Sunday, July 13, 2008

On the lake... with leaches--EW!!! (Pokhara)

It was an early morning bus departure from Kathmandu, and on the way to the station we ran into an Australian girl we had met the day before in Thamel--how funny! We were walking to the station, while she was on a cycle rickshaw, so it was kinda funny watching her pass us. She was also on her way to the bus station, but headed to a national park I believe.

But the bus ride was eight hours... it was actually quite scary at times. You can see the valley below, and there are no rails. And at times the bus driver seemed to be going a bit too fast for comfort. The bus stopped for a break after a few hours, and again we saw the Australian girl! haha! At the break I found someone selling pakoras for 5 rupees--yummy!! I went back a couple of times, as it was my new favorite food. We were sitting at the back of the bus, and a guy near us had brought his adorable little puppy on the journey! Oh, and Claudio sat up on top of the bus for an hour or so during the ride... I think I would have been scared. Along the way we also saw other buses stopping to give their passengers a potty break. We also encountered a bus that was laying (yes, laying, as in on its side) on the side of the road.
Anyway, so eventually we got to Pokhara, and immediately we were bombarded with people wanting us to stay at their hotel, and we went back with one of the guys.

Well, we went to Pokhara with the logic of "you can't go to Nepal and not go trekking, it's like going to India and not going to see the Taj Mahal." So initially, we intended on doing a short 3-4 day trek. But when we got to Pokhara and asked about trekking, it seemed rather complicated (haha, probably actually not) to find a trail to do, get to the trail, having to buy a permit for 2000 rupees (would it be worth it? okay, yes, probably, but that's not the point) etc.... so for whatever reasons, we decided not to trek. And I wanted to be back in Delhi for the weekend, so we decided to dedicate the extra days to other cities in India. Not doing the trek meant being able to have time to go to these other cities!

So with the one day in Pokhara, and our hotel being lakeside, we decided to take advantage of this lake, and went canoeing! It wasn't the most ideal weather conditions, as it was cloudy and at times misty, but it still worked out well. Claudio kept jumping into the lake for a swim, so by the end, I wanted to swim too! So I ended up jumping into the lake for the swim as well. But it didn't last very long. I felt soooo out of shape!!! I HOPE it was from the altitude, but I couldn't believe it!! Really, it still boggles my mind, I haven't felt so out of breath from such a short swim... EVER! But it was still fun nonetheless.

There was an island in the middle of the lake with a temple, so we stopped to check that out as well. Ohhh... and how could I forget the disgusting leeches?!?! So I needed a potty break, so we rowed to shore, where I found a bush to pee. And then suddenly I find a leech on my leg and I started screaming. SICK. Was able to get it off me. After I finished emptying my bladder, I decided it would be a good idea for us to follow this mini path, because it sounded like there was a waterfall in the distance. Well, the path wasn't very long, and it ended after a short distance, and I still wanted to go to where the sound of rushing water was coming from. And that meant we had to walk where the water was flowing. So we walked along this miniature river, and did eventually come to a waterfall. Well I had found what I was looking for, yay! haha. So then we headed back to the canoe.

When we got in the canoe, I discovered there was a leech on me, so I started screaming again. I tried to get it off me, but couldn't, it was stuck to me. ew ew ew!!! When I finally got it off, I found yet another leech on me!!! While attempting to get it off, found another!!! And then wouldn't get off me!! Disgusting feeling!!! UGH! And then finally when I had calmed down, Claudio tells me as a joke that there's a leech on my foot. Well it turns out there actually WAS a leech on my foot, and I start freaking out once again!! Ugh, sick sick sick!!!


Oh, and stayed at Hotel Grand Holiday, recommended! Friendly staff and atmosphere.

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