Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Wednesday 16th. Bus to Pokhara
Yesterday I rang some prayer bells at a shrine somewhere in kathmandu old town, praying to the god of this particular shrine is said to be beneficial to your eyesight. Excellent I thought, took a moment to mumble a little prayer and rang the bells.....
I woke up this morning relieved that I hadn't disposed of all my contact lenses.
Up bright and early to get the 7am bus to Pokhara. Had to wake up Rat the guesthouse manager so we could pay our bill, oops maybe I should have settled up yesterday. Bus journey takes around 7-8 hours, its a bit uncomfortable with the road being so bumpy but the magnificent scenery more than makes up for it. Arrived in Pokhara and the manager from Hotel Nirvana who I had emailed in advance has come to pick us up from the bus park, Its probably partly to make sure that the gaggle of hotel touts waiting for the bus dont steal his customer but maybe also because he's a nice man. The hotel is good and we have a room on the 3rd floor at the top "with mountain views" which I imagine would be lovely if it wasnt so cloudy, seems a bit silly to be paying extra for it but maybe we'll wake up to blue sky and mountains in the morning. One thing we do have though is almost warm water, so what? you might think but it was impossible to shower in the ice cold water in the last place (normal due to powercuts etc.) aaaahhhh a slightly cold nearly warm shower, lovely!
Went for a wander and got
food at a place called the Lemon Tree, had a dal bhat type Nepalise meal which consists of a heap of rice on a metal tray served with lentil soup, veg curry, sweet yoghurt and a spicy sauce, i really like it and even better is its customary with Nepali food that they offer you second helpings, apparently its rude to decline so obviously I'm polite as can be.
Went for a beer at a Tibetan place called the Rice Bowl, its a sit on cusions at low tables place and feels really cool, will maybe return tomorrow.
Nipped back to the hotel, gonna get them to arrange a guide etc. for trekking, there's not much haggling to had on price but I trust them to organise stuff for us, you can quote me on that when our guide has robbed us and left us stranded in the mountains with a family of yetis.
Went to the Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant for tea (yes we've spent the whole day eating and drinking). The place is decorated with prayer flags and has Buddhist chanting music playing, the waiter is funny, we chat and joke with him and he brings me a glass of tongba to try which is a warm cloudy beer made with fermented millet seeds served with the seeds sill in the glass. Just to lower the tone now thought I'd mention I had my first truely Nepali style poo tonight on a squat toilet, not the kind of thing most people would write about but if anyone ever reads this diary i suspect they've given up by now so sod it. They have no paper in the toilet but there's a tap and a jug to use for cleaning yourself, its usual to use your left hand to do this dirty business and that's why Nepalise only use their right hand when eating. That's your cultural toilet fact of the day.