Travel Notes from Pokhara-Tansen ( Palpa), Nepal Part 1
After a week, i've finally left Pokhara. Oh, this city.
It's great to break your journey and stay in big cities like Pokhara or Kathmandu. When you've missed your grilled beef and your fish fillet, it's nice to know these big cities offer creature comforts. Yet, staying too long can make your mind uneasy. Staying here that long is not part of my plan. After successfully refreshing my visa a week ago, i wanted to relax for a bit. After the extreme trekking done at Ramkot nearby Bandipur, i knew i wanted to do nothing in Pokhara.
I spent my days in solitude. I wake up late, eat brunch, hit the shower, walk around, find a quiet spot by the lake, read my book, get back to hotel to get ready for dinner. Sometimes, i would go out for drinks but that's getting expensive, and unhealthy, too.
Arjun Panday is the manager of Hotel Family Home, and has been a good friend of mine since last year. I entrusted my stay in Pokhara with him, and i only reaped amazing experiences because of it that's why i came back.
This morning, i saw him for the last time as i am finally leaving Pokhara for Tansen. With a promise that i will be back, i had to thank him for the warm welcome, and excellent service. Without a doubt, staying at Hotel Family Home was good value. He gave me an awesome price for a big room with balcony, and most of the time when i come back, the staff never fails to greet me with a warm and endearing Namaste. The occassional black-outs were a bummer. But anywhere in Nepal, this happens a lot so by this time i got used to it. What's awesome, though, is even if there is no electrcity, there is WiFi, so anytime of the day, i am connected.
Most of the planning for my activities for the day happen at a nearby eatery. Rose Garden and Restaurant is such good value for money as well. There's a good variety of food you can order from the manager. And the best fried rice i've eaten in my whole stay of Nepal came from this restaurant. It's that good that i usually eat twice a day, one special set for breakfast with magnanimous serving of toast bread, cornflakes, sunny side up eggs, masala tea, orange juice, and Nepali spiced potato, and my vegetable fried rice with egg either for lunch or dinner. She also gives the best suggestions for places to go, things to do, and the dreaded public transportation directions aroung Pokhara. Before i left Pokhara this morning, i had to say goodbye and promise to come back soon. Her smile is infectious, and you know her intentions are genuine. I waved goodbye at the staff, and moved on with my rucksack and memories of good times in Pokhara.
The other day, walking around in Pokhara, was a time for short realizations. In such a beautiful city lies a truth. One man asked for an orange, and a couple of Masala chips. I gave the man my bottled water but he declined. He cannot speak a word, nor his actions were sane. He sat next to me. I felt the real Pokhara is showing. While everybody is trying to shoo him away, i never left him. I stayed because i knew it was the right thing to do. The view from the lake is astonishing, but i felt the reality is something more precious.
Walking around endless shops of gems, prayer flags and fake North Face, you'll stumble upon men selling fruits. The smell and sight of fresh pomegranate and oranges were enough to make me second look. I felt really bad for the sales that day were very low. I saw this young man who offered me some fruits. I already bought some from another man. But i had to come back to give this man some sale. I paid 150 rupees for one pomegranate which was too expensive. Yet, i feel this was my best purchase so far. Seeing this man light up when i handed over my bill was enough for me to say i just made someone happy. When was the last time you made someone happy?
So, yeah. That has been my trip to Pokhara so far. I also got a haircut from one of the barber shops. I think they have a different price for foreigners. Eitherway, i got an awesome Nepali haircut, and a good shave, too -- all for less than 500 rupees. So it has been an eventful day for me.