We have not hesitated long to put Nepal on our list. Being in India we have assumed that this country would please us because the atmosphere is quite close. In addition, we wanted to be on top of the roof of the world. We wanted to experience the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, and yoga and meditation attracted us a lot. The fact that this country requires a very small budget has definitely tipped the scales!
We travel to Pokhara from Kathmandu by bus and chose the cheapest tourist bus to cover the 200km. We depart at 7:00 am and arrive at 2:30 pm in Pokhara with three short breaks en route. I had read people who had found it endless but not us. The road is not so bad and the bus is comfortable!
From here, after 2 km on foot, we reach our reserved homestay. The room with bathroom is clean and comfortable with beautiful view of the peaks when there are no clouds. This hotel like all others is located in the tourist area of Lake Side. Pokhara is very different from Kathmandu!
There is almost no traffic with paved roads and almost no dust! We see rather modern houses in good condition. Everything is more expensive too. Otherwise, of course, there are tons of hotel, restaurants, and shops. As its name suggests there is a lake. There is a very nice atmosphere with the mountains around.
When the sky is completely clear we can see several snow-capped peaks which happens very briefly. The temperatures are milder, almost warm during the day and cool in the evening. The first day we did not do much. We were a little tired and I needed to regain strength before the trek that was going to follow.
We stroll in town and do some shopping for our trip (dried fruits, cereal bars, water, and map). We also did a lot of research on the net to plan our route. We had chosen to do a small trek, at least for Nepal! It is certain that compared to those who last several weeks and climb very high it was a walk of health, but for us, it was already not bad!
5 days with 5-7 hours of daily walking is not something we are used to. This trek, in particular, is designed to develop community tourism and go hiking while being close to the locals. It is new and very little used. Besides, it is announced nowhere and all the people on the spot who we talked about did not even know the name.
At that moment we say to ourselves, why not go on a bike trip instead? I do some research and we come across a great tour of the Mustang with landscapes to fall! Trek or Drive? Having to decide that in an emergency is very stressful.
At that moment, I have a good idea! I decided to see if we cannot push all this to a later date and do first what should be the activity after the trek. We decide to stay with a family with initiation to yoga and meditation. I quickly send an email to see if we can change the dates. We are expected the next morning at 7 at the yoga ashram for the meditative walk.
We arrive punctually. The couple is very friendly and we immediately feel very good. We have a comfortable room with a large bathroom. During our stay in the ashram, there are two other people. We have hot water with honey and cinnamon and go walking. We walk for an hour in the city. Basically, we have to focus our mind on ourselves, on our breath and not be disturbed by the external elements.
I walked but I'm not sure I thought too much! In any case, it was nice. From 8am to 9:30 am, we have the yoga class. For the start, all went well. The explanations were clear at the beginner level. We enjoyed doing the Om! We learned basic postures, exercises that look like soft bodybuilding, and relaxation.
I must admit that after the first course, the remake each time of the same things quickly tired me! Once again we do not get over! But when I come back I still try to practice. After that, we wash our nose with a small watering can. It goes through one nostril and it comes out of the other! It is great for me and my cold.
We then have breakfast at 10 am (which is lunch in fact)! The meals are vegetarian and prepared with vegetables from the garden.
Pokhara is a nice place, very nice to rest but it's too touristy. We did not come to Nepal to see hotels full of streets, bars and pizzerias and tourists or trekker everywhere. Despite the dust, we prefer Kathmandu because it feels more like Nepal! So we started to think that the few days planned for yoga would be a lot. In addition, everything is really more expensive than in Kathmandu!
We thought to cut short. We negotiated in several bike rent centers! We decided to rent one and hope it will be powerful enough for the climbs. We decided to go up to the Shanti Stupa, a pagoda that is on a hill above the city. It allows having a great view of the lake and the mountains when it is clear. When we reach the top it was not clear. We have another two hours of walking downhill.
We do nothing more that day. We dragged a little softer and are especially impatient to take rest.
We have a good night's sleep. We go for a morning walk, and then do yoga at the hotel! We decided not to return to the ashram for yoga. We chose to fly back because it allows to fly very close to the peaks and to see the whole chain of the Himalayas.