Pokhara - DAY TWO

Weather: Sunny and Hot
a lonely house in the middle of a field

Falling in and out of sleep... It's no surprise we woke up earlier than planned. We woke at 0500 hours to pack our things and went down for breakfast. Initially, the plan was to have the guesthouse pack our breakfast since we were leaving early but having woken earlier than expected, we decided to just have breakfast at the hotel. The sun itself was still asleep and it was dark and quiet outside. The guesthouse packed our breakfast in a box; muffins, croissants and sandwiches. We had some of it the guesthouse itself with tea and coffee.

We gathered in the lounge at 0615 hours, we saw our guide, Shiva and met our porter, Noma. They got our bags and placed it in a cab and drove to a public bus stop for all those who plan to go the same route. Once we reached, our bags are tucked in the boot of the bus and we boarded and waited for it's departure. We shifted seats a few times because I wanted to make sure I would get a good view for my camera to take the shot. Outside, you can see little stalls (just a table lined with bread, snacks and a stove to heat up milk tea) manned by one person. There are also many locals selling chocolates and water bottles like those baseball vendors selling peanuts and beer that I see in the movies. They will walk around with their products and look up into the bus and show their water bottles hoping make a sell.

The road to Pokhara on a misty morning

The mother cow
dark brown baby calf
The bus left at 0700 hours. The trip took about seven hours to reach our destination in Pokhara. The drive was quite nice, seeing the way people lived their lives, both in the city and away from it. Of course, in the city, it is more for tourist with people trying to sell you things for your aid in the trip such as water and chocolate but as you go further away, you see farm animals,. paddy fields and so on. There was no air-cond but we were supplied with mini fans at the walls of the bus however was not turned on in the morning for the air was cool enough. I opened my window bigger to let the air ventilate and also to allow me to take clearer shots. The gushing wind made my eyes dry and always made me squint. We had a rest stop at 0900 hours and the place offered food and restrooms. Their restrooms are very simple. Those no-toilet-seat kind of toilet (the squating kind) and a door made of metal that looked like zinc. It was dark inside and you have a pail with a small scoop to use for flushing. Some people ate a whole meal at that time but my dad and I ate what's leftover of our breakfast because we asked our guide if we'll have a lunch stop and he said there will be. I saw a cow outside the stop and I took photos of it gorging on the grassy land. It's calf was not too far away, being more shy than the mother. There was also a small fruit stall nearby but we didn't buy any. Once everybody was ready, we boarded the bus and left to our next destination.

Our lunch stop was at 1130 hours, we had a choice of fried noodles or Nepali food. Of course we chose the latter, what's the point of traveling over 3000km if you're not going to try their local food? Besides, us as Chinese, I'm sure we can put our love for stir-fry foods to a halt for this trip. However, it's not really much of a surprise when their food is somewhat similar to what we can find in Malaysia's banana leaf rice; Rice, Dal, Vege Curry, Papadam, pickled vegetables and a choice of lamb curry (lamb curry for the non-vegetarian). One of the advantages of a multi-cultural country, Malaysia.. You can have the frequent experience of Malay, Chinese and Indian dishes. The Nepali food that they served was good. I liked, particularly, their vege and lamb curry. I also love their Papadam but everybody loves Papadam so it's kind of cheating, I ate almost enough for two. After our lunch, we moved on but the sun was high and very hot. It felt like we were back in Malaysia except less sweat. When we returned to our bus, everybody switched on the fan.

a few men working on a lorry

paddy fields
There isn't much to tell about our bus trip but the scenery was nice. You get to see people living the way they do outside the tourist area; rearing chickens, goats, dogs and cows. You get to see paddy fields and people harvesting in the middle of it. You can see tractors and workshops. People constructing more stores in their little towns. Unfortunately, after lunch, the bus started to get really stuffy with the accumulation of heat and people in the bus. It was getting uncomfortable. We finally reached our stop in Pokhara at 1400+ hours but not everybody got down. I suppose their intended trip does not really involve climbing a mountain and that their destination is further down the road. We had to walk a little and checked into Hotel Splendid View and a splendid view they had.

Our guide ordered us a nice room and suggested we wake early to see the sunrise. The scenery was a mountain background with shops in the foreground. I would imagine a sunrise would be beautiful. To my unexpected surprise, this hotel had aircond and a refrigerator. It was so nice and cold in the room as compared to the scorching hot weather outside. We decided to take a short walk out and the first food store we saw was a german bakery. We ordered a cheesecake and chocolate cake and also tomato soup with lassi. DO NOT go for their baked goods. I had no idea what they served us. It looked like cake but it tasted entirely different and not it's intended purpose. To say it was bad is kind of an overstatement. However on the contrary, their lassi was superb and their tomato soup was good. I guess, they survived on main courses and not desserts.

We continued walking taking the left side and found a tea shop and coffee shop that sells their leaves and beans. We bought the Royal Ceylon Tea, it was very fragrant. When we came back to the hotel, we relaxed. They had aircond, wifi, fridge, 3 plugpoints and tv with the following interesting channels; Star World, Star Movies, Fox Movies, Cinemax, HBO, TLC, Fox Life, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and Aljazeera.

We later went out for dinner at 1800 hours. We tried the opposite shop of the hotel called DB Momo. My father ordered fried noodles whilst I ordered their chicken Thukpa (Thukpa is like noodle soup). The food was simple and nice. Nothing great but nothing bad either. The fried noodle was cooked quite nice but needed a bit more soya sauce and the Thukpa tasted like vegetables and chicken in hot water, not much seasoning so you can taste the ingredients. The shopkeeper was most accommodating, switching on the lights for us as it was getting dark and made conversation and asked if the food was good. They also gave us a bowl of kimchi. After our dinner, we met up with our guide and porter and they showed us where to buy our hiking gear, as we walk out of the hotel, we took a right and the shop is very nearby called "Yak & Yeti Trekking Shop". (*I shall leave their facebook page here if interested) We bought our walking sticks there and it was good and sturdy, for about 35 each in Malaysian Ringgit. When we returned to our hotel, although it was 2035 hour there, it would be close to 2300 hour in Malaysia. We were sleepy so we ventured off into slumberland that night. Although, this hotel was much more comfortable, we still woke up in the night.

More Photos (during the bus ride):
A boy looking out of a construction building
a schoolboy sitting on a reiling in front of a store
this is how some shops in the city look like
you can find many fruit vendors on bicycles.
A mother and child smiling
people on the street
misty morning

In Pokhara:
The first thing we ate, their dessert is horrible but their food and drinks was good
Their menu had some helpful translation to learn
The sign of our Hotel
Our hotel
sunset from our balcony
this is where we ate, they cater to many cultural food
here are the menu
more menu

more menu

fried noodles. It was quite good but needed more soya sauce
Thukpa. it was okay. No seasoning used at all
lassi. It was really good

Kimchi. it was nice with my Thukpa :)