Shoemans Trail

The quest for liberation

Tag: Pokhara

I’m off for a short walk in the Annapurna region

Tomorrow I’ll start the Annapurna circuit, a tea house trek from village to village enjoying the views and the energy of the mighty peaks around me.nepal_annapurna_map

What helped me preparing the trip were the following pages:
http://wikitravel.org/en/Annapurna_Circuit
http://wanderingsasquatch.com/how-to-hike-the-annapurna-circuit/

Talk to you in a bit, i’ll take my time though!

Parahawking – a once in a lifetime flight

Today is a special day, it’s my mom’s birthday so i made myself a little present 🙂
I went parahawking, a sport created by scott mason right here in nepal, as he told us there was some alcohol involved when he talked with a friend but in the end they did it and 15 years later they still around and pebble 2 black kites, 2 egyptian vultures and a falcon as training birds is scott’s first passion, his second is paragliding, so combine the two and you got parahawking. if you want to read further: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parahawking

You get to fly with the birds and naturally they will find the right thermals to keep them up and don’t use that much strength, the para glider just follows them, and as a reward for the birds natural abilities you got to feed him…while flying!

So we went up sarangkot, watched the clouds move away, the weather could have been better but no complains, we got the last instructions, got our harness on,  strapped the kite and gently walked into the abyss, 3 steps, then 5 steps running and off we went, pushing my bum back to get a comfy seat and enjoying the hills and paddocks around, gently moving along, spectating with a birds eye and our bird – bob is his name, circled around the kites,
the pilot blows a whistle, i prepare a bid of raw buffalo meat, put it in the top of my fist and bob gently swoops in from behind, sits at my hand picks the snack and takes off to get the next snack from the other pilot, so nice and so majestic.
The views of the surrounding hills with the shanti stupa and in the valley the sun is reflecting on fewa lake are stunning, this is freedom!
we fed bob multiple times during our 20 minute flight and went down in spirals and half loopings, so great, like riding a roller coaster in the sky…1-parahawking

After we landed safely in front of the vulture village i was still flying – the feeling lasted for a couple of hours!

we later learned about the drug called diclofenac, it is given to cows as an antibiotic, so when the cow dies it’s still in her veins and when vultures eat the corpse it’s poisoning them, within a day they die. due to the drug, in the last 30 years the vulture population got almost extinct, people like scott help to regain its density, there are even vulture restaurants where safe cows are fed to wild birds.
vultures are quite important for our ecosystem, when they disappear dogs will take over and more diseases will spread around humans.

So go ahead safe a vulture today to live happily tomorrow 🙂

A short ride to Bengas Tal and around

After a brilliant get together with takeshi from japan, whom i met in varanassi the first time, colin from great britain and mat from new zealand who stay also at our lovely gauri shankar guesthouse (cheers for the philosophical evening guys!!!) and hugo, a french guy just coming back from the trek we decided to go by bike to the next lake which is just 15 km away, in the end it was mat and me again riding along and it was fun.

we got the bikes for a whole day, they’ve seen better days but we got a good deal.
mainly we rode all along the highway which is not that busy right now as of the missing petrol. just a couple of buses, vans and taxis crossed our way every now and then, a lot of bicycles though…
ohh yeah ridin’ a bike in nepal, who would have guessed? 🙂

all the way downhill, a couple of turns and 50 min later we arrived in a very tranquil place, children gambling with dice, fishermen scaling a fish and no hassle from the few shops.
we took a very small footpath around the lake and then uphill as it got steep and muddy on the shores, there were a lot of fern and small trees, wildlife fully vibrant swinging to the beating sound of machine like grasshoppers. we met dave who just took a brake from work and also didn’t came here before, once we arrived at the top and investigated the empty and locked house we enjoyed the lookout over the rice fields around the village.

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No way walking further along the path we got back and tried the other way to get around the lake, across the dam following the trail, we discovered a sweet restaurant with a beautiful lookout over the lake and the surrounding hills, that kind of place you don’t wanna leave when arrived. the fish curry was good and the beer quenching 🙂
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After we took our time we rode and pushed our bikes uphill as the road was too steep, soaking wet when arriving atop a local bus just passed, of course locals prefer the bus, rather then the walk
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a few bends further down we saw nothing but brilliant nature, bengas lake and the area could also be somewhere in new zealand, well the big mountains hide behind a thunderstorm…
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we should get back…
along the road multiple tea houses and men building a big swing out of bamboo – 7 meter tall – this is what you do for the festival of dashain to have the children playing with the swing, and i did so too!
there are more things to discover about the most important festival in nepal,
who wants to read more about it, go ahead: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashain

halfway back on the highway we got rained in heavily, soaking wet after 1 minute riding we just kept on going, it’s just water!
literally 5 cars and 5 cows roaming the highway that time, well 1 truck as well but that one just blocked the way as it was damaged and needed repair, this is what you do directly on the road in nepal, there are no tow trucks!

almost around town the sun made it’s way through a tiny window of clouds, just to give us a last push, some clouds on the mountainside cleared to reveal only the top of a 7000er.
it really ain’t that bad riding a bike in nepal even though it rains heavily!

Pokhara – a tranquil backpacker oasis

First day i went for a short stroll around town, i got lost as i was walking in a completely wrong direction, but i managed to get a new phone charger, first stop for it was a bit of a misunderstanding as the man invited me in his home on my question for a charger and connected my phone afterwards serving me tea, he didn’t want to sell, it’s his son’s he was just so kind to let me in, nepali friendliness…i found the charger 5 min later in town 🙂

I managed to find the touristy area and instantly got tangled in a conversation by just sitting 1 min next to the temple, you need a guide, you want to go trekking, you need something else 😉 i had a good feeling with him so we spent the afternoon. nepali people seem to be happy although the crisis with fuel and gas is going on, i found some guys fishing in the riverDSC07765

The town feels great, the climate is nice 25° lots of sun at night temperatures drop to 15 not that much cars buses and motorcycles around as of the missing fuel and the hotels and guesthouses are only half filled because most tourists cancel their trips because of the earthquake month ago and the political crisis going on, perfect times actually, although transportation costs rise significantly due to missing gas.

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