I have been to the Top of The World – well very nearly.
My journey began at Heathrow terminal 3 flying out to Kathmandu ‘Nepal’ with Qatar Airways via Doha, a comfortable flight on a fantastic Airline.
Whilst the airport at Nepal is rather chaotic, the ground handlers were pleasant and efficient and I was duly whisked away to my first hotel, The Himalaya, for one night stopover, for a much needed good night’s sleep.
The next day we made our way to the Chitwan National Park, via the Manakamana Cable Car. Fabulous views from this cable car ride, with a wonderful surprise at the top. Stepping out into a buzzing, very colourful, incense burning air filled village. And the honey coated waffles from the street seller were delicious. After our descent we went on to Tiger Lodge for two nights.
The Lodge is on the edge of the forest, it’s accommodation, although basic, (with occasional hit and miss electrics,) the home cooked food was fantastic. The safari was wonderful, but unfortunately I didn’t see a Tiger. The Nepalese say of the Tigers ‘you may not have seen me, but you can be sure I’ve seen you’!
I was sad to leave the peace and quiet of this tranquil place, but my next stop, Pokhara was beckoning me.
Our journey was rather long and arduous due to Nepal’s dusty chaotic unmade roads (not unlike some of our potholed riddled roads here in Mole Valley!) After a while we reached a good surfaced road which took us straight into the heart of Pokhara.
It was a clear day with no clouds covering the Annapurna mountain range, part of the Himalayas, which seemed to just pop up straight in front of us, WOW! What a sight.
I arrived at the most beautiful boutique Hotel, The Atithi Resort, for a two nights stay. After checking in I was taken to Lake Phewa, for a very much needed relaxing boat ride, with magnificent views all round.
Early to bed that night as I had 3.45am wake up call the next day ready to go off to World Peace Stupa,. This was a real hike with phenomenal amount of steps to negotiate. But it was definitely worth all the effort, to see the sun pop up behind the Himalayas, is spectacular. Back at the Hotel for breakfast, a lovely young guy washing the hotel floors said to me,”Excuse me, where from you”, I said, “UK” . “Ahhh, Tanzania” he replied. “ No, England” I insisted. “Aahhh, Tanzania”, he said. “Er no, London, England, UK”, said I once more. “Ok, ok, Tanzania,” I gave up and politely excused myself, and headed for breakfast, now with more of an appetite than before! Off again, this time a sightseeing tour of Pokhara city and a surprise for me the manager of Fish Tail Lodge has invited us for lunch. Now this very prestigious Hotel is built on a peninsula, and is situated on the lake with a forest behind, the only access to it is by rope ferry across the Lake. This is where Princess Diana and Prince Charles stayed, the Hotel is featured in the book 1000 places one must see before you die. It really is devastatingly beautiful, the calm waters of the lake mirror the Himalayan Matterhorns. The food and service was exceptionally good as well.
Next day refreshed, we indulged in more sightseeing. This time to Seti Gorge with the underground tunnels, Devi’s falls and caves, I could tell you all about it but it, but this blog would never end, and I could never really do it justice. You need to see it for yourself to really appreciate it all. So come in and see us about booking this wonderful trip.
The next day involved a short drive to Pokhara Domestic Airport to catch the Buddha Air flight back to Kathmandu. This was only a 30 minute flight and an easy transit compared with International arrivals.
The Radisson was my Hotel for the next two nights.
After a fabulous breakfast the next morning, I was taken to visit to the famous Durbar Square and a special visit to Kumari Ghar House, to take a blessing from Kumari the living goddess. She didn’t make an appearance at the window of her house, even after calling for her. She is only 9yrs of age, but seriously protected. Quite fascinating. Then onto a rickety rickshaw ride through Kathmandu streets to Thamel, not for the faint hearted, with motorised vehicles everywhere, coming at you in all directions, although rather exciting!
Kathmandu, is a very colourful, vibrant city with fantastic, pashminas, scarves, bracelets, woollen hats etc, all at great prices.
On the last night I was taken out for a traditional evening meal with folk dancing, wonderful.
Back to the Hotel to pack because after breakfast it’s time to say my goodbye’s and back to the International Airport terminal, homeward bound.
Sadly the effects of last year’s dreadful earthquake are still very much apparent, the clearing up and salvaging of ancient bricks and artefacts are on-going. These happy, polite, very resilient people were a pure delight to have met.