My, (Toby), final full day in Pokhara started with an early 6am wake up as my body is still on trekking mode. Luckily I managed the effort of lying there for a couple of hours until it was acceptable to drag myself down to the cafe for breakfast.
Pokhara was evidently wishing us well with a nice clear warm day – perfect for fishing! Now I’ve never attempted to fish past standing by a rock pool at the beach with my 99p net, but luckily Joe knows what he’s doing, so with two rods, a battered old rowing boat and most importantly a couple of beers we set off onto Fewa lake.
A few glorious hours was then spent basking in the sun as the currents slowly drifted us across the lake. We tirelessly bated our hooks sending them off in all directions, risking life and limb (or just falling in) when precariously standing in the little wobbly boat to cast our lines. Despite our best efforts the crafty fish evaded us leaving us with no option but to buy our dinner that evening.
Still real man status was definitely achieved, with a boat, beer and the attempts at ensnaring other living creatures obviously being the definition of manliness. The afternoon was accompanied with cool beer though despite the heat thanks to some ingenuity, with the plastic bag of beer submerged in the lake by the chain used to shore the boat. All in all a lovely way to chill before venturing on to Kathmandu.
As I returned back to base, I logged onto the train booking website, the Indian Train Reservation Company (ITRC), to book our tickets once back in India. We were feeling fairly happy with ourselves, sorting our route over a week in advance to make sure we got these important tickets. My dismay was profound then when I was greeted with a multitude of red crosses and the notification that every single train in every class was full.
Further searches weren’t looking promising and it was becoming all to much for my little tablet so a dash down to the internet cafe was necessary. An hour and a half of stress, tabbing and painfully slow internet and we had managed to sort our trains all the way down to Mumbai – 2500km of journeys and over 100 hours! We had to make a couple of modifications to our route and have a few tickets where we won’t know our seat until we board the train, but it is sorted and we can get down to South India in relative comfort (albeit with a few arrivals in cities at 4am) all for less than the cost of my train ticket from York to Reading when I started this journey all those months ago.
We are now on our way to Kathmandu on a very bumpy bus, a place my dad called a very cool hippy place with a great vibe. Unfortunately that was when he visited in ’87 and from what we’ve heard from travellers we have met in Pokhara, it is now a big city that is more of a get in, see the sights, get out kind of place. We shall see!