Day 2: Kathmandu – Pokhara

We have a bus to catch at 7 am, and somehow we do catch it, after a sketchy sort of breakfast. We continue to chat for a bit, and finally fall asleep in the bus. The drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara must have been scenic – but I miss most of the scenery. It’s a 7 hour journey, with a couple of convenience breaks. At one of the breaks, Nitya is pouting that I did not appreciate the lush garden setting. I walk around in a bleary eyed haze in the hot sun, and take some pictures. I don’t have the ability to go into raptures over hibiscus, however red. This is my second night in a row with a couple of hours sleep. (Previous night in Delhi, I waited up chatting with my gynecologist friend for some late night deliveries).

At Pokhara, we are transferred from the “Bos Tan” (after initial bemusement, we understand it to mean bus stand) by taxi to the Fishtail Lodge – a super place. I am pretty sure I am going to visit Pokhara again, and stay there again. Lots of pictures. One needs to cross over by a hand-pulled raft across a narrow strip of Phewa Lake, to get to Fishtail Lodge. Most romantic. During our stay there, we all take turns pulling the rope to propel the raft.

We are given adjacent “garden view” ground floor rooms – throughout, Nitya is my room partner. MShah and Kanaks hop over the balcony railings and we have masala chai in our balcony. By now the hysterical giggling is well established. Nitya had given urgent instructions to the fellow Shagun about sending her luggage onwards by flight to Pokhara – without much real hope that it would get done. The more urgent her instructions were, the more expressionless his face became. Maybe he’s from Mars? Half the people on earth seem to be from there… But much to our pleasant surprise, he actually sends it to Pokhara! Of course, it would have been too much of a shock if he had called us to say he sent it.. Oh no, he has to remain true to his Martian roots. Nitya rushes to the airport and gets her bag with 10 mins to spare, otherwise it might’ve got locked up in some lost luggage store for the evening. Another happy ending even before the trek starts.

Miss Nits writes notes to herself: “Pack a change of clothes in hand baggage”. I mention this list only because this is not a one off – throughout the trip she has many practical as well as funny things to add to this list. Our room quickly becomes a comfortable mess with several plastic bags full of clothes and stuff. Nitya notices how this mess is actually fun for her, as at home she is a clean freak. She feels the need to apologize to MShah and Kanaks when they visit our room – “I’m not like this at home” J Her frequent apologizing becomes the butt of more jokes and giggles. She has a talent to apologize about many things that I wouldn’t even notice – “Sorry, I didn’t serve out the tea for you – I’m not being a good host” (In a hotel room for heaven’s sake!!).

I decide that 2 nights of non-stop chatting is quite enough (for the time being!). We order food to the room, have daal baath, and thair sadam with pickle (bloody tambrams) and fall asleep. Very comfy room, very comfy beds, clean white sheets. It never occurs to us to turn on the TV in either of the hotel stays. Contrast with MShah and Kanaks – they have some music channel or other on in both hotels.

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