DAY 19- Naudanda to Pokhara
Should have seen the smile on the faces of the boys when yours truly paid them their tips. Obviously, they weren’t accustomed to women handling the business end of a wallet!
We all took the bus into Pokhara this morning. Raj couldn’t find out when the next scheduled bus was due so he just “hired” the empty one parked on the road. The bus was a little big for only 10 of us, so Billy asked if we could “give a ride” to all the people waiting. Well, at the time it seemed like a nice idea. Did you know that in Nepal people can ride on the roof of the bus? Well, they can…and they did.
One hour later we arrived at the hotel Mount Annapurna. Owned by our trekking agency, Thamserku. Big beautiful gardens, very nicely landscaped. They were still renovating the place, but after 19 days on the trail it was a welcome sight. A real hot shower, and a flushing toilet! All in a marble covered bathroom. We somehow ended up with twin beds, though.
We had a great afternoon shopping along the Lakeside district. This area is far more pleasant than the famous Thamel district we stayed at in Kathmandu.
We learned, talking with the locals, that this area is thick with Maoist rebels. They seem to live in the jungles on the hillside. They apparently dress in BDU’s that are similar to the Royal Nepal Army and have either no identity cards or ones which actually identify them as members of the Maoist party. There’s a big military presence here in Pokhara and they are the reason why. We saw many soldiers with M-16s patrolling the major tourist areas. No doubt we will have to pass more military checkpoints tomorrow on our trip back to Kathmandu.