Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pokhara to Nagarkot - Friday May 24, 2013

We had an enjoyable stay in Pokhara.  However the weather was extremely disappointing, as we did not see the mountain range at all – not a glimpse.  It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful locations in Nepal, but we cannot attest to that!  

Terraced Fields Toward Kathmandu

Team Working the Fields

Rice Paddies

City Street

This morning we were on the “road again”.  We know how rough the roads are so we are not looking forward to the three hour drive to where the Manakamana cable car is located.  The Manakamana Temple is at the top of an almost impossible steep hillside, but it is one of the most important temples in the Middle Hills. Hindus believe the goddess of this temple has the power to grant wishes, especially the wish for male children.   But this good fortune comes at a price – pilgrims seal the deal by sacrificing a goat, chicken, or pigeon in a gory pavilion behind the temple.  On the cable car there is even a dedicated carriage car for sacrificial goats.

We are beginning to take all schedules and times of drives with a grain of salt.  First we never leave at the appointed time and it always takes longer to get someplace than stated!  We arrived later than anticipated at the cable car.  The car does not run from 12:00-1:30 so we needed to hurry to get up and down before the service stopped for the noon hour.  We still have another 3 hour drive before we get to a village east of Kathmandu, where we will be for the night.   

The view from the cable car was wonderful.  At the top there were crowds and hawkers of everything.  We quickly walked 6 minutes to the temple. On the way we saw goats and chickens for sale; we saw people walking their goats to the temple, and we saw dead goats in plastic bags coming away from the temple.  What sights!! We did not linger, and we made it back down on the cable car before they closed for the noon hour.
Cable Car to Temple

Village Along Cable Car Ride

River Below

Swinging Bridge Across the River

Now we are off for Kathmandu and our first hotel – Royal Singi. We stopped for lunch along the way.  I don’t think I have much to say about the food.  Nepalese food is somewhat different from Indian food, but to westerners it is quite similar.  The basis is rice, and then sauces of different kinds, with meat being either chicken or goat. We have been eating primarily Nepalese food so far, but we are beginning to tire of it.
Restaurant Kitchen

Dried Fish

More Dried Fish
Preparing Dinner

Eating Nepal Style - With Hands

At the Royal Singi Hotel we said goodbye to the Rotarians who have been hosting us the past few days.  Arrangements have been made for a vehicle and driver to take us 32 km to Nagarkot – a village at the top of a mountain.  Nagarkot only exists because of the views of the Himalayas. We had reservations at Club Himalayas, the “swankiest hotel in town”, according to the guidebook.  Every room has a view of the range, plus there are terraces with terrific views.  It even had a helipad if you can afford to arrive ‘in style’.  It indeed was up to 4 star standards. 
Local Taxi

Nice House

Local Shop

Local Strip Mall

Truck in the Ditch

Road to Nagarkot

Camp Himalaya Resort

Our Room

Balcony off Room
We arrived in Nagarkot just before sunset.  We did not go directly to our rooms, but up on the roof top terrace.  The sunset was beautiful, AND we did get a glimpse of the tops of several mountains, so now we know they are there!!  Thank goodness we scheduled the mountain flight and that it was clear on that day.  The best time for the clearest views is between Oct and March.  We are hoping for clear skies in the morning however we are not getting out hopes too high. 

We had a lovely evening meal in the restaurant.  Cal & I often split a meal which we did tonight and then had a dessert. 
Himalayan Mountains

We asked the front desk for a 4:45 wake up call as that is the time we need to get up to see the sun rise.  The hotel offers morning tea on the rooftop terrace while guests are watching the sunrise.  However, before we went to bed, we noticed from our balcony a heavy fog was settling in the valley below.  Weather would have to really change for a clear sunrise. 

No comments:

Post a Comment