Well, we completed our trek, it took us 14 days in total. As most of you know we were incredibly blessed to have gotten through the mountains before the blizzard and avalanches hit. The tea houses varied quite a bit, all of them simple accommodations, but some were still quite comfortable and had hot gas showers (a hot solar shower is just a lie. Never believe it!). Some of them were very new and quaint, with sweet families that welcomed us. Others were…. Uncomfortable to say the least… let’s just say some of the bathrooms made me prefer to use the woods trail-side instead of going into the bathroom. ICK!
So after our little three day extra bit of hiking, we returned to Pokhara. Its funny to say but it felt like going home! We actually knew the town we were going to, we knew we were going to stay at Banyan Tree and that they had hot showers and a nice balcony, we knew where our favorite restaurants were. We were excited to get there! It was so relaxing when we arrived.
We had been running low on money for the last three days, so had to limit what we ate and drank… we got into Pokhara, got to the ATM, and got a big lunch at Silk Road, which has safe salads (I am craving fresh veggies constantly here… it’s hard to get them regularly because only a few places wash them in iodine water).
We started working on what we were doing next, but first a little relaxation! Rick had found a spa in Pokhara. We checked our budget and we had been saving money, so time for a treat!! A spa day!! It was awesome and cheap. We ordered a full day spa for the next day. Which turned out to be perfect timing because it started raining that night and the rain continued non-stop the entire next day and night – it was the remnants of Cyclone Hudhud, which then moved into the Annapurna area and caused the massive snowfall, blizzards and avalanches that caused the disaster.
The spa was so cool because everything was done by hand. I was taken to this little clay hut, where the ladies brought water they had boiled from the house to wash my feet. Then my spa day started with a full body scrub – it was intense! I think it was walnut shells. I probably needed it after hiking for two weeks with limited showers. Then I got hot oil hair treatment. And then we got a full body massage – wow, it was the best massage ever! They call it the “Trekkers Deep Tissue Massage” and they were not messing around (Rick and I still have slight bruising on our calves from it, but without it we would probably still be hobbling around, we were so sore from the crazy hiking). I then got a facial, spa lunch and a pedicure and manicure (those are not their specialities. They were so sweet, attentive and tried really hard, but I’m pretty sure they learned the techniques from YouTube and didn’t really get the purpose of the actions they were doing. Like the cuticle cream… just went on my nail… and then they used the cuticle tool to just scrape over my nail… same actions as a normal manicure, just in the wrong place. It was pretty amusing.)
I felt so relaxed and clean after the spa, it was wonderful!
And that night we went to dinner at a new restaurant – it was a Turkish restaurant. We were a bit confused by the menu (since it was in partial Turkish, partial Nepali, partial Chinese and a smidge of English). The owner/chef came out and talked with us. He was so proud of his restaurant and told us all about his garden, and well water, and where the meat came from and how he had learned to cook from his grandmother, and the history of the restaurant. He told us that he would prepare a special tasting for us! We got a chicken gyro platter, and Alexander the Great kebab platter, and these little garlic breads with a dipping sauce. Everything was SO good!
Rick and I were so excited – after eating Dal Bhat (rice, lentil soup, and curried veggies) for almost every dinner for two weeks, we were ready for something different. Dal Bhat is the traditional dinner of Nepalis and it’s the main thing served on the trek at tea houses (the saying goes “Dal Bhat power. 24 hour!”). Even when you get something else, it’s basically same flavor different form. Momo – same spices, just in a dumpling. Noodles – same veggies, same flavors, just on noodles not rice. Omlette – yep, same spice, same veggies just on eggs. Macaroni – same, same, different noodle shape. Soup – you guessed it, same veggies, same spices, just more liquid.
We hadn’t even realized we were so tired of it, until the Turkish food. And it tasted so different and SOOO good! I definitely took for granted the variety of food flavors I was able to get in the US… either at restaurants or when I cooked. Asian one night, Italian another, Mexican another… or even just different spices.
So we thoroughly enjoyed our little break in sweet Pokhara — comfy place to stay, hot showers, spa day and yummy food! We’re happy campers!