The best is yet to come and the best equals Pokhra
The journey took a beautiful turn when we entered the beautiful valley of Pokhra. It is the base for the trekkers who wants to go on an expedition to climb Annapurna circuit. We booked a micro van this time and covered a night journey from 6 pm and reach our destination by 11 pm. Previously, I was accompanied with the river bed but this time river was absent and this gap of companionship was filled by the distant house lights scattered all over the hills. It was the Christmas Eve i.e. 24th December. I am totally confident of the fact that Nepali people are fond of Bollywood songs and that’s why our driver played a mix of Bollywood songs throughout our journey. Penetrating the hilly roads in the night reminded me of my Uttarkashi days. Uttarkashi is a hill station in Uttaranchal where I lived for four years.
Every moment of present is a link from the past and a mirror for the experienced-rich future.
Serenity and peace
We book a hotel in the Pokhra valley nearby Phewa Lake at a fare of just INR 800. The fresh morning next day begins with the lake side view and the paragliders flying in the vicinity of mountain range. We choose the best and healthiest way to go up to the World Peace pagoda (Shanti Stupa). It is the shrine build as a symbol of peace. It was a 12 km long ride by road. It is a general human tendency of self-doubt whenever we embark on doing something we haven’t done for years like bicycle riding in my case. Forcing down all the negativity, we picked up the bike at a rent of INR 120 per hour. It was my first attempt to ride a cycle with multiple gears. We rode only one kilometre and realized that a sip of mango juice may re-energize to cover the rest of the path.
While going up the hill, I saw two kids playing table tennis in a wooden structure. In our terminology, we call such things a product of JUGAAD innovation.
It was proved that the happiness comes from within. Happiness is an inside Job. They were very happy but the level of their happiness reached a new level when we all had Mango juice together.
Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
After two rounds of drink, a motivational push to Adi and a lot of funny moments together, we finally reached the top. The big statue of Gautama Buddha at the hilltop in Ananda hill was surrounded with a strange air of silence.
After spending a relaxing one hour at the top, we finally embarked on the most relaxing part of the whole journey which was coming down from the hilltop on our bicycle. I have imperfectly edited the original saying of “It’s all downhill after the first kiss” to “It’s all downhill after the climb”. I was in free fall and free motion while going down and considered luckier than the people traveling through car or some other means. This portion of travel was like the paragliding on road for us (Of course, it can’t be compared with the actual paragliding but even the vice versa is true!).
Back to the homeland
We left for our home in the night. Again we stuck in the ill-conditioned bus.
Nepal trip as a whole was a mix of tiring and joyous experience. I totally recommend to visit this beautiful country once in the lifetime.
A word of advice
Some facts for the future enthusiast:
- Prefer road traveling if you have sufficient time and enjoy the scenic view.
- I optimized my expending and covered the whole journey within INR 4k.
- Interact with locals.
- Indian ATM holders may use the Indian cards to withdraw Nepalese currency without any difficulty.
- Indians will feel like home.