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post #46 of (permalink) Old 03-10-2020, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Default Day 10: Jomsom to Pokhara

Storm rolled in overnight. Got up early and went to Jomsom airport, with intention to fly to Pokhara & spend next couple of days there until the sky clears up. These local flights are very iffy; they will sell you the ticket, even check you in then tell you to wait. Basically they get communication every half hour from tower in Pokhara waiting for green light, or telling them to wait more. Sometimes low clouds in the morning clear up, but I was pretty sure this was not going to happen as this wet front was just arriving. You can get out to village, grab coffee or something -- they will yell from airport if flight is on, but it was not in the cards today.

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[Tara Air counter. Check in, now wait]

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[Airport lounge. People waiting in; everyone aware chances are slim but still hoping]

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[Jomsom airstrip. Doesn't look promising. Tilicho Peak upper right]

There are several airlines and they all officially cancel at different times; eventually ~10 am whole thing a finally off. Picked up my luggage and went out. Now what? Jomsom has bus station, and it is grueling 11 hour ride to Pokhara. Brutal road, frequent stops, etc. Finally teamed up with some other trekkers to split jeep cost to get us to Kathmandu - Pokhara "highway", where I switched to regular bus. This strategy reduced the ride time to ~8hrs & finally got in to rainy Pokhara around 6pm. In retrospect this was the most difficult day on trek! Already very tired from last couple of days and again these rural roads have to be seen to be believed.

Spent next 3 days in Pokhara, waiting for weather to clear up and resting. Have never been to Pokhara before, and there are several interesting things to see. That will be the next post.
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post #47 of (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 11:04 PM
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The Golden Buddha is amazing, spectacular. Why all the flags? Flags everywhere. I suppose I could look it up but I'm sure you'd have a good explanation.

This trip has been a TR of the year. Inspiring. Are you on your way home after this? Wishing you trouble-free, safe travels

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post #48 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2020, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xj6response View Post
The Golden Buddha is amazing, spectacular. Why all the flags? Flags everywhere. I suppose I could look it up but I'm sure you'd have a good explanation.
Its Buddhist prayer flags; intended to promote peace and wisdom. They are everywhere in Nepal. Even in Cougar Creek, Canmore there is 1 place with few of them.


Quote:

This trip has been a TR of the year. Inspiring. Are you on your way home after this? Wishing you trouble-free, safe travels
Nepal was in December last yr, been back to Canada since early Feb, but working on photos/posting just now. Just in time, wouldn't feel good being in Asia right now.
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post #49 of (permalink) Old 03-13-2020, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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Default Days 11 - 13: Pokhara

3 Days in Pokhara. Originally planned as one, but because of Tilicho hike cancellation had couple extra -- and it was great! I did not realize how tired I really was from more than a week of high-altitude trekking. First day it rained (like in Vancouver). So I slept. Got up, went to breakfast, then went back and slept. Got up, took my laundry for washing, went back to sleep. Rinse, repeat couple of times. Eventually ~4pm couldn't sleep no more and went for half an hour stroll -- mostly to get something to eat. Main street in Pokhara is very westernized; tons of restaurants, shops etc -- even KFC. Funniest thing for me was this fellow though:


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[You can not touch me, and stop staring at me too. I am sacred!]


(btw, in Nepal you can get a burger. But only chicken burger or veggie burger)


Second day it cleared up. I was never in Pokhara, so I went exploring. Lake Phewa is interesting, and after casual stroll I decided to go visit world famous International Mountain Museum. You can take inexpensive taxi from your hotel by lake front, but I decided to walk -- guided by google map on the phone, and it was sufficient; took about an hour of walking only. Nepal is very safe, they are used to strangers, and only inconvenience is constant haggling (trying to sell you something; just smile and shake your head). Museum is fantastic - and I recommend it. Two floors, lots of history. There is also a movie (~30min, runs on the hour) but it is mostly about Everest region. I spent most time looking at Top 10 Highest Mountains in the World exhibit. All 10, listed in order, with each showing details about first recorded ascent, etc. Couple of pics from first day:


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[Panoramic view from my hotel; clouds clearing up]


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[It was Saturday and they had Literature Festival by Lake Phewa]


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[Multi-colored Fishing boats on Lake Phewa]


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[Public toilet on Lake Phewa; I will let you guess which is 'long' and which is 'short'. Prices in rupees]


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[International Mountain Museum Exterior]


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[Climbing hill in park outside of Museum, mirroring Mt. Manaslu]


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[Modern interior in the Museum]


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[Every country with history in mountain climbing has its small pavilion. This is Slovenia (incidentally, I climbed Mt. Triglav in my youth, so this was bit of trip down the memory lane)]


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[Top 2 peaks -- Everest and K2. But here's a thing: Without Internet, from top of your head -- can you name other 8 from top 10? I could maybe 5 or 6, but also not in order. It is interesting mental exercise; tell me how you did!]


Third day weather cleared up even more, so I decided to go see World Peace Pagoda; it is quite famous, and situated nicely on hill overlooking Lake Phewa. Best way to get there is probably to get a boat across the lake, then its about 30-40min hike up the hill. There is also a Buddhist monastery on small Island on the lake. But once again I decided to walk. I enjoy getting out of tourist areas; this is the only way to see the real country. And of course, as soon as you move from hotels you see all the dirt and poverty. (We in the west live in the bubble; only after you travel you get real perspective on the world and how majority of people on this planet live. But this is separate topic). Once I hiked up, stopped at nice restaurant for lunch then spent couple of hours walking around pagoda, taking photos and simply enjoying the views. Here are few shots:

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[World Peace Pagoda; very impressive. You need to take your shoes off if you want to climb the stairs]

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[Panoramic view of Pokhara and Lake Phewa from Peace Pagoda]

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[Statue of Deputy Defence Minister Badahur Gurung who donated the land to build the Pagoda]

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[Buddha statue Mural]

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[Close up. btw, Buddhas are everywhere in SE Asia. Spent couple of weeks in Thailand after Nepal and Buddhist Temples are literally everywhere]


Finally a nice sunset panorama as I started return back to Pokhara. In the center is Fish Tail, which will be in center of attention over next 7-8 days. To its left is Annapurna south. Look how much snow there is from that storm that passed by, and I was going straight in the middle between the two. That will be the next post.
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Last edited by zeljkok; 03-14-2020 at 12:30 AM.
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post #50 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 04:34 PM
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Thank you so much for sharing your journey,your photos and your notes !
What a beautiful adventure!
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post #51 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine Canada View Post
Thank you so much for sharing your journey,your photos and your notes !
What a beautiful adventure!

Thank you; I will finish the diary once this corona crisis is over, just don't feel it's appropriate at the moment.

btw, according to this site Nepal has only 5 corona infections & they are probably all in Kathmandu or maybe Pokhara. I'm quite sure places like Manang are as safe as it gets on planet Earth right now
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post #52 of (permalink) Old 04-06-2020, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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I am now writting rest of this report -- Annapurna Base camp over 9 days -- on personal web site. I will post the link once I am done in a week or two. It follows similar format to Annapurna Circuit posted here on CT so far, but it will also have comprehensive discussion/tips about Nepal trekking added on.


One note in regard to COVID-19 and this awful pandemic: Nepal economy is largely dependent on trekkers. Mountain villages, transport, local companies, guides/sherpas, hotels/shops in Kathmandu and Pokhara, etc etc. Spring is prime climbing season and all that is now off. Nepal people are wonderful. Rarely I felt as safe as visitor in foreign country as I did in Nepal. Kind, friendly and cheerful. My heart goes to you and I keep my fingers crossed this pandemic is over soon and all the trekking in beautiful Himalayas can resume.


Once pandemic is over, despite non-advert policy on Club Tread, I will post couple of links to local businesses I had experience with and can recommend. Its the least I can do. Stay strong!
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post #53 of (permalink) Old 04-06-2020, 10:32 PM
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An enjoyable read. Now I'm jealous of you and my wifey. She did the circuit shortly after the civil war when things were pretty chaotic. She liked your pics.

Some of those claims of "The World's Highest _________" are rather dubious in that part of the world aren't they.
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post #54 of (permalink) Old 04-07-2020, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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You are quite an outdoors family there. You can always go back together to Nepal once this pandemic is over; think I recall your report from Bhutan (?) few years ago


re "World Highest... " -- that's common around the world, everyone tends to blow their own horn a bit. Squamish is "recreation capital of the world". I see no harm in it
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post #55 of (permalink) Old 05-07-2020, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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I finished very detail Annapurna Sanctuary (Annapurna Base Camp) trek report on personal site. It took place over 9 days, from Dec 16 - Dec 25 2019 - in continuation of Annapurna Circuit Trek detailed in first part of this thread. You can see it here:


https://autumnsky.zenfolio.com/nepal...ry--base-camp-


On second part of the page are links to each trekking day, it is very similar format to what was posted already here on CT. There are tons of photos, here is quick teaser:


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[Annapurna South (7219m) right, Annapurna I (8091m, world 10th highest mountain) left from Poon Hill on Day 3]


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[Clouds briefly lifting allowing these fabulous views of Mt. Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail, 6993m) near Annapurna Base Camp on Day 6]


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[Cairn on Moraine ridge above Annapurna Base Camp overlooking South Annapurna Icefall on Day 7. Annapurna I (8091m), world 10th highest peak -- appears as highpoint of rounded ridge, center]


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[Magnificent Annapurna III (7555m) on descent back to Machhapuchhre Base Camp on Day 7]


I also wrote extensive Nepal Trekking Guide -- wish I had something like this when I first went to Nepal in 2007. You can see it here; comments/suggestions for improvement are appreciated.



https://autumnsky.zenfolio.com/nepal/nepal-travel
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