We planned for Chandtaal-Baralachla trek for the Durga Puja vacation in the same year. You must be thinking that why am I talking about a trek in the Himalayas in a trip to Nepal blog because there is the twist of tale. Tickets were booked, I bought my new Quechua Frorclaz hiking shoe as after last my trek my shoe was not in a condition to using it again in the next trip.
Change of plan
Finally, the day has come. It was Maha Panchami, the onset of the biggest festival of West Bengal, Durga puja. We reached the station on time. The train was on time, but when we entered into our coach, we were pretty surprised. It is not a sleepers class boogie. The person who has booked our tickets by mistake he went for sitting reservations. People already occupied our seats and it would turn into an unreserved coach for sure. So we had to cancel the trek.
We canceled the trek, not the trip. We decided to reach New Jalpaiguri first, we would have lots of options there. So we took a taxi from Howrah to Sealdah. We boarded in Darjeeling Mail in a jam-packed general compartment on the same day. It was difficult to find a place to stand properly. After 6 hours we got a seat at Malda station. finally, we got a seat there and desperately need some sleep badly then. We reached at NJP around 8:30 am. We had two choices Sikkim and Nepal, so flipped a coin to decide our destination.
Crossing Indo Nepal border
After having breakfast we took a bus to Panitanki., as Nepal is the friendly country of India, we do not require the official procedures to enter into Nepal. Just a photo identity proof like voter ID, aadhar card would be enough. We exchanged currency at the border. 100 Indian Rupees was equal to 160 Nepali Rupees back then. We check in the hotel in Kakarvitta, as we need some rest badly.
We took a bus to Kathmandu at 6 pm, it was a long 17 hours journey from kakarvitta. we stayed in a nice hotel in Sundara near Kathmandu bus-stand for cheaper accommodation. Our group have specialist to find cheap accommodation. We checked in a hotel that cost us only 300/day.
In the evening we were roaming around the streets, had some roadside street foods. The next day, we booked a cab and visited famous tourist spots of Nepal like Boudhanath Dham, Pashupatinath mandir, etc. We spent lots of time at Darbar square. A destroyed land rover of a Nepali king was one of the major tourist attractions.
The next day we boarded a bus to Pokhara. We reached Pokhara around 8 pm. After 8 hours long overtired bus journey, we checked in a hotel had dinner and just slept. The next day, when we walked out it was a completely different experience from the street of Kathmandu. It was really fun walking around the street. I can spend all day just sitting in front of Phewa lake. You will be amazed to see the reflection of Mount Machhapuchhre (also known as Mount Fishtail). You can do boating and kayaking on Phewa lake, but for me, it was fun to sit on the bench or walk around the lake and observe people. We saw tourists were paragliding from the top and came to know the name of the place is Sarangkote. We booked a cab to Sarangkote. It was really fun watching people flying like a bird. The descend from Sarangkote to Phewa lake was fun too, we took the trek route through the jungle. When we reached the lake we saw a beautiful sunset, the reflected sunlight has made the lake golden, the silhouette of mountains I just can’t express the beauty in words.
An unforgettable day in Pokhara
The next day we took bicycles on rent and ride through the nearby villages. We were riding by a small river and saw a unique way to cross it. A large piece of wood fixed with eight barrel so it can float in the water. And it was tied from both sides of the river, so anyone can pull it and cross the river. I have visited so many places but I never saw a unique way to cross a river.
Our next destination was Chitwan National Park. Again it was tiring 7/8 hours long bus journey. The next day we went for a jungle safari. Even though we saw just a crocodile, but it was the ambiance of the forest worth the price we paid. Rest of the day we spent in the tourist bungalow.
Returning home was another story as we didn’t have any reservations. We tried to book a Tatkal ticket, but all ticket was booked before we logged in. So we had to stay in Ruxaul for 2 days and it worst place I have ever stayed. The next day we had 2 confirmed tickets in Mithila express. And what journey it was 5 people on 2 seats. It was another interesting story to tell you later.