Monday, July 27, 2015

Part 10 - Pokhara to Gangtok

We left Pokhara around 0800hrs and reached Kathmandu around 1400hrs after yet another peaceful ride through the beautiful forested hills of Nepal.
Kathmandu is as busy and crowded as any other Asian city. We stayed in Hotel Vaishali in Thamel 

which seemed like a tourist hub. There were plenty of small cafes, bars and restaurants which vied with each other for attracting customers. There were plenty of cyber cafes too and one did have guys

View from our room in Vaishali Hotel

sidling up to you and asking if you would be interested in dope or women.  
We visited the Pashupatinath temple and again eased our minds and bodies of the rigours of riding. 

After a couple of restful nights in Kathmandu we decided to move on and say goodbye to Nepal which we did after spending one more night in Bardibas, very close to the Indo Nepal border.
From Bardibas we headed straight to Siliguri. The exit was chaotic. We managed to change our balance Nepali rupees into Indian Rupees and were looking out for the police to hand over our vehicle permits. Strangely, nobody was interested and when I asked one officer at the border he just waved us on!
Siliguri was just a transit halt for us and we spent the night at the WBTDC (West Bengal Tourist 

Development Corporation) ‘Mainak’ Lodge. The rooms were spacious but the service was poor.
From Siliguri we rode onwards to Gangtok. Was a beautiful ride through the mountains with the 

pretty Teesta river running alongside us all along.
In Gangtok we booked ourselves in ‘Nettle and Fern’ a cute little Hotel. There is no level road in Gangtok. It is either going up or coming down.
Since we had reached Gangtok in the afternoon we decided to have a quick look around all the must see points by a local taxi whose driver was full of information (another advantage of taking local cabs) and 

took us to a popular waterfall where you could indulge in ziplining and then to Ganesh tok from where you could get a bird’s eyeview of Gangtok.

We spent the evening on MG road one of the most popular traffic free streets in Gangtok where the tourists and locals come to shop and spend time.
We dined on some excellent veg and non veg momos in one of the stalls there and returned  to our room feeling content.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Part 9 - Lumbini to Pokhara

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The ride of 180kms from Lumbini to Pokhara was a very pleasant ride that we completed in a leisurely 8 hours revelling in the atmosphere.
Pokhara is a honeymooners’ paradise apart from being a base for quite a few treks in the Himalayan

region.  It is most famous for Mount Annapurna which is the tenth highest mountain in the world at 8,091 metres. If you are the real adventurous type, you can go for a trek to the Mount Annapurna Base Camp from Pokhara too.

Boating in the Pokhara lake is one of the most serene activities. You can row the boat to the centre 

and meditate sitting amidst the mountains. It is an amazing feeling.

Or take that flight by microlight aircraft to hover around Mount Annapurna and return!

The cuisine in Pokhara is to suit every possible palate and wallet. You have the Continental, Indian,

Italian (with pizzas baked in wood fried ovens) or the native Nepali food. If you wish to taste Nepali 

food visit the restaurants sporting ‘Thakali kitchen’ boards. There is free wifi available in all the restaurants that line the main street so a great place to hang out and chill.