We flew 25 minutes to Pokhara in a little, tiny prop plane, holding twenty passengers, with only one seat on each side of the center aisle. The stewardess barely had time to pass by with a tray of candy and a plastic cup of water. The previous Gate1 travelers took 17 hours to drive to Pokhara, which may give you some idea of the infrastructure here, which needs a tremendous amount of help. I’m very happy they decided to change it to a flight.
Pokhara is the city of lakes, 15 in total, which sits at the base of the Himalayan mountains, making this a vacationers paradise. Most of the sports here revolve around around these two trademarks of the city…paragliding, boating, canoeing, white water rafting, with their biggest sport being trekking the mountains. We didn’t realize this until we were retrieving our luggage at baggage claim. There were so many trekking bags and tons of backpackers in full gear, ready to tackle the mountain.
It became overwhelmingly apparent when we checked in to our hotel. Nepaltrekkingtours.com had a group all staying at our same hotel. Of the fourteen highest mountains in the world that are over 8000 feet, Nepal has eight of them which call to mountain climbers everyday, the highest one of all being Mount Everest. Over 1,000 people attempt to climb Mt Everest, about 500 make it to the summit, including the guides and sherpas (the guys carrying the equipment, setting up the ladders, tying the ropes, etc). and an average of four perish every year. There’s nothing easy about this sport!
We met Maya Sherpa, a forty year old female who has hiked twenty of the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest. She started at 23 years old with absolutely no training except an eager spirit and a strong desire to reach the top. She is the fourth woman ever to climb Mt. Everest, and was the first Nepalese woman to do so.
She’s climbed 20 mountains already, and plans to do 8 more…ok, she’s officially either the most couragest or craziest person I’ve ever met.
We chose a much more relaxing and enjoyable way to soak up the serene environment. It may not be as challenging, but we enjoyed the peaceful time on the lake watching the paragliders up above, who were jumping off the cliff and floating above our heads.
Out last stop was to the International Mountain Museum, which pays tribute to all of the famous mountain hikers who have blazed the trails to hike these 8,000 feet majestic snow capped Himalayan mountains. We heard on the news yesterday that one of the people whom the museum pays tribute to, was blown off the mountain with seven members of his team by a big storm that swept through the base camp. So sad…When you look at these snow covered mountains, you have to respect and be aware that Mother Nature can oh so beautiful, but sometimes very treacherous.