Day 14: Pokhara
Trip Start Dec 15, 2011
16Trip End Dec 30, 2011
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Indeed, the PM and his armed escort breeze past with police whistles blowing as we stroll towards the lake. Rowing away across these mosquito-larvae infested waters is a fine escape from the chaos for an hour. Afterwards, on a back street, opposite 'The Living Heritage handicraft store, we take lunch at the Asian Teahouse
The festival is a good excuse to close the main drag to traffic but the main event is in the park where marquees have been up all week. It's hardly Glastonbury but a hotch-potch of snack and gift stands, charmingly handmade children's videos and a disorganised main stage entertain the crowd. Different tribal groups dance to songs that seem to have 100 verses. The fairground rides
look antique and made of papier-maché but they are popular enough.
To the refrains of Nepalese orchestras we catch the free pontoon to Fish Tail Lodge across the lake, to see how the other half live. It's an exclusive, romantic and pricey resort surrounded by lake and forest, often visited by international dignitaries. It's a world away from our base, bargaining over 50 rupees and crushing cockroaches under the mattress (as I did last night).
Past dusk, the Nepalese Morris Men (all trousers and bells) and the elephant horn dancers are still partying. Without cars on the main street, we can walk away from the stall touts and enjoy the carefree atmosphere on our last night in Pokhara.