Day 18 (3-3) - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - Fly to Pokhara; Overland to Annapurna; Afternoon at Leisure
Today was a travel day so we woke up at 6:00 and packed a few essentials for our flight to Pokhara and for the stay in Annapurna. Our large bags stayed at the hotel – it was amazing what little we needed for a few days at the foothills of the Annapurna Range.
Our driver took us to the Kathmandu airport, leaving at 7:30 and arriving at 8:15. Our original flight was supposed to leave at 9:00, but we were delayed again and the ATR 72-500 aircraft did not leave until 9:50.
As we were riding on the shuttle to the tarmac, we talked to a gentleman from Sikkim, an area of India very close to Nepal. Prem Bahadur Rai was very willing to talk with us and tell us about his life.
Prem and his wife raised cattle and this was the first time they had ever flown in an airplane. He had a very distinguished mustache and his wife had beautiful nose rings. We were able to take their photos and they were very pleased with the attention from our group.
Our flight landed at 10:30 and security was very intense because the President of Bangladesh was also flying to Pokhara. Kunal told us we were very lucky because we had landed just before the president arrived and the airport would be shut down soon.
A new driver picked us up at the airport and we drove to Phewa Lake for our scheduled boat ride. However, when we arrived the security guard at the boat dock told us we could not take our ride this morning because the visiting president was going for a boat ride and the lake was closed to all other boaters. On to Plan B…
Instead of the boat ride, Kunal took us to the Dancing Boat Pub where we had an early lunch and had great views of the lake and a cricket game. After lunch we started our drive to the mountain resort for the next two nights.
The ride was through two hours of construction as the mountain path was being widened. The dust and boulders in the road made for a very difficult afternoon. At the small village of Lumle six of the group began a hike up the mountain path to the lodge. Three of us went by four-wheel drive vehicle.
On the route we could begin to see the nearby Annapurna Range, especially South Annapurna and Fishtail Mountain, known by the locals as Machapuchare, the sacred mountain to the Nepalese people. In the Annapurna Valley the altitude was 4,693 feet, with mountains towering over us at staggering heights.
Our room was very basic but did include running water and electricity that was turned on at 5:00 and off at 9:00. We also had a propane heater in the room, but we could only have it on for two hours.
Dinner was served in the lodge at 6:30. There was another OAT group staying at the same destination. Their group of 15 was doing the Nepal trip and they were in the 5th day of their adventure. It was interesting to compare their experiences to ours in Bhutan.
A man from the lodge came to light our heater and to bring us a hot water bottle for warmth during the night. We finished writing the journal and choosing the photos for the day, although we could not post them.
Tomorrow promised to be another day of impressive views and more trekking in the Himalayan Mountains.
Meals included: B, L, & D
Accommodations: Mala Lodge
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Mr. Victor Garcia Customer #673062
Nepal - Kathmandu & Annapurna Mountain Trek
What a beautiful view of the flowers, etc. and the mountains!! I could almost smell the flowers. That couple was so cute -- different, but very cute. The pics of the mountains are spectacular!!! Stay safe and may God bless
Wow! Great Pics!
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The mountains are so beautiful. Too bad about the boat ride, but your view from the pub was lovely. The picture of the property is "postcard" quality!! Stay warm with your water bottle!
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