Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pokhara, Nepal, Part 1: Merry Christmas!

Bree and I in front of the a few of the peaks of the Himalayas. From left to right: Annapurna IV (7525m), Annapurna II (7937m) and Lamjung Himal (6986m).
The World Peace Pagoda in Pokhara with wild poinsettias in the foreground.
We stayed on a hill overlooking the city of Pokhara. You can see it in the top lefthand corner.
Pretty nice view when you wake up in the morning.

And pretty nice view during breakfast.
Terraced fields around Pokhara.
Nepali girl waits for her water container to fill.
Machhapuchhre (fish tail) at sunset.
Annapurna IV, II and Lamjung Himal at sunset.

Bree and I treated ourselves for Christmas. We stayed in an amazing little hotel, Raniban Retreat, located on a hill overlooking the town of Pokhara. It also overlooks a breathtaking view of the Himalayas. After Kathmandu, and it's frenzied streets, it was the change of pace we needed. We did little more than enjoy the view for a few days, making a point to wake at sunrise to see, and time lapse the spectacle of that. 

The team at Raniban made the extra effort to make it feel very festive. They had decorations, a Christmas tree, special holiday meals, big bonfires, and even a visit by a Nepali Santa Claus. There were a few families there with young children, so it was very fun. 

We met some very cool people during our short stay. John, the general manager of Raniban was here with his wife and son Spike. They only recently moved to Kathmandu from the Isle of Wright, UK. Then there was Chong, a classical pianist from Malasia who was travelling alone, so we asked him to join us for dinner on Christmas Eve. And Romain and Virginie, a French couple just returned from a 6 day trek in the Annapurnas. Romain recently abandoned a production company he had started with a friend to look for some more excitement in the world. His travel plans are even more flexible than ours. He was offered the opportunity to teach English to children of a Nepali village while on the trek, so he'll be in Nepal for a while. If you'd like, you can check out his adventure here

Merry Christmas everyone!

- Matt