April 7, 2014
Namaste Family & Friends:
I really love Pokhora.
I had a nice dinner last night at the Moondance restaurant. Angel hair pasta cooked in a nice pesto sauce. After dinner, I walked the main thoroughfare and returned to my room around 10pm. I decided to take a shower and go to bed. That’s when I learned it takes about 30 minutes for the hot water to arrive. So, I guess cold showers are in my future.
In the morning, I woke at the usual time-6 am-and walked the main street again. No one was stirring but me. Then, I enjoyed a good buffet breakfast at the hotel and began to plan my day. I had heard paragliding is popular in Pokhora, so I signed up. I donned my best aviator glasses, so as to look official, and headed up the mountain road with great hope that I could take a quick lesson and fly on my own. I even considered paragliding over Chomolumna, checking that off the list, and heading home early. It was not to be. Sadly, the paragliding operator lacked the courage of my convictions, and my request was denied. Something about not wanting to risk the expensive flying gear to indulge the whim of an elderly and unstable American. So, I had to fly with a delightful young pilot named Pokree.
We ran off the edge of a cliff, with me in a seat in the front and Pokree behind me operating the mainsail. The whole flight was captured in video and photos with a GoPro camera attached to the end of a pole which I held in my hand. The flight descends down the mountain about 2,600 feet. It was great fun with spectacular views of the mountain, villages and lake below. We soared like an eagle–well in my case more like a gorak–and soft-landed near the lake. I loved the whole adventure.
Tonight, I plan to have dinner at the “Once Upon A Time” restaurant. That sounds like a good beginning for a novel. Maybe, I’ll adopt it if I write a book. Tomorrow, I have another adventure planned, but I’ll keep that secret to avoid stressing my family.
I have to share one experience as we drove up the mountain to the launch point. The van was full of locals of all ages, and the driver picked up folks along the way to help them reach their particular destination. The Nepalese music was cranked up to full volume, and everyone was laughing, singing, talking and enjoying themselves. This reminded me of something I have learned from my travels around the world, especially my travels in third-world countries. Even the most poor and destitute of our fellow travelers on planet earth can find happiness from the most simple things, no matter their circumstance in life. No amount of fame, fortune or wealth can buy that happiness and contentment.
Okay, so I’m stepping down of my soapbox and heading to Once Upon A Time.