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Tereska gets brave in Pokhara

semi-overcast 23 °C
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Just a quick update as we are short of time. We have enjoyed Pokhara since arriving (the bus journey here was great btw, suspension, a/c and everything!) it is much quieter than Kathmandu and due to its large lake and surrounding mountains is prettier. We have been staying around lakeside which is very touristy but not in a horrid way like Thamel in Kathmandu. People come here for trekking and adventure sports so between the hotels and restaurants are countless adventure tour operators.

Our volunteering stint at the orphanage has been postponed for a couple of weeks as there are already two people there so we will be more useful to them when one of those girls leaves. So we have decided to do what you really should do when in this area and embark on a 12 day trek into the Himalayas through the Annapurna Sanctuary to the base camp of the Annapurna 1 mountain.

In the meantime we have hired mountain bikes and cycled around the lovely lake, done a short trek up to the World Peace Pagoda. We have even been paragliding which Tess suggested we do in a moment of madness, for she who is v afraid of heights and doesnt even like rollercoasters! We have also paid a couple of visits to the orphanage including yesterday for the final day of the Tihar (Diwali) festival. There we joined with the orphanage family for their celebrations and had a feast of sweet treats, it was really great to be part of. Most memorable part of the day was a well-known Nepali Orphopedic surgeon (who is known for giving his time to visit sites of natural disasters including the SE Asian tsunami and Haitian earthquake in recent years) knocking on the door as he was passing by on his way to a nearby tourist point and decided to buy the children bananas for Tihar. When he came in he realised he has previously met Sarada, the lady who runs the orphanage, when they each won a national award for their social work a couple of years ago. So he came in to join the celebrations a while and in that short time arranged with Sarada via her networks to conduct a clinic with the local Dalit (out-caste) community which he had been seeking contacts to arrange and is now happening on Friday – great stuff!
Photos of the day along with paragliding etc have been added.

Well this blog has ended up being a little longer than planned so we’d better get going. We set off on the trek this morning (in around half an hour)and will be out of contact until approx 17th (unless we get back a day earlier which we will try to, or a day later if it's harder than anticipated!). We are taking a guide so we don't get lost, we have a female guide from a company working on women's empowerment, giving training and employment that would not normally be available to them.

Just had our last hot showers... It is fairly comfortable treking in that the route has teahouses (lodges) all along so we will have beds, food and heating stoves, but only cold showers (or warm water buckets if we're lucky). I don't mind a cold shower when it's warm but it's below 0C up there! So we will be fairly smelly when we return - so long for now!

Posted by TessAndRach 18:42 Archived in Nepal

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You sound as if your having a great time, thinking of you often, We are both well and Grandma Ellen is still miserable we need you to make her smile,
still printing the blog's for her.
stay safe look after each other.
miss you G&G

by gran & gramps

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