October 14, 2008:
Jhinu Danda to Birethanti to Pokhara
Last day on the trail. Got up early at 6:30 am. Nice views of Annapurna South, Hinchuli and
Machapuchhre above us. We had ordered breakfast the night before for 7 am. It was not ready until 7:45
am. As I said before, I was not too keen on the lodge's owners management skills. Their kitchen was just
totally overwhelmed. We finally left at 8:30 am.
From now on, all we had to do is go down the Modi Khola. Down is
the word, but then, this is Nepal and it is never just "down". Once
outside Jhinu Danda, we went down stairs for a while down to a
bridge crossing a side stream. Of course, what goes down must
come back up. And so I saw all those stairs on the other side and
cursed at Bharat (of course he knew I was kidding). He said only a
hundred steps, no problem. I said, ok, for every step more than a
hundred, you give me one rupee. He said ok and now he owes me
220 rupees.
We continued along the side of the valley, the Modi Khola. Sometimes we were level with the river, but
most of the time we were somewhere high above its banks. After a while we came to a place called New
Bridge where we had a snack. From here, the trail splits. The left trail crosses the river and then goes up
to Landruk and eventually to Dhampus where it reaches the Pokhara to Beni Road. The other trail which
we followed continues down the Modi Khola to Birethanti and Naya Pul also reaching the road.
Up and down we went until we got to a place called Beehive. There was a huge overhanging cliff above
the river with lots of beehives hanging down from the cliff. After Beehive, another steep climb followed up
a ridge and then, after reaching Siwai, it was only down.
At Kimche, our trail intersected with the trail coming down from Ghandruk from where I came from two
years ago and It looked familiar. Reaching Syauli Bazaar, the trail descended steeply down stairs to the
river. On the other side of Syauli Bazaar there are quite a few restaurants where we wanted to have lunch.
But they were all so crowded that we decided to just have a drink and then continue on to Birethanti. The
waitstaff told us it was at least an hour if not more our lunch would be ready.
I went ahead, tired of walking. All I had in my mind was getting to Birethanti and get this thing over with. I
covered the distance between Syauli Bazaar and Birethanti in 45 minutes and arrived their at 1:30 pm. I
waited sitting in the shade in front of the ACAP building. 15 minutes later Bharat and Suzi arrived and we
went to the Riverside Lodge where we had lunch. That is the same place Bharat and I had lunch two
years ago on our trip to Poon Hill.
After lunch, we strolled to Naya Pul. It
started to rain a bit, but not bad. At Naya
Pul, the negotiations started for a taxi. I
was relaxed now as I knew that Bharat
would take good care of us. The first taxi
we had was a piece of crap. It was
obviously way too small for the five of us
(driver, Bharat, Suzi, David and I plus our
backpacks). Also, the trunk did not close.
But that was no problem, so the driver
thought.  After driving for a couple of
hundred yards, the trunk flew open
spitting out our backpacks. We stopped,
put everything back into the car and
restarted, but two hundred yards later,
same thing happened again. So the driver
decided then that his taxi was too small for
us. Smart guy! We then took a bigger taxi. I
was glad as the owner of the second taxi
turned out to be quite a responsible guy
and drove very civilized. We made it to
Pokhara by about 5 pm.
We went to the Kiwi Guest House where
we checked into our rooms. I took a
shower and then walked to the main part
of Pokhara to look for an internet cafe. I
could not believe my eyes when I looked
at the stockmarket. At first I thought I was
not seeing the numbers right, but then I
realized  that  the international financial
markets had crashed while I was trekking
in Nepal. Now that was an expensive
trek....
We all met up again at 7 pm in front of the Meera Hotel. We had dinner at the Maya Restaurant. Nice place.
We sat upstairs and had our farewell dinner of a long but very rewarding trip. After dinner, we went back
to the hotel. I had asked for an airco room. When I got there, the airco was not working, so the owner gave
me a different room with a working airco. Went to bed at 11 pm (wow, that was late!!) and slept really good!.