Shangri-la (aka, Pokhara)
On Friday afternoon we flew to Pokhara, the second most popular tourist city in Nepal. Above is the ridiculously beautiful resort hotel where we were not exactly slumming it - The Fulbari.
Pokhara is the opposite of Kathmandu - slower pace of life, fewer people, cleaner air, just beautiful and relaxing. We were pretty worn out from our packed schedule during the week, so after arriving we indulged in a long lunch overlooking Phewa Lake, then retired to spend happy hour in the Gurkha bar back at the hotel (Gurkhas were Nepali soldiers in the British army) and just generally lounged around our beautiful surroundings.
Good thing too, since the next morning we were up before dawn to watch the sun rise over the Himalayas from Sarangkot. At least there was milk tea.
And breathtaking views.
For our morning hike, we headed to the peak pictured here.
In the afternoon, we took a boat across the lake, then hiked up to the Peace Pagoda, then back down to the Tashiling Tibetan Refugee Camp. Despite the name, residents of the camp live better than many Nepali citizens - they have a successful craft business, monastery, school, and permanent structures (we're not talking about a tent camp here).The day was full of some serious hiking, and beautiful views. Good thing our first day and a half in Pokhara were so relaxing, because the next day, well, not so much.