An early start to the day with a traditional Nepali breakfast in our hotel at 6 am. By 7am we were back at Kathmandu airport, back through security and waiting in the local departure lounge for our internal flight. A bit of bartering in the gift shop and the team now posses Nepal flag banners as our first memento, big thanks to Rachael! With the weather looking overcast and the rain coming in fast we were waiting patiently to see if our flight would go ahead.
The call finally came and we boarded our Buddha Air ATR42 turbo prop to Pokhara. A short journey and before we knew it we had landed and were finally ready to start our adventure. We headed to two sacred focal points in “Devi’s Fall” in Pattake Chhango and Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave. The cave is over 5000 years old and is one of the largest caves in South Asia. Once inside the cave we got to see the Idol of Lord Shiva and the awe-inspiring patale chhango or “underworld waterfall” falling.
We then took the hour-long drive to our starting point and it certainly was an interesting one! For those of you that have seen Top Gear in Nepal it was just like that, sheer cliff faces with hundred foot drops over the side and no where to pass should you meet another vehicle!! The temperature was certainly getting hot in the mini bus even more when Mo shouted “Ken shall I let the drivers know that the back doors have opened?” With Catherine’s heart racing we pulled over and decided to find a suitable place to take a break.
Thankfully we all made it and off we went. A nice brisk steady pace allowed for conversation to flow and for us all to take in what we had accomplished in the last 2 days through 3 flights, numerous coach journeys and the joy and good company we had shared already.
We crossed our first two suspension bridges saw wild monkeys in the field where we walked and started to really see first hand how it was to be a local villager living in Nepal. Beautiful happy children smiled as we went passed hoping we would have some treats for then.
Before long we saw the sign ‘Tatopani Retreat’, we had reached our campsite on the top of a mountain looking down the valley, only problem was the 340 steps to the top!
Greeted with silk scarves, hot drinks and biscuits, the team were more than impressed with our home for the evening. With our tents already made we needed to unpack take a moment and enjoy the scenery which was spectacular.
A delicious evening meal consisting of homemade soup, buffalo burgers, pasta and fresh vegetables awaited us tonight followed by a amazing celebration cake kindly made by our cooks.
Tomorrow it’s another early start for the group with a 6.30 an wake up. As I type this blog they are all sat around the campfire singing! Spirits are certainly high!
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