Today was the day we were supposed to rent bikes. We wanted to all go together and pedal our way to Begnas Tal, which is a lake that is around 10kms east of Pokhara. We had heard that it was not too touristy and we had bought a map to find an alternative route to get there as we didn’t feel like biking down the main road.
We all gathered at 8am in our hostel and as soon as we started moving it started to rain. We therefore decided to take a slow breakfast to see if it would clear up. It was a slow drizzle and didn’t seem to be likely to quit any time soon so we resigned ourselves to another lazy day and headed back to the hostel. We all split to our separate rooms and, of course, 15 minutes later it stopped raining.
We tried to gather the troops again but Sarah was not feeling too well and Max and Claire wanted to say in. We decided to head out just the Spanish group. We rented our bikes in a place near the hostel. The bikes were not great but they braked and had bells on them. Seemed good enough for 1 euro per day.
We trusted our destiny to Gustavo as he was the map bearer and headed out into the Nepali countryside. It was stunningly beautiful. We rode through rice paddies at the edge of a huge ravine. It was sort of a smaller, tropical grand canyon. After about 2 hours of riding up and and down a chappy road we decided we were probably lost. We needed to find a bridge across the ravine to head to the lake as we were on the wrong side. Luckily, we stopped to ask at a local school and they pointed us towards this tiny pathway that led into nowhere and assured us that it was the way. We were not so sure but didn’t really have a choice.
The path was barely walkable and we had to push our bikes for about 30 minutes but in the end we caught site of a cable bridge crossing the ravine. It reminded me of a 21st century Indiana Jones bridge. It seemed safe enough but it swung and bounced all over the place. Suffice it to say I loved it. Was one of the highlights of the day.
By that time poor Anna was struggling to keep up. She is not used to riding a bike and was in a bit of pain due to the seat. We checked the map and saw we were only about 2 km away from the lake so we tried to make a push for it. I started o go ahead o the group and wait for them at each intersection to check the way. In this two-tiered way we finally made it to the lake. It was indeed beautiful and worth the trip.
We could only stay there for 5 minutes as it was already 4pm and we only had 2 hours to get back to the entail place before dark. We also did not want to ride after sunset as we had no lights on the bikes. We headed off again but soon realised that at Angus pace we would not make it. In one of my scouting mission I discovered we could stop a bus and put the bikes on top to get to Pokhara. The look of joy on Anna’s face when she heard the news was priceless.
We flagged down a bus, loaded up the bikes and 30 minutes later were in Pokhara. We rode the bikes to the rental place and made it just in time for the sunset.
After leaving the bikes we checked on Sarah. She was feeling worse and did not want to come for dinner so we went for dinner just the three of us and brought her back some rice in case she got hungry.
Tune in tomorrow for a trip around Pokhara’s hospitals!