With Friends and Family at Fishtail and Fewa Lake
Trip Start Jun 13, 2011
57Trip End Jun 12, 2012
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Where I stayed
Hotel Eagle Nest
We’d booked into the Karma Guesthouse for the first couple of nights when we arrived, which was fine (especially for the bargain price of 700r), but we were unfortunate to have some very noisy neighbours who insisted on sitting right outside our room at all hours of the day and night! We had a good look round the surrounding area (not wanting to stay too far from Nat and JJ, but still being close to ‘town’), and found a couple of nice places that were way over budget, and a couple that were cheap enough but pretty uninspiring and a bit on the dingy side before we found the Eagle Nest Hotel
Lakeside had certainly grown since my last visit, which in some ways was good to see, but also meant there was a slightly different feel to the place, more touristic. But saying that, it really is an ideal base just to kick back and relax for a while - beautiful scenery with the lake and mountains, a lovely climate (although it was a bit up and down at times while we were there!), loads of things to see and do (if you so wish), and absolutely heaps of great places to eat and drink!
In fact, we were totally spoilt for choice, we didn’t have one bad meal in our entire stay, plus there’s something for every taste and budget. The little traditional Nepali/Tibetan places were great, where a decent meal will cost from 50p-£2. Our favourites were Potala (who really do have the best momos in town, especially the cheese and potato), Babita (for a cracking Thali) and the Nepal Organic Café (who do a bit of everything). If you wanted to spend a little more you could go somewhere pretty special - there were too many places to even attempt to get round, and once we’d found a few that were great (and Chloe-friendly!) we ended up going back again and again
So obviously a lot of time eating, drinking and generally hanging out with Nat, JJ, Lorraine, David and of course Chloe, which was an absolute delight, but time did seem to go by at supersonic speed! However, we did manage to fit a few special things into our time too
We went out for a wander the day after we arrived and were lucky enough to be able to join in with the ‘Holi’ celebrations, the annual ‘festival of colours’ where everyone basically runs amuck covering each other in coloured powders and water - which doesn’t sound like much fun but was actually a total blast! They combined it with an open-air rock ‘concert’, and the atmosphere was buzzing - by the time we met the guys that evening we were half cut and completely covered in dye - it felt like we’d been to some mad festival in sleepy Pokhara! We ended the evening in Club Amsterdam having a great time with Lorraine and David.
The following day was a lot more peaceful, but we managed to book ourselves onto a Reiki course for the day after. We were lucky with the timing as it was a one-off course taught by an incredibly experienced reiki master, who was travelling the world and doing the course for donation only. This meant that the class was mainly Nepalese (apart from one Spanish girl), giving it a really authentic feel. It was actually a specific type of reiki, called ‘Osho Neo Reiki’, which combines the traditional teachings with different Osho philosophies, and was taught over 3 days. Overall, it was an amazing experience, and I’m so happy that Barry and I did it together, but some of it was pretty challenging and out-there - but that’s also one of the big things we wanted to experiment with on this part of the trip
After we’d completed the course, we spent the day just hanging out in Lakeside, enjoying the little cafes and chilled atmosphere. By chance, we bumped into the gang, which actually ended up happening quite a lot - everything just seemed to work out naturally!
We headed off for an overnight adventure the following morning, taking a taxi most of the way up to Sarangkot, one of the biggest mountains around Pokhara and a wonderful viewpoint for the Himalayas. We walked the last 30 minutes up to the top, which was about as much as Barry’s gammy knees could handle but a total quest for Chloe - that girl can really climb! She hadn’t even turned 2 and she was about as adventurous as they come! And so sociable - we all spent a wonderful half hour in the sun watching her make friends with an entire Nepalese family. The weather had been glorious all day, but as we were finishing lunch there seemed to be a sudden change in temperature, as can sometimes happen in the mountains
Thursday the 15th was the big event - Chloe’s 2nd birthday! She’d been doing so many amazing things over the past weeks (having also been in India before coming to Nepal), so it seemed only right that she should have a proper old-fashioned birthday party! Nat and JJ did an astounding job - brilliant party food, great decorations, friends with their children and a first-class birthday cake from the local Sonam Bakery! Chloe herself was on top-form, and it was great to see her having a ball with all the other kids - not many two year olds have half their family fly to Nepal for their birthday
The next day there were amazingly clear skies, so Barry and I decided to take full advantage by taking a boat over Phewa Lake and walking up to the World Peace Pagoda. It was the perfect weather for it, and the views really took our breath away. We’re so lucky we decided to do it when we did, as the views were never as good again before we left.
The way it worked out, I had a total girly day on the Saturday. Barry and I had a date to take out Chloe in the morning, but unfortunately he was feeling pretty out of sorts, so it ended up being just me and her, which turned out to be fantastic. She really is brilliant company and such fun to be with - and so smart! We spent a couple of hours swinging down at the park, then had a lovely breakfast at Bamboo Bar, playing with her little friend Jojella and Oscki the Owl! I was so chuffed when I managed to deliver a fed, changed, sleeping baby back to Nat and JJ a few hours later! I managed to fit in a couple of hours looking after my poor, sick husband before heading out for a night with the girls. We had some delicious wine at Lorraine’s very funky ‘boutique’ hotel (in her ‘Red’ room!), then some cocktails and great food at Maya. I ended up back at Nat’s, and before I knew it it was too late to get a taxi and I wasn’t walking through the darkened streets with the crazy dogs by myself, so I kipped in their spare room (after sending an email to Barry to let him know I wasn’t lying in a ditch somewhere!)
I did the walk of shame on Sunday morning, arriving back at my hotel at 9am wearing the same clothes I’d gone out in the night before. But it was great to crawl back into bed and have a DVD fest - something it’s actually very difficult to do most of the time due to the extreme heat and not wanting to be indoors! We ventured out in the evening back to Lorraine and David’s hotel, where the boys watched football and we hung out in the garden with Chloe.
Finally, on the Monday, we got to spend a full day with Nat and JJ! We started off in Byanjan, sitting outside enjoying the glorious sunshine (well, I was enjoying it anyway)! We gathered up supplies for our picnic, then took a boat over to a lovely secluded beach - which was slightly less secluded when a herd of water buffalo came to visit! We got back over as the sun was going down, then headed to Bamboo Bar for some buckets and bacon rolls (and a Greek Salad for me!). Obviously we’d all worked up quite an appetite with all the rowing, as it wasn’t much later we were enjoying a delicious meal in Mama Mia’s. We ended up in the Busy Bee (thankfully not a franchise of the Saughton branch!), having a bit of a pool marathon (where Barry and I were the rightful champions!!), then we headed back to our hotel where Nat and JJ (very sensibly) ended up getting a room for the night
We had a lovely breakfast a Café Concerto, then there was more boat fun when we headed out with Chloe - unfortunately Barry was again out of action. I was gutted he missed it - you do see everything from a totally different perspective. We ended up pitching up to a group of Nepalese guys having a BBQ, which involved them catching the fish - which totally fascinated Chloe. She was right in there with her ’Man, I wanna fish’, and it’s impossible to resist her! They even had her in their canoe! She ended up going home with a water bottle containing Frankie the Fish!
Our last day had come round all too quickly, but we finally had the pleasure of both of us taking out Chloe. There was the usual park shenanigans, then we headed to Maya for a bite, where we ended up teaching her to play pool - seriously, that girl can turn her hand to anything! We had to head back to ours for a while to get ourselves organised for leaving the next day, but we met back up with everyone in Moondance Restaurant for a lovely meal. Unfortunately, Chloe wasn’t her normal easy-going self, but we’d had such amazing times with her that it really didn’t matter. We went back to Nat and JJ’s for some last drinks, but it seemed our taxi home arrived all too soon.
We’ll never forget the time we’ve shared with our best friends in Nepal - I only wish it could’ve been for longer. We had such a special time, especially getting to know Chloe as she grows, and it really did feel like a sort of holiday from our holiday, in the way that only being so far from home yet feeling so at home can do.