I have just returned from Phokara which is a beautiful area with lakes and fantastic views of the Annapurna mountain ranges. We went boating and hiking and saw some traditional Nepalese folk dancing while having dinner. The shopkeepers and people on the street are very friendly here. Everywhere I went people waved hi to me.
I did not get a good look at Everest. I think there may be a view of the ranges surrounding Everest when we were flying in on the airplane, but I slept most of the flight so I wouldn’t know 🙂 There are many people who go trekking from Phokara and the trek to the Everest Base Camp which is about 5k meters does not even give a view of the mountain. I have heard that the Annapurna ranges are fantastic treks and do intend on returning to Nepal to do those one day, God willing.
There was quite a bit of haze in the air, however, I did see the Machhapuchhre or “Fish Tail” mountain. I also hiked with my group up to the Peace Stupa which is a Buddhist temple on the top of a mountain overlooking the lake and small town below.
It has been a blessing being able to speak Hindi. The language barriers and tourist prices are immediately broken once Hindi is used. Many people are shocked and ask where I am from because I don’t look desi from my appearance. Its been fun bargaining and interacting with the people here. I bought a few things which I will wear once I come back. I brought a star lamp for Myra, and got a few kurtas for myself. I still have some money left over so I might buy something for my professors once I get back to Kathmandu.