13.05.2008 - 19.05.2008 85 °F
Well, after our trek we caught a case of the lazies. But not before our interesting bus ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara. We started out with being about 45 minutes early for the bus which we thought was a little much, but to our horrified suprise the bus took off about 20 minutes early due to being full. Certain we would have missed it for sure if we hadn't taken a persistant taxi drivers crappy offer as we left the hotel. After all the white people were promtly shuttled to the rear of the bus (Rosa Parks comes to mind) and having to pay the guy that insisted he loaded our bags (even though we loaded it), we were off! Even though we stopped at highly over priced rest stops, had to worry about our driver drag racing other trucks before a head on with a water buffalo, and had to deal with an Indian family that didn't care that there were 20 other people on the bus with them, the trip wasn't half bad. Like I said, it was interesting and we were sucking up the culture like a drunk at the bar. We had reserved a hotel back in Kathmandu to ensure we were picked up at the bus station by a hotel patron, and not one of the many other nasty motel pushing freaks. The hotel was great compared to some of the places we were acustomed to in Kathmandu, but was a bit far from the main drag and lakeside areas.
Taking some advice from our old travel companions, Mike and Cheryl, we stayed at the Hotel Temple Villa. Wonderful place, for a bit cheaper, and a great family to boot. Like the title suggests we played lazy for the next five days, taking in the local food, and exploring the contryside. One day we rented a very old row boat and made a trip to an island temple, then off to the World Peace Pagoda, both were entertaining and picture worthy. Another day we rented bicycles and headed to Devi Falls, and Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave....Devi Falls actually goes into the before mentioned cave, very cool from the inside. Before the falls were lots of slot type cayons carved into the walls of the valley. Later that evening we were inspired to take a bike tour around the large lake next to town to see some crazy water buffalo and a little bit of the country side.
Our last excursion around Pokhara was a day hike into the coutryside. What started out as a two day one night trip, got shortened up pretty quick once we realized there weren't many places to stay. We did run into one nice family that was very hospitable. The day was hot and humid and we were doing a bit of up hill walking....well, Toni likes to keep her money belt down the from of her pants, this also acts as a sort of sweat funnel down the front of her pants. So you can imagine what the ladies thought of the wet spot below the zipper when she asked for the toliet? I thought the two old ladies were going to lose it and they were all smiles for the rest of our visit. Wasn't sure if it was out of sympathy or what, but we were offered some wonderful little honey balls of something, quite good but still a mystery to me. One thing for certain, this was the kind of Nepal we were looking for, beautiful countryside and genuine people. And we didn't see a single westerner all day. We did it like locals on the way back to town and took a ride on the bus roof, cooled us off and ended our day well.
So, the last day or two has been planning the next leg of our journey. Tomorrow we get on a bus for Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha. That crazy guy that started one of the largest followings on Earth. Plan on spending a few days there seeing all the temples and archeology, then plunging into India. We'll be updating once we get to a place to settle down for a day or two.