It was 4:45am in the peaceful village of Nagarkot. Not a creature was stirring except for the Spaniard and the Frenchie peacefully snoring in a room of the Nagarkot peak hotel. An alarm sounded and the Spaniard rushed out of bed to see if the stars were visible from the balcony. He was greeted by a stunning view of orion and the moon.
With a spring in his step he rushed back into the room to announce that there were no clouds and that it was time to grab the bus to go see the sunrise over the Himalayas. He sleepily put on some fresh clothes and rushed out to take a picture of the stars but they were gone!
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the stunning story of how we almost missed the sunrise!
As I was saying, we got up to go see the sunrise over the himalayas, planning to get a bus to take us to a Tower from where you supposedly had a great 360 degree view. I had read on the guide that there was a bus that left at 5:30 am to go there so we trudged off through the sleepy village on our way to find the bus. It was pretty cold as we were 2200 metres up but we soldiered on, motivated by the promise of magical views.
When we got to the spot marked by the Lonely planet guide, there was no bus to be seen. I assumed we were in the wrong spot so I moved a bit further and spotted some headlights through the mist. It was not the promised bus but rather a minibus full of Chinese tourists. I had been stopped by 2 other French backpackers that were trying to get the driver to take them to the tower. The driver said the bus was full so we decided to go back to town together and try to get a taxi between the 4 of us. By this time the horizon was starting to get light and there was a thick fog that covered everything. I started to think we might not make it.
After walking for around 5 minutes we were overtaken by the minibus, which stopped and said that we could jump in. The Chinese tourists seemed to have scorched up and we were able to pile in to the last row of seats. It was tight but we were on our way to the tower!
The famous tower was 4kms away, which in Nepal means around 20 minutes. In the meantime there was more and more light and the fog was thicker by the second. I tried not to let it show but I was convinced we would miss it. After about 15 minutes I noticed that the fog was starting to dissipated as we climbed higher and higher up the mountains. 2 curves before we got there we cleared the cloud and saw a car park full of buses and taxis.
We jumped out of the car, gave the driver a tip and marched up the last few sets of steps to the magical tower.
The sun had not risen yet and we were treated to a foggy view of distant mountaintops. The sky was starting to get noticeably lighter along one side. There was a bunch of loud Chinese tourists setting up tons of photo equipment, 2 disapproving German tourists, the Frenchie and us. Oh and a swarm of Nepali people but I guess that’s normal. 🙂
The sunrise cannot really be described, pictures don’t really do it justice. Suffice it to say I finally feel like I’m in Nepal!
We decided to walk back to Nagarkot and it was well worth the walk. Apart from the large amount of soldiers training up and down the road (there are 2 barracks nearby) it was a magical experience. Truth be told, even the Nepali soldiers are nice! The smiled and returned all our greetings even though they were clearly exhausted from running up a freaking mountain!
We had a lovely breakfast at the berg house café with a beautiful view of the rolling mountains. After much reading up on the town and it’s surroundings, Sarah decided to stay another day in Nagarkot so it was time to say goodbye. We went back to the hotel and packed our bags as she had found a cheaper room in a hotel down the road. It is her birthday in 2 day and she wants to be in Pokhara for it so we might see each other there! 🙂
I climbed into a local bus to Bhaktapur, much to the enjoyment of the locals. The fact that the bus rocked when I got in and that I couldn’t fit into one of the seats kept them entertained for a good while. Suffice it to say it was not a very comfortable ride. I grabbed another bus from Bhaktapur to Kathmandu and after only 4 hours (to cover 36 kms) I was back in Kathmandu.
After 4 days outside of Kathmandu, you kind of forget how crazy it is. I had also only had 4 hours of sleep, no lunch (it was 2pm) and was sweating like a public woman at a holy ceremony. The good thing about this is that I wasn’t taking no silly business from anyone. I got a room for half the price they asked for, got a steep discount on my bus fare to Pokhara and even got a discounted rate for my urgent laundry. To sum it up, I was a badass! 🙂
After all that I had decided I had done enough for one day and decided to relax. I had a nice Lebanese lunch at the Nargilla restaurant and then went to the Gardens of Dreams to have a nap. I lay down and listened to the soundtrack from “Into the Wild”… twice! It was the perfect music for the perfect place. I wish I could do this life for much longer! 🙂
I got an unexpected call from Jacques and Laure. They were going to have dinner somewhere south oof Thames and wanted to see if I could joint them. i/ went over and had a quick dinner before heading to pickup up my laundry and then go to bed.
Tomorrow will be another big one as I take the 7 hour bus ride (200 kms) to Pokhara! I wonder what will happpen?