How a three-day itinerary for Pokhara can look like.
Wednesday December twelfth 2018. 10u30. Pokhara, 800m, Nepal.
After not one, but 2 showers and pizza, we slept amazing. Waking up felt like crawling out of a fluffy cloud and breakfast without mittens and a hat was a blast. Now we were waiting for a taxi, who would bring us to Kande, around 32 kilometres from Pokhara, but almost a kilometre higher, at 1770 meters. From there we would walk for 2 hours to Australian Camp.
The village of Kandi is fairly small. Even though you have to walk straight through it to find the hiking path, it’s not that difficult to navigate. Also, if you look anything like a tourist, locals will point out the right direction as well. For us, those locals were refugees from Tibet. It was our first time meeting them and I didn’t have the heart not to buy their bracelets and keychains. After all, Christmas was coming up and a few extra presents for home would come in handy.
I’m sure that they are skilled sellers, but I felt that they were also genuine people, who did need some extra money. After the exile of the Dalai Lama in 1959, more than 20.000 Tibetans migrated to Nepal. With 4 settlements around Pokhara, they are now a Buddhist minority there.
The next 2 hours, the path went steadily up. But since it was only a relative short hike, we weren’t that exhausted once we arrived at Australian camp. It proved to be very nice place on top of a mountain. A few hotels and some roadside shops.
We enjoyed a late lunch in the sun, while enjoying the gorgeous view. After that we lazily explored the area and sat down for late afternoon tea. It was a nice change after 2 very hectic previous days. After dinner we enjoyed some star gazing and decided to conclude the day. After all, tomorrow we would get up very early again.
Thursday December thirteenth 2018. 6u00. Australian Camp, 2050m, Nepal.
When we arrived at the viewpoint, the day was showing its first sings of arriving. Only a few other people were there with us. But soon enough a group of Chinese on a photography trip decided to join us.
After half an hour, the sky started to display a reddish haze. Soon orange and yellow followed, finding their way through the morning mist. The colours bumped to the mountain range, lighting them up in the most flattering way. And from the mountains the light shone upon us and we could only gaze. While Koen was making a trizilion photo’s, I gazed and gazed and gazed.
After the sun had risen high enough and the mythical hour was over, it was time for us to make our way down to Phedi, which lied almost 1000 meters lower at 1130 meters. Although the hike was only 6 kilometres, we needed almost 3 hours to get down. Curtesy of the million big stone steps.
The stair path ended next to a small guesthouse where we again met some Tibetan refugees. A well needed refreshment later we were on our way back to Pokhara by taxi for a 19-kilometre ride. Because of roadworks, we were stuck in a road diversion for the first part of the road. Which happened to lie within the river bed. And not a dried up one even. Transportation in Nepal, always an adventure.
The taxi dropped us at the lakeside of Phewa lake. There it was really easy to rent a boat and life vest to peddle ourselves to the other side of the lake. It was extremely enjoyable to be on the water in the sun! it felt like a completely different country! The lake was beautiful, the background mountains were beautiful and the sound of the water was meditative. I enjoyed and Koen peddled. Although I’m sure I did peddle for some time as well, just less efficient probably.
At the other shore, we let the Nepalese collect our boating material. Next to the collecting point were 2 restaurant establishments. One of them looked very idyllic. A wooden round building with a pergola on the roof, overlooking the lake. Since it was low season, we were all alone. Suddenly we felt like on a tropical destination.
This lunch was just what we needed to climb the jungle that was Anadu hill. Although we only had to climb 250 meters higher, it still proved to be a good calorie burner. The whole path went through a jungle. Next to interesting vegetation, it also displayed a lot of monkeys!
At the top of the hill, we left aside the world peace pagoda for now and walked 500 meters further to the west until we reached Siddhartha Garden Ayurveda Hotel. An amazing place with a breath-taking view and an amazing garden. We spend the rest of the afternoon and evening relaxing in the garden and on the pergola.
Friday December fourteenth 2018. 08u00. Anadu Hill, 1050m, Nepal.
We took advantage of the morning hour and its mystical mountain views over the lake, the city of Pokhara and the Himalaya. In this remarkable area, the elevation rises from 1000 to 7500 meters in 30km.
After breakfast we made it to the world peace pagoda. Another must-see when you are in Pokhara. The pagoda can be seen from the city, but the view is better when you’re next to it! We spend some time exploring and made our way down the hill and rented out boating material again. Because it was still fairy early in the day, the light on the mountain was still gorgeous. So, we peddled around a bit longer, enjoying the experience.
Back in Pokhara we spend the afternoon walking around the lakeside and exploring the many little shops. Our only mistake was trying out Nepalese wine (just don’t). We concluded these 3 amazing days with the best vegan pizza. Buckwheat crust, spinach, broccoli and cashew cheese. Nepal can be very creative with their food!
I would really recommend to stay a few days in Pokhara, even if you plan on a longer trek. It is an amazing versatile region of Nepal. Trail hiking in the mountains, lakeside activities, boating, jungle and culture all in one place! And don’t forget the permanent view of the Himalaya! Maybe even the best place if you want to experience Nepal in a nutshell.
GOOD TO KNOW
For most treks in the northern half of Nepal, you will need a trekking permit. This will be checked upon entering and leaving the specific area your permit is valid for. However, once you leave the area, you can’t enter again with the same permit, you have to buy a new one! Keep this in mind if you plan to hike two parts of the same area but you need to leave the area to get to the other part!
THE WHOLE STORY OF NEPAL