As ladies of a certain age, but with a sense of adventure, we were a bit anxious about booking a Nepal trip and had had several false starts, talking to sales people, from "independent" companies who turned out to be part of big chains in the end and just seemed to want to take our money. I stumbled on True Traveller by accident and couldn't believe how knowledgeable they were, giving advice on everything from visas, to what to pack and what to watch out for. I couldn't fault them and that's praise indeed.
Pokhara is a place of remarkable natural beauty. The serenity of Phewa Lake and the magnificence of the fishtailed summit of Machhapuchhre (6,977 m) rising behind it create an ambience of peace and magic. At an elevation lower than Kathmandu, it has a much more tropical feel to it, a fact well appreciated by the beautiful diversity of flowers which prosper in its environs. Indeed, the valley surrounding Pokhara is home to thick forests, gushing rivers, emerald lakes, and of course, the world famous views of the Himalaya.
Pokhara to Katmandu, and then just ride round Nepal (maybe visit Chitwan, or check out the mountains)
You can do it in a day, it's without a shadow of a doubt one of my favourite parts of a five month motorbike adventure across North India
I arrived in style in Pokhara on my Royal Enfield Bullet, with its head-gasket blowing, and being towed by my Spanish Comrade's older 1972 Enfield! It was raining I had resorted to 'monsoon surfing'- this is the practice of being chased by a vengeful monsoon - and it was dark by the time we found a hostel. We awoke to a balcony with stunning views over the mountain peaks, (ok I lie, it was monsoon, so there was a massive cloud, but it really is perfect the rest of the year.)
Five days of near peace and perfection in Pokhara, both bikes sorted and 100 dollars poorer, we followed the scent of Raju the mechanic to Katmandu, about 200km west and one of the craziest cities in Asia.
Rock music, nightclubs and coffee and a great, friendly atmosphere. However, after five days on my shoe-string budget it proved to be a little too indulgent and expensive for me.
I headed south taking me through Chitwan to Lumbini, the sacred birth site Buddha.
I spent just shy of £2000 over five months, however you could spend this on a holiday, rent a good Enfield from the Hearts & Tears club, eat well and sleep in luxury. Stay at Chitwan nature reserve, climb some mountains, it's all beautiful.
Tip: Spare fuel! Ran out of fuel a few times, Spanish comrade ran out more times than me, biggest bonus was during the fuel strikes.
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