If you love mountains, you will love Nepal. After all 8 of the 14 more than 8000 meters high peaks are located in Nepal!
Nepal is a paradise for trekkers. Even though I was not trekking this time, I love going back to Nepal! Sharing the trip to Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan in pictures with you, I hope you will enjoy the post
If you are flying in to Kathmandu from Delhi, you want to grab a window seat on the A side of the plane. That is where the action is while flying in to Kathmandu. Usually pilots announce when we are flying over the Everest region but not this time. Not sure which mountains I saw but they were awe inspiring!
In all my three trips to Nepal, I have been around the Pashupati Nath Temple but never managed to get inside. It was the same this time, when we reached, the temple doors were closed. But thanks to Mr. Karunakar Upreti we walked up to the vantage point behind the temple to capture the sunset!
If you wish to visit the Shanti Stupa in Pokhara you have to climb a bit even after the car park. The views along the way are breathtaking! I am always happy to walk, more so in the mountains!
And while I was climbing down we stopped for an excellent cup of coffee in a cute little cafe. Food tastes so much better in the mountains, more so after an uphill walk!
We visited an upcoming hotel in Sarangkot near Pokhara. I envy the guests who would stay here from the view from the lobby! The first picture in this post is also taken from Sarangkot where we went to see the sunrise.
The last time I was in Pokhara it was in 2013! The Phewa Lake is still serene but the amount of construction the town has seen is unbelievable!
And that is a view of Kathmandu as our plane named Makalu took off! Those don’t know about mountains will think of the name as McAloo but people who love mountains know that it is the name of a revered and feared 8000 meter high peak!
And even though I have written a separate post on the Chitwan National Park, I could not close this one without a picture of the Rhino!
On my recent trip to Nepal, I did something for the first time! I sat in the passenger seat of an Ultralight open aircraft and off we went to the skies!
My pilot for the flight was Binayak Bastola from Pokhara Ultralight and he inspired confidence! As the cockpit of the Aeros-2 trike plane is open, it is a windy flight where we cannot communicate through words. Hand signals are used to convey essential messages. You give thumbs up for feeling fine and thumbs down if you wish to go back!
Soon, I was wearing a jacket, helmet and I was seated at the back of the small cockpit. Anything that could fly off, like the lens cap was taken away. Within a few minutes into the flight I realized it was a wise thing to do. It is anyway a wise thing to follow the instructions given by people in charge of adventure activities at all times!
Binayak came to the Ultralight and started talking through his microphone! I realized he was talking to the air traffic controller! We were using the active runway and we needed permission to takeoff!
I was a little wary as small air crafts often make for a bumpy ride! But not this time. The take off was smooth and then I forgot everything and concentrated on the views below! I took my DSLR with me. Like always a lot of viewing happened through the viewfinder!
Early into the flight the aircraft flew over the Shanti Stupa! I felt like a drone clicking the pictures from the top! I know I should feel like a bird, but I felt like a drone, so that is what I am going to say. Soon, we were over the Phewa Lake, which looked even more mesmerizing from the top! Mine was a 15 minute flight and it ended way too soon.
The landing once again was smooth for such a small aircraft. After getting out of the plane, I had a quick word with my pilot Binayak Bastola. Among other things, I asked if flying has become a routine for him? I guess there is something wrong with the word ‘job’itself, What was an eye popping, windswept exotic experience for me, is a routine job for Binayak!
December is the month of nostalgia. I usually do not do year round up but this year I am succumbing to it big time. You have been warned! Yesterday night I was browsing through my Facebook timeline. And it made me so happy looking at the pictures from the past trips, trips that are now slowly receding to a corner of my memory. I have never traveled so much in my life before as I did in 2013.
It is also going to be extra special year because this was the year when we did daughter mother trips. But the biggest surprise was looking at my Annapurna Trek pictures. I did the trek in June and I cribbed and cribbed about the lack of the views!
Yesterday I was left wondering why did I consider this as lack of views? I know the answer, because I wanted snow capped peaks when I got clouds. But with the passing of a few months I was scratching my head- why did I complain so much, after all it was beautiful. But the key is that a few months have passed. The next time I go on a trip and I get clouds instead of the view, I will of course crib again!
But this also gives me some food for thought. I mean I can still recall my exact mood while I was going around the lake clicking pictures. I hardly had any enthusiasm, I just went through the motions. Next time when the weather decides not to cooperate with me, I will try and remember that there is beauty in every weather. This introspective mood is the result of December and trying to decide where to go in January. The air fares are not leaving me in a good mood.