Pokhara, Nepal was our first major city we came to in Nepal. Apart from the border town which we were stuck at overnight because we had missed the bus just a few minutes before we crossed the border. The town was nothing special and we were sent on a wild-goose chase to find an ATM that would take our cards. Three towns and four banks later we managed to find a Bank of India that worked for Heath. My card was still inoperable and it was several weeks later when I found out that Nepal is a "high security" country and my bank does not allow transactions from there.
On the bus searching for a valid ATM.
We arrived in Pokhara on a rickety old bus with a derelict driver that took 13 hours. Of all the buses we have been on through-out Africa, this one was the worst. At every bump and turn all the seats and windows would shake and creak. My window was barely intact and kept flying open. I really thought it was the end for us.
Pokhara took us by surprise. Aside from Mumbai, it was the most western town we've been to in India and Nepal put together. The "lakeside" section where our hotel was location was strickly built-up for tourists. There was an abundance of bars, restaurants and trek shops. We moved ourselves into the nicest hotel on the strip and for about $5.00 per person we had a top-notch room with WIFI, a proper bathroom with a western toliet (a very desirable novelty) and a view of the lake from our balcony.
Alright, so there was a family living out in the field in front of the lake but they were quite and harmless.
The lake was beautiful. We rented a boat and rowed ourselves across to hike up to the Peace Pagoda (Buddhist Stupa). It was built by a Japanese man in 1947 but was tore down mysterously by the government only to be re-erected in the 90's.
The views were incredible.
We spent the next three days exploring the city and stuffing our faces with $2.00 pizza and beer, the best we've had on this journey by far. The start of the Annapurna trek was delayed due to the city going on strike which shut all the taxi's and bus's down enabling us to leave. Nepal was in the middle of polishing up it's consitiution and all politicial party's were in an uproar. Unfortunately their tourism industry suffered greatly as a near 90% of tourist canceled their trips. Turns out it was a great and cheap time to come to Nepal.
Soldiers patroling the streets on strike day.
A wedding party of females dancing in the street for hours.