The next morning, instead of hiking back to Nayapul, we ride a jeep instead. It takes an hour to get to where we started five days ago, and another hour to get to Pokhara. Pokhara is a lakeside city that possesses great views of the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges on a good day.
It’s also Nepal’s tourist paradise. It’s the first city most travelers venture into after Kathmandu, so the area near the lake is filled with hotels, souvenir shops, and tourist restaurants. Apart from the lake, Pokhara doesn’t have many big sights, but it’s the gateway to many of Nepal’s popular treks. Likewise, it’s a place to chill after a few days in the mountain.
After a few minutes settling down in our hotel, my sister and I meet again with Rawal and Pawan to have lunch at a cheap eatery. We have dal bhat (Nepal’s unofficial national food) and chow mein. Then, we ride a boat for an hour in the lake, where the squawking of the crows and the shouts of soldiers doing rescue drills are the only sounds in that serene moment. We visit the Tal Barahi Temple, a Hindu temple, on an island in the lake.
Then, we have a massage to ease our aching legs. Finally, we go to a restaurant where women perform traditional dances as we eat dinner.