Next planned stop was Pokhara. Gopal bought us the bus tickets before he left with Bichari on the top of a bus to their respective homes. Of course he had managed to get us seated places. However, the seats in these buses are definitely not made for two tall guys. Basically, there was no space left for me after Georg folded himself in. So we decided to take the trip on the roof of the bus. Like the locals :-)
What I did not realize at this moment: It was the end of Dashain, the most important festival in Nepal. So we were not the only ones who wanted to return from a small village in the mountains (where the locals visited their families to get a Tika from their elders) to a big city. So the roof of the bus got more and more crowded. We had been four at the beginning and at least 30 at the end.
Turned out it was one of the best bus rides I’ve had so far. Aside from the fact that it is cool to ride on the roof, one naturally gets into close contact when traveling with 30 other people on a not too big roof. And the Nepali have been really friendly and curios. Making sure, that I was sitting comfortable and not being hurt by any luggage. Smiling when we almost got hit by a branch of a tree or a power cable hanging low (it took some time to learn ;-) Explaining me the meaning of the festival and asking about my whereabouts. Awesome! After Dumse the bus got far less crowded and we could stretch out our legs and enjoy the rest of the trip lying on the roof (well, it is bumpy… so black and blue marks are included in the trip :-)
After two weeks of hiking it was time for some relaxing and a lot of good food. But first, we needed a shave. And opted for a professional shaving from one of the many barbers in town. Very nice feeling!
We explored Old Phokara, the non touristy part of the town. Passed a very nice market on the way there. Were some locals were gambling. I did not really get the rules but anyhow joined in. And was lucky as I won two times and more than doubled my input! Felt quite bad to “take” money from them so I gambled until I lost everything :-)
Another day, we went to the World Peace Pagoda high above the Pehwa Lake. We wanted to get rowed to the start point of the little climb… and ended up with a boat and one paddle but now rower, so we had to paddle ourselves.
But most of the time I just spent relaxing in one of the cafes, updating the diary and just enjoying life. Georg was a bit more active as he took a paragliding jump and went to Chitwan before we met again in Kathmandu for the last days of his visit.