So today is white water rafting day, followed by a night or two in pokhara! I’m awake at 5am due to damn noise from outside, loud car horns (nothing new for Kathmandu I know) and a man shouting which seems to be right outside my window but I can’t see anyone when I look!!
I’ve got over an hour to get myself sorted before I meet my guide.
Realise I may need insect repellent in countryside so unpack to find it then pack again, it’s moments like this I wish I’d just paid for the room for the nights I’m away, but it’s £32 saved, every little helps!
Downstairs for 6.15 so I can have brekkie before the meet time of 6.30, and man is already waiting! I’m then given a note from reception saying the meet time has changed! Well that’s handy after the meet time!! Tough I’ve ordered breakfast and wish to eat it before I head off on a four hour coach ride. I had planned to take hot chocolate with me in my flask but boiling water provided is not hot this morning, at least it’s less weight to carry in my bag!
Off we walk to bus stop, sweet little man, speaks good English and we make some small talk along the way. There are lots of beggars out early doors. Not something you notice during the day as it’s so busy. There’s a homeless man wanting spare change, girls with limbs not properly formed asking for cash, that’s very sad but I say no to them all. The bus is full, seemingly half with rafting people and the other half local people. We are all at the back as a rafting group! No idea if all together, no one really speaks to each other, just read or listen to music. I have a man sat next to me who has earphones in, so unfriendly but cosy!!
Roads are bloody awful, just how I remember but had chosen to forget!
You just get comfy when you hit a huge hole in the road and are flung in the air. We pass what looks like the local sports stadium, there must be about 700 people there playing different sports. Cricket, football, yoga, running. What a great site!
OMG this is such an uncomfortable ride, and it takes about three hours to get there. When we arrive, a large group were dropped off about five mins before us, the rest here but there are loads of people, about 50 just at our start point. Very inappropriately dressed some of them, I mean who wears jeans for white water rafting??
There are no changing rooms so I have to get changed in a shed, and then it’s a squat toilet again damn it!! Ah well it’s not like I’m precious about these things after trekking!
We get our safety gear, helmet, life jacket and paddle. There’s a large group of Orphanage boys with us, they are so cute. There’s a couple of Polish people who seems to be in charge of them. So we walk to river. Orphans, polish, me, a couple of Israeli dudes, French man, Mexican man and some more staff from the orphanage.
I start in the adult boat. Fat polish man and French dude at the front. I’m second, behind fat dude and with a local girl behind me who can’t bloody keep time paddling!
She is one of those uncoordinated paddlers. Not in time with us ahead of her and I keep wacking her paddle! Gggrrrr
After about 10 minutes the other boat that has the kids in and two Israelis have arguments going. The Israelis have already pushed each other in, instructor shouting at them to listen to him and now polish teacher arguing too! Another five minutes and they ask to come in our boat. I’m fine with that until they say we want to tip the boat. Now if it tips that’s all good and well but I’d rather not cut my head open making it tip. Boring git hey. Anyway all of us go on kids boat and leave Israeli nutters to their own devices! I’m at the front now and have lost the annoying woman to the other side. I even give my camera to one kid so he can video etc although I think I have a video about 10 minutes long with not a lot of the actual rafting, bless. The French dude is a tad annoying, he did this about a week ago for the first time and now thinks he’s the expert. Keeps giving us advice. Shush now!!!! Then he starts counting so I keep in time. I need to count to 10 and keep calm!! Some major waves hit so we are all soaking, the kids and French dude have water fights, Israeli nutters trying to push our instructor in from their boat but this upsets Mexican bloke who is clearly scared of water and shouts at them to leave him out of it. Slightly over reacting as they aren’t getting him! Orphans only do half the trip as second half is quite hairy and we need the space to get in boat and stop it turning over. So they head out and get a minibus to the end point and we continue through some great waves!
All in all an awesome experience. Lasted about three hours so completely surprised and hungry as we were told we’d get lunch. We got food at four o’clock instead. And it’s my favourite, dal baht! Yay! The Mexican and French share their annoyances at the Israelis from the other boat and in general, and tell me no one likes Israelis and lots of hotels refuse their custom as they are renowned for partying and damaging property! Well I never knew!
I’m off to pokhara to paraglide tomorrow so wait at the side for local bus. The others are going back to Kathmandu. When we get on it it’s packed but we do manage to get a seat. The Israelis are late but do get on our bus just in time! Some French group get on with me and two of the girls have the most infectious laughs, no idea what they were laughing at but love listening. The locals are just staring at us all like we are aliens! The bus journey is bloody awful again, tenns machine here we come once more. However I’m loving seeing the green paddy fields and the countryside again. I decide Kathmandu makes me depressed, too dirty, dusty and noisy. I miss chitwans isolation, the mountains cleanliness (not the toilets though) and the clean air of both. Think I’ll enjoy these three days. I have a smelly woman come and sit next to me for half the journey, what a delight!
At 8pm we arrive in the pouring rain in pokhara. More built up than I thought. I run to a taxi, shout my hotel and name and off we go. However the taxi driver then tells me he doesn’t know where it is, tosser!! He asks two of his mates, then by chance I see a sign for it. Then he tries to charge me more as it’s further than he thought. Erm who’s fault is that? Anyway I don’t have the right bloody change so have to pay more, ggggrrrr!
Get to hotel, en suite, tv, what a bonus, can’t complain. Have a walk around local streets to orientate myself, realise I have no long sleeved tops for the cooler nights so buy one from the shops, have a shower and read my guide book on what to do tomorrow.
I wake up early as there’s people outside talking, about 6am. So read a bit, watch tv then head to breakfast. There is me and a couple of girls and that’s it. Not the most upmarket dining area it has to be said. Very quiet. I only have a light brekkie, don’t wish to throw it up in the air!
I’m picked up by 4×4 with a Chinese man from the hotel and taken to the meet place, fill out forms, look at pictures to see what I’ll be doing then meet our guides. A couple of the glider customers did it yesterday and loved it but said it was very short. Disappointingly only five mins, so let’s hope today’s a longer glide. We drive up the mountain in a 4×4, and stop to see what a hold up is and one of the Paraglide guides gets out and is chatting when we start to drive off. He jumps on the side trying to get into the truck whilst moving and falls off truck, nearly gets run over? Bit bloody scaring but he seems ok, pissed off obviously as feels stupid. Hope he’s not my instructor may be injured! We have a nice Venezuelan dude chatting in back with us. My fellow gliders are a Russian couple, two Chinese and me. Instructors, one Russian, Venezuelan and spaniard that I’ve clocked so far.
On truck two locals jump on and hold on to side, madness but clearly the norm! It’s a bumpy twisty ride up (no idea how they stay holding on) but views look amazing already. We get off and meet our guides, I’ve got the faller!! Ahhhh. Actually he’s lovely, very chatty. Used to be a builder then a firefighter but said is such a poorly paid job in rural Spain. Here for three years now but it’s so cheap for tourists they need to increase price or it’s not worth working due to over heads. Fair point as only cost me £50 for my glide! I’d of paid upto £75 I reckon. Seems very sincere though and glad he’s my instructor. And he liked my tattoo, forget their view is of my head and neck!! He’s getting something similar. Cool!
So he straps me in (less attractive than it sounds!) we sit and wait for thermals!! Others go off early, just run off the mountain! Very funny to watch as some forget to run, others are still running when in the air. We go after about half an hour when albatrosses start to float in the air. That’s the key to a good thermal! So it really is as simples as run when the instructor says, down and off the mountain. Love it, so calm, quiet and beautiful. Much better than sky diving, we rise up and down in the thermal streams with a baby albatross below us. Just awesome. Everyone should try it! After about 20 mins we make our decent and even that was easy just run again when told and stop!! Great!!
We celebrate by going for a drink at the most awesome hotel. It has an outdoor pool with a view of the lake and mountains. Beautiful!!
Back to the hotel and no idea what to do for the rest of the day, it’s only 12pm.
I decide to wonder around town, and head to the riverside to have lunch, then watch sunset over the lake.
Got a lovely table for two by the steps and perfect view of waterfront so I can watch sunset and pop down nearer for pictures. Unfortunately next to me is the most annoying
bloody girl talking so damn loud it’s easier to listen in than ignore.
And it’s all rather personal stuff I’m not sure we should all hear! ‘My mum said I was beautiful on Facebook, what won’t she say it to my face?’ ‘My boyfriend loves me so much but doesn’t want to know what’s in my head’, Erm, but we we do??!!
‘My brother is a heroin addict’
‘I want to use my body to challenge myself’, ‘We are all the same including animals!!’ I mean what on earth!! The poor girl she’s with hardly gets a word in, and I say next to me but actually she was three tables away and I could hear every word!!
Lovely European couple next to me. Sit and read for a few hours, with a beer and tea, then they go to the water front and kick a ball about together. That’s what I want, what a lovely couple!
So I’m chilling watching the sunset, thankfully annoying girl has left!, I’m taking sunset pics and the ladies selling stuff hassle you when you’re standing there, but nicely not rudely. I try ignoring them but one after constantly trying to engage me, then calls me mrs blue, (I’m wearing a blue top) it makes me chuckle! Good try and genuinely intended to go back after dinner and buy something off her.
Dogs gather on waterfront at sunset looking for food. Shooed out of restaurant, but wander the shore line fighting, playing, watching and hoping for some food!
Bless one dog snuck under the table of the couple next to me as they had food and just laid there. Not begging just waiting. He was shooed (nicely) away but that was so sweet!
I ordered fish as it’s caught fresh from the river, it was lovely. And a glass of rather nice red wine too.
Lovely three hours by the river, very chilled. No other single travellers here all chatting in their groups but I’ve enjoyed myself.
And then a random cow walks past! It is just surreal here sometimes.
The ladies selling stuff have packed up so I can’t buy something from my ‘mrs blue’ lady. Never mind. Walk slowly back to hotel enjoying fresh air. And early night for me.
Woken by snorting men outside again. No idea where but sounded like they were right outside!! What a delight. However the birds were singing so went to read on the roof top terrace, it is called snow view lodge after all! It is a lovely view but very hazy this time of year. Bet it’s awesome in the winter when no haze around. I sit up there for about half an hour then pop down for breakfast.
Brekkie in a completely empty restaurant this morning, but one of the staff came to chat with me which was quite nice. He is very interested in uk. He earns 8000 nepalease ruppes a month which is only £40!
He is my taxi to the airport. There are lots of kids on way to school with their ties like Waterloo road which I didn’t expect to see.
I am quite early at the airport check in is literally a room with some stalls. There’s a weird looking Irish lady next to me, I say weird maybe just different as her fringe is like her mum put a bowl over her head and cut the fringe only! Mullet!!
I go through to departures which is a larger room with some seats and a yeti shop. I have to buy something as it’s so cute and end up with a mug that changes colour when hot hoeing a picture of the yeti! Cool. My airline is posh in comparison to the Everest flights, we get inflight drinks and newspapers! Better than Ryan air and easy jet! And I get a front row seat so can see take off and landing.
At the airport I go to get a taxi, quite expensive to get back to airport. But hey ho. Just sorting out a deal when two Russians also want to go to town so join me. They don’t really speak even though I try and engage in conversation. And then become very rude in cab when being dropped off, ‘you will
not drop us in road’, ‘no you reverse to our hostel we have luggage’, ‘no you go down there we have luggage’, ‘you help with our luggage’!! Annoying bloody twats!!
Anyway I finally made the hotel, took less time to fly from pokhara than to get taxi from the airport with traffic and annoying Russians. My new room has a double bed, wow, luxury!
Had a fab time in pokhara, miss the views already!