As always, I’ve got no idea on the meekest itinerary my buddy prepared. I would just ask him on what to expect so as to prepare myself (trekking, hiking and the likes are non-negotiable) but then he would only say, Basta… Just wait ‘til you see it. And I would constantly remind him that I hate surprises.
Pokhara. I’m lovin’ the name. After spending ten days of wandering the areas of Kathmandu, Dhulikhel and Bhaktapur, we’re heading to our last stop in our Nepal adventure.
Coming from Bhaktapur’s Durbar Square, we hailed a bus going to Kathmandu and endured a 2-hour bus ride going back to the city (30 Rupees/US$ 0.30 each). It was around nine in the morning and the commuters were rushing to climb on to buses going to work, school and wherever. Our bus was packed. It was a moshpit of university students, employees, locals and travelers (just the two of us).
People were squeezed into every available space inside the bus. It looks like a normal scene in Manila during the rush hour but this one’s different. Nobody’s complaining or having the greatest sigh of their lives, it was as if they were on board a luxury bus with air-conditioning system, but no, they are enduring so much discomfort but they were still smiling and laughing amidst the crazy traffic jam. I couldn’t even complain for the littlest distress I was having at that time.
|Traffic jam inside and out|
|It will be filled... Soon.|
We had two stops for this particular ride. The first one was basically a toilet and/or cig stop and the second one was for late lunch. We had some chow meins and sodas on the second stop and did some stretching exercises before going back to our cramped party van.
|Our first toilet break|
Arriving safely at Pokhara, we immediately asked a lady on the directions going to the Phewa Lake. She tried her best to converse in English but gave up after having some difficulty in relating the easiest and cheapest way to go there. So what she did was she held my hand and asked us to just follow her.
We crossed two main highways and walked a few more to a stop where a bus heading to our destination was parked. She climbed up and instructed the driver to drop us off on an alley leading to our hotel. She also reminded me that we should only pay 25 Rupees each (US$ 0.25) for the fare (in hand signals). I thanked her and she went back to where we saw her a while back; such a good soul.
After spending three days in Pokhara we were off again to Kathmandu to spend a couple of days more before pushing through with the next leg of our trip. There are regular bus trips from Phewa Lake going back to downtown Pokhara.
Hustling back to where we were three days ago, a guy shouted Kathmandu and immediately we ran into that van and settled on the left side (to get the best view). And the rollercoaster ride went on and on and on and on again.