We didn’t plan much for our world trip, but one of the things we knew, is that we were spending a month in Pokhara in March. Why? Mostly because I needed to be available for one of my business customers. A month in Pokhara gave us plenty of time to explore all the sights and get some serious work done while we’re at it. And we didn’t know it, when we booked, but we would be in Pokhara during one of the biggest Hindu festivals. Here’s how they celebrate Holi in Nepal.
Valerie and Govinda left Nepal, as you may have read in the previous travel diary. We were still staying in hotel Dandelion, where we stayed our entire time in Pokhara. We settled on a new date for the trekking we originally planned and we started our trek on March 30, and we were soooo excited about getting back into the mountains!
But first: work! This month was all about working, and as the one downside of the Dandelion hotel was that their wifi wasn’t working sometimes, we had to resort to Pokhara’s restaurants. As it turns out, some of them actually have decent wifi! And you can sit in a restaurant for hours and hours without ordering much more than a coffee if you would like. Waiters don’t bother you anymore once you’ve ordered. So much for digital nomads not being able to work from Nepal!
Looking for the best places to eat (and work) in Pokhara? Check out this blog with our favorite restaurants in the city.
In the weekends, we didn’t work and planned activities in and around Pokhara. We especially liked driving around on a scooter and exploring the more traditional villages around the city and exploring local markets in the old, non-touristy part of Pokhara.
Celebrating Holi in Nepal
It was pure coincidence that the Holi festival was being celebrated while we were in Pokhara. If you ever have the opportunity to experience Holi in Nepal, we can highly recommend it! In case you don’t know Holi, it’s a yearly celebration among Hindoes (we’re still not sure what they’re celebrating, even after asking multiple locals…). They throw colored powder around (and happily rub it in your face) and water, so at the end of the day, everybody is covered in powder and water.
We especially liked it in the morning, when the tourists were still sleeping and there were mostly children on the streets. For them, it’s great fun to be able to splash water on everybody without somebody getting angry at them. And they will get a hand full of colored powder and put it all over your face (be sure to keep your mouth shut!) while shouting: “Happy Holi”. In the afternoon, there’s a lot of music and dancing, just on the streets. Unfortunately, there’re also a lot of tourists acting like it’s their festival, roughly rubbing the powder in everybody’s faces and drinking a lot. We barely saw any locals drinking on the streets (it’s not allowed).
Getting ready for trekking
As we’re used to working out a lot back home, we feel quite weak after almost two months of not exercising. That’s why we started training at a local gym in Pokhara called VYAYAMSHALA Gym. Hoping this would get us a little back in shape before our trekking! We had a tough time, to say the least… But we were happy with our efforts when we started hiking a week later.
We met up with our guide Susis two nights before departure and he talked us thru our route. By Mountain People created a one of a kind itinerary for us. We would do an off the beaten track trekking for most of the days; going from Mohare Danda to Khopra Danda and back down to Tadapani. We would end our trek in Ghandruk, one of the biggest villages in the Nepali mountains. We will do a more in-depth blog on this trekking, as it is amazing and if you’re lucky you’ll have some awesome views of the Annapurna range.
It’s almost time to leave Pokhara! It’s about time after almost two months in this city. But it’s a place we came to love and that we will hopefully get back to one day. But we’re not leaving Nepal just yet! Check our next destinations in Nepal in our next travel diary.
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