Decompressing in Pokhora

Pokhora, Nepal
April 6, 2014

Namaste Everyone:

The last few days have been a whirlpool of activity, including receptions, dinners, meetings, briefings at the Ministry and hours of working with my electronics. I’m a bit exhausted. The noise, pollution, traffic and hoards of people and machinery competing for space in Kathmandu add to the stress.

I have found that a big part of the formula for success in high altitude mountaineering is arriving at the mountain with good motives, a pure heart, calmness, serenity and peace of mind. I believe my destiny is foreordained, so why not enjoy the journey?

To that end, I decided to travel outside the big City to relax, recuperate and reset my internal compass.  My land rover does not leave for Tibet until April 10, so I have a couple of free days. I had heard Pokhora is a great resort destination near KTM, so I booked a flight. Asian Trekking recommended a hotel in Pokhora, describing it as a resort hotel on the lake just one block from restaurant row. So, I booked 3 nights from April 6-8, returning to KTM on April 9.

The flight left this morning at 9:30 and arrived in Pokhora at 10:15. As I looked out the window on landing, I could see Pokhora is just as polluted as KTM. But, that’s okay, I’m not a picky traveler, and at least I will have a view of the lake from my terrace. In another few days, I will be living in a tent in sub-zero temperatures, so how bad can this be?  

We arrived at the destination hotel which was (too) near the airport. How shall I describe this hotel? Well, it makes Hotel 6 look like the Taj Mahal. The tiny lobby was teeming with sweaty, noisy people. The rooms were like jail cells, and there was no lake in sight. In fact, there were no views in sight. The hotel was surrounded by large buildings and had no gardens or courtyards. The swimming pool was the size of an average wading pool in Newport Beach.  A generator across the street groaned like it was about to explode. I asked about the lake and was met with a blank stare. Then, I was told the lake is 15-minutes away and main street with the restaurants is 20-minutes-away. 

So much for reducing my stress level with this trip. I immediately suspended the booking process and called Asian Trekking. What were you thinking?  They re-booked me at the Landmark Hotel, which is a couple of blocks from the lake and right on the main street with the restaurants. Through the haze, I can see the edge of the lake from my room through the telephone wires that stretch across the street. The main street does look nice and there are lots of restaurants. Tonight, I think I’ll eat at the “Be Happy” restaurant to get myself into the right right frame of mind (I’m not making up that name). 

My room is pretty nice. It has a tiny balcony which is large enough for a single chair as long as it is placed sideways and you don’t stretch your legs. I’m writing this report from the restaurant on the second floor. See photo below. With the shirt I am wearing in the photo, I am constantly greeted as “Hi Gus,” an insider joke for those who watched Breaking Bad.

Tonight, I’ll start meditation, yoga and chanting. Be so glad you are not sharing my room.

Bill

april 6


Comments

18 thoughts on “Decompressing in Pokhora

  1. “I have found that a big part of the formula for success in high altitude mountaineering is arriving at the mountain with good motives, a pure heart, calmness, serenity and peace of mind.”

    That sounds like sage advice at ANY altitude… 😉

    This armchair adventurer looks forward to future dispatches regarding your Journey!

    Good luck to you, Sir…

  2. I am afraid I have to admit I got a chuckle at your expense. What were they thinking to recommend that first place?!! I do hope you find and enjoy a quiet place on the lake. Cheers!

  3. Bill, So many people ask why I don’t go with you one time. This is why….
    Beautiful day here in Costa Mesa. The weather has warmed today and the roses are blooming and the birds singing. We all miss you. Be safe. Love, Sharon

  4. Bill…I love following you on your trips which are so inspiring! Your adventures make a difference in so many peoples lives, more than you will ever know. I am honored to have had a chance to know you. Good thing we didn’t go down the path that John set for us way back in the NV Homes days as you would now be wealthy beyond belief in money but perhaps not as blessed as you are in Spirit! And you would have too busy to begin your mountain climbing!! Anyway, God Bless You and your family and I’ll read with great interest and participate through you on your climb. I hope we can get together and see all the wonderful photos and videos when you return!

  5. BILL:
    You look great and I pray that you have a good time there in Pokhara, Tibet. And I pray again that you get into the right frame of mind for the climb. And I pray a third time that you have a safe and successful journey to the top. Looking at your photo there, you look remarkably well and I know that your climb will be successful. I can see there in your eyes.

    Have fun and give all us lots of information on your trip, Emmett

  6. Greetings Bill, glad you are getting out of the vortex and into the calm. Your mountaineering philosophy is exemplary: If the mind is strong and the heart is pure, you are free.

    Blessings,

    Rockman

  7. like marv levy said…where would you rather be than right here right now…

    if you know what I mean !!!

    thank you for the smiles and sharing your adventure…ED

  8. I love this part-

    “I have found that a big part of the formula for success in high altitude mountaineering is arriving at the mountain with good motives, a pure heart, calmness, serenity and peace of mind. I believe my destiny is foreordained, so why not enjoy the journey?”

  9. Once you’re on the MOUNTAIN…you’ll be singing “I can see clearly”…and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear “Amazing Grace”…..I am thoroughly enjoying your adventures….thanks.

  10. LOL!!! One of these days, you’ll look back on your little side trip to the No-Tell Motel in Pokhara with fondness–at the very least it makes for a good story. I remember being in Pokhara many years ago, and I enjoyed it. I think I was closer to the center of town, though, and hopefully you’ll enjoy your new digs a little more than the original hotel.

  11. Dear Bill:

    First; I say AMEN to Wilberfan’s words.

    Your thoughts are awe inspiring; your writing is impeccable, and your pure heart will take you to the top: of whatever you undertake.

    My hopes and prayers are with you all the way. Go get ’em Bill!

    Lori Hoskins

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