Day 22: Last day in Pokhara.
We were both awake fairly early this morning for some reason, even though we’d both had a restless night. The power came back on in the early hours so the fan came back on and cooled the room down a bit, which helped, but I’m still feeling a bit tired today. As we had woken up early, we had a pretty relaxed morning, reading for a bit and sorting our stuff out a bit ready for packing. I had a warm(ish) shower and we headed down into town to try and find some kayaks to rent.
The place we rented the boat from had rubbish kayaks and they were quite expensive, but we found some on a side street that looked better and were only 500 rupees (£3.60 ish) each for half a day, so we carried them down the lake, complete with paddles and life jackets. They were quite good little kayaks, but they were the ones they use for white water kayaking, so they were short and stubby and turned sharply whenever you leaned left or right slightly, which actually turned out to be pretty amusing. You’d be paddling along, minding your own business and then suddenly just spin round to face backwards with not much warning!
We headed across the lake to where we landed the boat a few days ago, we got there successfully after a few hilarious spins. When we landed there were some young boys who worked for the restaurant, and they agreed to look after our kayaks for us in exchange for us letting them take them out for a spin while we went for a hike (typical wages here are 100 rupees a day, so there’s no way they could ever afford a weeks wages to rent a kayak for a few hours).
This time we were better equipped and it was earlier, so not as hot, so we hiked up to the a Peace Stupa, a huge monument on a hill above the town. There were great views from the top of the whole town, and Pokhara is much bigger than I thought, it stretched right off into the distance, I think we have only really seen a small part of it. It was only a half hour hike up to the view, but you could tell we’d had a few days off hiking, we were huffing and puffing by the time we got to the top!
Getting down was a bit quicker, and we stopped for a cold drink at the restaurant on the beach when we got to the bottom. Our kayaks were there waiting for us, so we got in and decided to head the other way, up to the other end of the lake we hadn’t been to yet. Paddling the kayaks was much quicker and easier than rowing the boat the few days before (even with the unexpected turns), so we got there pretty quick, the other end of the lake was like a marsh, and there was loads of wildlife there, we paddled around for a while trying to get really close to animals and filming them. I think we annoyed some of the water buffalo as they were snorting and shaking their horns at us, but there were loads of them, as well as herons, some birds of prey (buzzards maybe?) and a huge flock of cormorants that flew off when we got too close.
We paddled around for a bit, and then followed the other shoreline back and dropped off the kayaks. It felt good to get a bit of exercise again after sitting around for a few days. After kayaking we got some lunch and then headed back to the hotel for a bit. We sorted out our gear and packed a bit more, and then went back out to shop for some gifts and explore a bit more. Spent a good afternoon shopping, saw some interesting stuff and got we more pressies for people.
We had dinner at the hotel, and booked our coach tickets for tomorrow, now were just finishing off the packing and then having an early night as we need to be up at 6am tomorrow to get the coach back to Kathmandu. Our bill for our room for four nights, coach tickets, several meals and bottles of drinks came to 5000 rupees (about £16 each!). I still can’t get over how cheap rooms are here, it’s mad!
Can’t believe the trip is almost over, it’s gone by really quickly, but I’ve definitely missed home more than I thought I would, probably more than I ever have before, but then I guess 3.5 weeks is a long time to be away! Looking forward to seeing soph again, eating some meat again and having a nice hot bath!
I’ll send another update before I head off to the airport on Monday morning, and then I’ll be on my way back to the Uk…