View across the Lake

SYNOPSIS:  About a three-day vacation in the mountains.  Keep scrolling down.  Photos are embedded.

Kathmandu needed a break; better, I needed a break from Kathmandu.  It’s just too dusty and hectic, and Nepal is full of wonderful things, many of which I have to miss.  Against the advice of all and any travel books, I chanced a flight with Buddha Air, a local airline.  Nepali airlines are notorious for flight cancellations and delays, but I figured that most likely, there are also a good number that fly as scheduled.  And who is in a hurry?  I wonder if in the States it is still possible to call up an airline the day before a flight and get the normal rate without any fuss?  Well, here it is. 

The medium-sized propeller machine was full.  I sat in the Crew Only spot, next to the stewardess, facing the passengers.  Landing and starting “backwards” was a new flight experience for me.  Not bad, I have to say.  Across from me sat a Brazilian-American,  who had given himself a 6 months travel sabbatical from his desk job.  This was his first stretch of the trip.  He was excited, and we chatted almost the whole time.  1/2 hour later, right on time, we landed in lovely Pokhara and another 1/2 hour taxi ride later I stood in front of a steep staircase in the middle of nowhere…

What a world we live in.  Without a local SIM card or a local phone number, I texted into cybespace and voila, 5 minutes later, Milan, one of the three brothers who run this Hidden Paradise hopped down from the mountain.   With my 20kg duffel bag on his shoulders, he was faster up than I with my day pack.  These guys never cease to amaze me!  The Hidden Paradise is just that: hidden and paradisal!

If you need any of the action of Pokhara, you would be in the wrong spot here.  No hip restaurants, shops, knickknack shops, no bars, no nightlife.  This is away from it all.  Gorgeous views of the mountains in the back and Lake XXX in front of you are what you come here for.  And the sounds!  Not only did the European Coocoo sing his song, but the Indian Cuckoo joined in.  During the first night, I thought for a moment somebody just felt like whistling.  Then, I considered the possibility of somebody playing a practical joke on us, whistling nonstop.  But finally it dawned on me:  this is a bird!  Day and night these guys whistle, and before long their song becomes the song of paradise.

Laxman, and his two younger brothers run a guesthouse, yoga-retreat, AirBnB — whatever you want to call it.  In several phases, they have converted a nice big plot of land that belonged to their family into a place they can rent.  The old family home is on the property as well.  There was one row of rooms for rent, then the luxury roundhouse was built; another row of rooms and kitchen was expanding their space on the main compound with gorgeous views of the lake, and finally, at the periphery, with views of the mountains, a modern two-story square block rose with four more rooms. 

The people who come to live here are worth getting to know, too!  A few people I only saw for a moment or two, but two, I got to know better:  Vladimir from Serbia who lives in Canada, and Ann from Great Britain who lives in Italy.  Meet ET from Germany, who lives in the U.S.  You get the picture.  🙂

The three brothers not only care for and about you, they also sit with their guests by the fireplace at night, chat with you over dinner, book you a flight, and schedule a yoga class or a professional massage should you fancy either one, and if you should happen to have a birthday up on that mountain (as Ann did), you might be in for a treat.   Most of all in my case – they somehow get your luggage up those steep mountain-goat paths.

Legs up, computer out, a cup of tea on the side — and a bit of dust-free photo- and blog-catch up can begin!

2 comments so far

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  1. What a lovely place for a rest! Enjoy!

  2. Wonderful, and you deserve it!