The final countdown…

The final countdown…

In the final column on our group’s exploration of India and Nepal, we detail their last few days in this fascinating region. The culmination of the trip finally arrived in the form of a bike trip – from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The day dawned sunny and our intrepid crew set off enthusiastically…

After lunch, the weather turned, and at one point the rain was so bad that they had to take shelter in a local’s home. The obliging lady provided them all with tea, and after about an hour or so, the storm abated somewhat. They continued into the dusk, eventually arriving in Pokhara in the dark!!

Early the next morning, a walk to the Phewa Tal / lake revealed spectacular scenery. Formerly called Baidam Tal, this lake is the biggest lake in Pokhara, and a very popular tourist attraction for sailing, swimming and fishing. In the centre of the lake is an island, on which the Tal Barahi temple can be found.  If you choose to visit the temple, you need to take a boat. The temple was built in 2017 BS by the then King Mahendra. Bikram Samvat (BS) is the official calendar of Nepal, and is about 56.7 years ahead of the solar Gregorian calendar (AD). The temple was also damaged in the 2015 earthquake and is still in need of repair.

Later in the morning, there was a ride to Kushma – a small village which is the headquarters of Parbat District in Nepal. Nestled amongst the tall mountain ranges, this spot is known for being one of the adrenalin capitals of Nepal, with attractions including tall suspension bridges, rafting, bungee jump, swinging, zipline, sky cycling, and exploring caves. The Kushma Gyadi Bridge joins Kushma to another village (Gyadichour) on the other side of a deep gorge. Many people visit Kushma just to walk over the bridge. Opened in early 2010, this catenary suspension footbridge is one of the world’s highest of its type. Crossing 117 meters above the Madi River, the trail bridge is also one of Nepal’s longest with a span of 344 meters.

After “popping” over the bridge (not for the faint of heart!) to do some shopping and grab a quick coffee, the group rode back to Pokhara to spend the afternoon on boats on the lake. After the boat ride, freshly squeezed fruit juice was the order of the day!

The following day the journey back to Kathmandu started, broken by an overnight stay in the hilltop settlement of Bandipur. After a beer to celebrate a day well spent, they went for a walk along the one and only main walkway – which was closed off to traffic.

At the end of the walkway, there was – once again – an incredible view…

After an overnight in Kathmandu, it was back to Delhi and then home. A wonderful trip – thoroughly enjoyed by all!

There is a quote that goes “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”. Well, on this trip our explorers certainly read more than one page, experiencing different cultures, traditions and sights. Travel opens your mind and allows you to see the world through different eyes, and I have no doubt that the next set of travel plans are already afoot!!

Jacqui Ikin & The Cross Country Team

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