Christmas Holidays

Trip Start May 31, 2008
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Trip End Jun 01, 2009


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Friday, December 26, 2008

We wanted to spend Christmas in a small town by the mountains, and Pokhara fit the bill perfectly.  It's wonderfully laid back, and there's lots to see and do.  And it's a few degrees warmer than Kathmandu which was a plus as well!  After India we are becoming softies when it comes to the cold.  So we took a bus all day on Christmas Eve and arrived in Pokhara.

After having our Christmas breakfast (Calvin went traditional with hashbrowns and bacon, I went safe with oatmeal), we walked to the World Peace Pagoda.  The couple hour hike was rewarding, although seeing how much we were huffing and puffing up the hill was unnerving!  I guess we haven't really hiked in....well in a long time now!  It's a national holiday for Nepalis as well, so there were lots of people enjoying the views of the lake (Phew Tal) and Pokhara.  If it had been a clear day, we also would have seen a panoramic view of the Annapurna Himalayas.  But, it was cloudy, so we just had to imagine what those majestic peaks would have looked like reflecting in the lake.  The postcards old ladies were selling at the Pagoda helped us imagine as well.  :)

There are lots of shops selling carpets and handicrafts here, so we took a day to explore the stores and get caught up on long overdue shopping.  There is a Tibetan refugee camp nearby that supplies many of the stores with goods.

We couldn't come all the way to Nepal without embarking on a trek, so we checked out a few options and decided to go on a popular three day trek.  It would just be a few hours of walking a day, so a nice easy way to slide back into some physical activity.  As with many treks, we stayed in tea houses along the route.  Nepal is one of the few places that you can trek for weeks without packing any camping gear.

The walk to Dhampus and Sarangkot was a great way to breathe some fresh air, see some amazing mountains, and get away from the noise and traffic of the cities.  The nights were FREEZING.  We huddled under very thick blankets, wore our toques and mittens, and fell asleep around 8:00pm both nights.  The views of Machhapuchhare (Fishtail) mountain in the Annapurna Range were breathtaking from Dhampus at sunrise.
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