17 Apr 2013

Pokhara: Happy New Year 2070!

Happy New Year!  The end of our trek coincided with the Nepali New Year festivities in Pokhara.  The Nepali calendar is 57 years ahead of the Gregorian one, meaning that we would be ringing in the year 2070.  As John pointed out, since we would be 94 and 87 years old respectively in the UK in 2070, it seemed prudent to celebrate this one while we could.  

With a few hours to kill before the celebrations began, we decided to go for some post trek pampering in the form of his and hers “deep tissue” massages.  These were far more painful than any aspect of the trek itself – two plump Nepali women applied elbow, knees and thumbs to maximum sadistic effect, before walking on our back and contorting our arms and legs.  This lasted one hour. 

Relieved to leave these two helpful harridans behind, we headed to the park where the fun fair had already begun and music was blasting from the stage.  In a country that pays scant attention to health and safety, there is always something a bit unsettling about fairground rides.  So we decided against the pirate ship and Ferris wheel and instead focused on the food stalls (spicy noodles and vegetable pakora) and the musical acts.  In typically friendly Nepali fashion, some of the local dragged John into a traditional dance. Flip flops did nothing for his usual (lack of) co-ordination.

When midnight came, the fireworks that had been promised were something on an anti-climax, being only a video display on the big screen.  But that didn’t dampen the atmosphere and the partying and music continued long after we got back to our hotel.

Pokhara is a great place to unwind and relax, we spent a pleasant morning rowing around the lake and browsing in shops.  

It is also a great place to catch up on all the foods we had missed after three weeks of the standard mountain fare.  Our favourite places to eat/drink were:
  • Caffe Concerto
  • Boomerang
  • Busy Bee
  • Godfather Pizza
We also spent a day at the International Mountain Museum and the fascinating Ghurkha Memorial Museum and then brunch by the pool of the Shangri-La Hotel (a day pass for which is great value at £8 each).  

Following the short propeller plane flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu, we discovered that our Chinese visas had been granted.  Nihao Beijing!

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