Sunday, 23 May 2010
(Part2) Annapurna Base Camp Trek (Annapurna Sanctuary), A benighted homestay with a farmer and return to Pokhara
We pressed on after enjoying the luxury of the hot springs with an early start and goal of trying to get all the way back to Pokhara. Normally you take a bus from one of the last villages ie Nyapul or Phedi but because of this preiod of 8 days Bandhe (political striking)there would be no movement on the roads today. A little ambitious tp try and push through the whole way and the day proved to have a few delays with an absolute torrential down pour that made for a longer lunch than planned.
We trekked on with beautiful views up to Deurali (another Deurali) as the big cumulus clouds were ever so cotton wool against the striking deep blue sky. A friendly dog joined us and as the sun began to set we were going to come up short for Pokhara. We pressed on (being well prepared with headtorches & tent if needed) but started to get very tired and with sore feet after over 11 hours on the go,frpm out of the shadows a local farmer offered to put us up for the night - we looked at each other and agreed - YES that would be lovely - not much debate there. We were fed beautiful Dhal Bhat and warm goats milk in the traditional Nepali kitchen by Grandma - and I have to say it was one of the best Dhal Bhats I've ever had!
A friendly dog decided to follow us for about 3 hours (not uncommon in Nepal) but it was rather embarassing as the farmer (and his family) presumed it was ours. We couldn't seem to shake him and so attached to us he even came and stayed in the room we'd been put up in for the night! The family seemed to accept this but I think maybe they thought there was something in it for themselves, evidence of which when they tried to shackle the dog to a pillar, but he duely escaped, as this dog seemed a bit special, a bit of a littlest hobo and he seemd to have his own agenda, calling his own shots!
The next day we awoke to a beautiful sunny day and headed off, thanking the family for there most generous hospitality and delicious chai for brekkie. The dog kept on our tail, outrunning some rather possessive local hounds until we caught a taxi past Palme. Rather odd, we'd thought the strike was still on, maybe an illegal ride, we piled in with 5 other people and a goat, which started nibbling John's collar to my amusement. We were on the home stretch and pulled into Pokhara discovering that yes in fact the strike had finished, and no we wouldn't have to walk, bike or fly to Kathmandu. We were back in Pokhara over and now could relax and celebrate our trek - lakeside style with a huge breakfast (eggs holandaise, pancakes, refillable coffee) at Mike's restaurant!
We met up with all the new friends we'd met from the trek and had a couple of days hiring a giant pedaloo (pontoon platform boat), kicking back eating & drinking and swimming in the middle of the lake where it's pristine clean with more gorgeous views surrounding us!