October 29, 2006:
Ghandruk to Naya Pul to Pokhara
Woke up around 6 am just in time to see the sunrise on Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare.
Took a few pictures and went back to bed for another hour.
Got up around 7 am and had breakfast, oat porridge with apples....realy good! We left the lodge
around 8 am. The village of Ghandruk is very nice and spread along the hillside which is quite steep.
So, immediately, we went down big steps and after a few minutes were already at an altitude of 50
meters lower. No wonder the Austrians, coming this way last night, were so exhausted. Down, down,
down we went through a nice farming area and mostly on man-made stone trails. Behind us for the
next couple of hours views of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare. After not even 2 hours, we
lost about 900 meters in altitude. Then, the next hour or so to Birethanti, we followed a relatively
wide path along the bottom of the valley.
In Birethanti, we crossed the bridge, went past the Maoists and made our way to Naya Pul where
the street is. Bharat tried to get a taxi for the 45 km trip to Pokhara and haggled for some time on
the price. I think we paid 1,100 rupees, a little less than on the way up. The cab driver was a
maniac. Sometimes he would drive slow, then fast then slow again. And once we hit the outskirts of
Pokhara, he turned into a race car driver. Dodging people, cars and numerous buffaloes, we finally
made it to my hotel. The hotel's name is Barahi. I thought it was located on the lake, but it was not.
About 3-4 blocks away from it. The hotel was ok, but way overpriced. I think it was US-$ 40. Had
lunch at the hotel with Bharat. He then left and went to a cheaper lodge. I went to my room and
watched "Friday Night Lights", a Texas High School Football movie which was on HBO. Wow,
sights of home on the other side of the globe.

I strolled around Pokhara for a while, but the shops here were similar to the one's in Thamel and
nothing special. I found an internet cafe and checked e-mails. Had dinner at my hotel where they
had a "Cultural Show" in the courtyard. I ate minestrone and a tomato/cheese pizza. I went to bed
watching HBO for a while (first time in weeks that I watched TV). Slept ok. It was quite noisy with
lots of dogs barking around the hotel. They should move some Koreans to Pokhara, would solve
the dog thing in a hurry!