From the beginning
We planned to visit Daman and then Kathmandu; they were both nearby and it was a three day trip including the travel. Situated in the height of 2, 322 meter about the sea-level, Daman was supposed to be an adventure drive for us and as for Kathmandu; it was always one of my favorite places to visit. The serenity, the hills surrounding the valley and the mad crowd- yes Kathmandu was somehow a balance between the urban and a country side. I was in awe of the natural beauty every time our plane landed or every drive to the valley. I remember every tiny detail to this moment; I remember how much proud I used to be when we took a vacation to my homeland India.
I pack my backpack for the trip and oh yes, I was an efficient backpacker since I was a kid. It is the same even now. So, we start our drive towards Daman early in the morning. There was fog but the visibility was okay. Me and my younger brother slept in the backseat of the car (Do not judge me, I am a fifth grader in the story and I woke up around five in the morning so I can sleep in the car for as long as I want). By the time I woke up from my pretty valuable sleep, we were in the best part of the journey. Hills were on either side of the road and then sometimes river on one side of the road. We halted to see the view several times; it seemed as real as a fairy land. The exquisite hills surrounding us, the motley of birds chirping and the waterfall, the river water flowing to meet its end and the sand on the river bank shining with the reflection of the sun- what could be more enticing?
The road to Daman was narrow and foggy. When we reached the destination we found nothing but camping sites. There was no hotel in the small town. My dad called a quick family meeting and told us that he was not going to let us stay in the camps in that cold. What did we do? We changed the plan! We roamed around the place for some time and moved off to Kathmandu which was on our list. Anyway, we enjoyed the drive down the hill. The snowy mountains were splendidly standing high among the clear blue sky.
So, we were heading to the valley of Kathmandu and the journey till now was insignificant and I felt like there was some adventure ahead of me. There was…indeed.
Kathmandu has many nice and affordable places to stay so we did not book any hotel. We went to the same old place near Thamel to check-in but the hotel was temporarily closed some reasons. How can that be possible? That’s exactly what I would have thought if the trip were now but I sat patiently in the backseat of the car while my dad must have done the talking.
We drive to another hotel and they have similar issues and then we come across a guest house were we got a room. Clean and tidy as I would always want and it had nice windows with a good view of hills. Now, we were there by the evening because we had plans to drop-by at Manokamna Temple. It’s a famous Hindu temple and has Nepal’s first cable car service. As kids, we would only like that place because of the cable car and sadly the service was shut down because of the festive season (3-4 days). The temple had a long walking route but we chose to stay away from walking because the plan was to ‘drive’. But we did stay at a riverside resort for lunch.
After a quick freshen up we had our dinner at the guest house. We were tired in the long journey which took longer time.
Next morning we checked out of the guest house with an assumption that we’d get a better place to stay. No doubt it was good but we were looking for a place near Thamel (it is the heart of Kathmandu). We went in search of food and saw almost everything shut down. It was the time of the day when people come out and everything is open but it was not. We got no food, at any joint. No bakeries or cafes or restaurants or dhabas which were in the proximity. We finally came across sweet shop where one samosa and kachoris were left after which we had a small family meeting in the car.
Since we could not find any place to stay and almost everything was shut down (Later we got to know that it was because of the festival of Bhaiya Dooj which is more popular among the Nepalis, it falls after Deepawali). With no option left, we decided to go to Pokhara. It is North-West of Birgunj (the place we started our journey, it was home for a few years).
I yelled ‘YES’ the moment dad put forward his plan. Pokhara was another place of my interest. I was thrilled with the idea of a flawless family time that we were having. We were already packed and moving around with our luggage so we took the road to Pokhara. This time we called to book the hotel that we stayed in last time. I was still chirpy because of the plan, the hotel we were going to stay in was the lake side hotel and one could get lost in the view so serene. Also, there was this café (years later when I saw our photographs I realized that it was a bar) in front of our hotel and it made one of the best cold coffees!
All the excitement was blown away within seconds of reaching the hotel. It was quite. I could not see people as I did in my last visit and it was because of the festive season.
We checked-into the hotel and then went across the street to the lake. Lake Fewa had a temple in the middle (there were a lot of big fat fishes in around that part of the lake). We hired a boat to move around the lake and an strong old lady was rowing the boat with four of us in it.
We had one last thing left to do- watch sunrise. The next morning, with my hopes high again, we went off to the sunrise point. There, we could see the Fishtail Mountain (Machhapuchre), the Everest (locally known as Sagarmatha) and most of the Annapurna range.
We got back to our hotel and packed our luggage to go home. There was nothing left to do or see at that point of time, not even any other nearby city. :p
Three days of moving here and there, three days of exploring and thousands of memories. The ‘Triangle’ Trip (the three locations form a triangle) gave me an article to write. It is one of the most memorable trips of my life. It made me realize that I am made to travel and then write about it.