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Ascent to Pokhara-End of "Annapurna Circuit" on 1999-09-29

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:Raj and a number of other trekkers.
Date:Wednesday, September 29, 1999
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
Place:Pokhara-End of "Annapurna Circuit"
    Elevation:850 m / 2789 ft

Ascent Trip Report

DAY # 17 (SEPT 29) .... GALESHOR(870M) TO BENI/BAGLUND/POKHARA(850M) ... 1(82.5) hrs, 4(159)km.

"Dhan-yabad .... thank you."

LAST DAY OF TREKKING
We were rewarded on our final day with a sunnny/hot/humid day and rain in the evening. It was a short 1 hour trek to Beni for our last day, on a unfinished road being extended to Galeshor from Beni.
The bus station is across the Kali Gandaki River on the eastside. There is no direct bus to Pokhara, we will have to change at Dhimua.

As usual these buses are always overcrowded as was the case today. Raj had a seat for me inside the bus, however I wanted to ride on the roof with the locals, experience Nepal's way of life. The bus left at 9h00 hours. The real rough gravel/mud road went thru recent landslides as a result of the rains (in process of being cleared), river bottoms and washed out sections .... a real scarry ride, hard on the ass, had to hang-on-tight at all times, at places I thought the bus would tip over /roll down the mountain .... great experience. At Baglund it was the start of a good asphalted road, all the way to to Pokhara.
After 2 1/2 hours we arrived at Dhimua, a rest stop and bus change, finally pulled into Pokhara at 14h30 hours. We taxied to the Hotel.

Raj went to Hotel Yeti, in the Lakeside area of Pokhara, a nice clean place with a western toilet and electricity (the whole of Pokhara seems to be electrified). Raj is either related or good friends with the owners, because he did everything and knew the Hotel ...... set the prices (I paid 5 USD/day), checked us in, showed us the rooms/bathroom/dining room, etc. He got most of the trekkers on the bus to come here (6 of them). I called Rose to tell her of my arrival at Pokhara.
Few of us decided to take the porters out for dinner. For some unknown reason we ended at the fancy westernized restaurant with a floor show ..... a typical tourist trap, with ridiculous prices, not at all to my liking, I prefer local culture and not because of price. In my opinion these types of places, and I've seen a few elsewhere, don't belong when surrounded by poverty, the discrepancy is too great, these places pollute the culture ..... as a example, the porters always used their right hand when eating, however tonight they used forks ???? why ?????
We watched a folkloric floor show, everyone had a good time, I was the first to leave, I walked back to the Hotel and went straight to bed.
My trekking trip all over. I will play tourist/hike locally in Pokhara for 5 days before bussing back to Kathmandu on October 5th.

EPILOUGE
I paid for a 19 day trip but the actual trip was 17 days, my intention was to discuss this with the office when I got back. The next morning (sept30) I had a long chat with Raj, telling him that I intended to sit down with his office and inform them of the things I didn't like on this trip, including his drinking, the times he left me alone, and the fact that I paid for 19 days. He didn't like this at all , he would loose his job, wanted to pay for my next 2 days expenses. I felt sorry for Raj, he is a nice guy and I didn't want to cause him problems so I agreed, however I told him that he didn't have to pay for my expenses but he wouldn't get a tip from me. I hope that Raj gets his act together.
I went to the Italian restaurant "Caffe Concerto" a number of times and visited Monica and Basanta, her dad Giuseppe had left for home.

"THE EXPERIENCED MOUNTAIN CLIMBER IS NOT INTIMITATED BY THE MOUNTAIN ...... HE IS INSPIRED BY IT."
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:60 m / 200 ft
    Elevation Loss:60 m / 200 ft
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Raining, Hot, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:60 m / 200 ft
    Extra Loss:60 m / 200 ft
    Distance:4 km / 2.5 mi
    Route:hike/bus to "end annapurna circuit" at pokhara
    Trailhead:galeshor  850 m / 2789 ft
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:0 m / 0 ft
    Trailhead:hotel yeti, pokhara  850 m / 2789 ft



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