fascinating village. After lunch we had little recreation arranged by one of the restaurant staffs. He brought a guitar and we sang along. We then started our walk again and passed through the village. The view of this rice fields on the valleys and lofty mountains on the horizon are still vivid in my mind.
We took 12 hours to finish the trek and got back to hotel which usually takes 8 hours to finish. The amount of time we spent taking pictures and screaming ‘WOW’ seeing every beautiful scene, we knew we took more time than usual.
To be continued…