Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nepal 5: Elephants, Pokhara, Waterfalls, Caves and Pizza

A wishing well at Davis Falls.

Woke up early and had the breakfast buffet. Gobind took us to the elephant breeding center. We read about the elephant breeding and training techniques and got to see a bunch of the elephants outside. 

Creepy foggy bridge that led to the Elephant Breeding Center. I really watched my footing on this for fear of tumbling right into the Rapti River!! 

Elephant mom with her two twin baby elephant boys. Look at the baby elephants tiny little tusks!!
These are the first elephant twins to be born in captivity in Nepal. You could tell that they were joking around like brothers, you know in an elephant 2 year old kind of way.

Elephants at the breeding center. It's early in the morning and still foggy. Most of the elephants were just chillin eating their breakfast. 

The center used to have one male elephant that would father the elephant babies. Now they have a random wild elephant stud come into the center during mating time because apparently that works much better.

We headed back to the hotel and packed up quick. We took the truck to the bus station and hopped on our bus. The luggage was being kept on top of the bus. Due to my Lonely Planet book and some other literature, I just wasn't fully confident in their bag tying skills so I decided to keep mine with me in my seat. 

The bus we rode to Pokhara. Check out that Nike swoosh and the namaste hands on the front.

This bus was full of people, probably about 30 different travelers all headed to Pokhara. There was this one little boy that basically ran the entire operation of the bus. In every town or city street he would hop out and yell, "Pokhara!! Pokhara!! Pokhara!!" to see if anyone needed a spot on the bus. In the packed streets of the city the boy would hop out and guide the bus driver by hitting on the sides of the bus. There must have been some really good coded bus driving language going on here because we never hit any people or cars. When the kid did recruit new passengers he was the one that handled the money, bags and seat assignments. He couldn't have been more than 11 years old. This kid was impressive.

The 11 year old bus master. I'm telling you, this kid was running the show.

We stopped at one point for lunch. Steve and I just got some snacks and hung out on the porch of the restaurant. This little girl and her younger brother, ages probably about 5 and 3 were interacting with all the people from the bus. Clearly they were used to these travelers coming through their families restaurant and they knew how to get good stuff from them. The little 3 year old boy even tried to steal Steve's Snickers bar that he had just bought. So funny!! 

The little girl and boy from the restaurant stop. So freaking adorable.

In the city I had bought a bag of oranges so I gave each of them and orange. The little boy immediately started peeling his and eventually managed to get orange juice all over his face, hands and shirt but he was happy. The little girl ran off with her orange and came back empty handed. She didn't speak english so I kind of gestured and made a face asking where her orange went. She grabbed my hand and brought me to a little room towards the back of the building. She motioned to look inside and sure enough, there was a slice of the orange....in the hands of a monkey!! She had brought the orange back to the room to share it with her pet monkey!! She peeled another piece and coaxed the monkey to take it. He was a feisty little guy, hopping all over the place despite the leash tied to his foot but he was thrilled for the orange slices.
The little girl giving her pet monkey a slice of the orange.

Back on the bus and on our way. The rest of the bus ride was a super bumpy near death experience as usual but the scenery was awesome. 

In Pokhara we got off at the bus station and really had no idea where we needed to go. Again there were taxi drivers everywhere trying to convince different bus passengers that they knew the best hotel in Pokhara. We looked around for a while for someone with the name of our planned hotel. When we had almost lost hope we saw a guy towards the back holding a little piece of ripped paper that said Stephen Rugg. I mean really!? What is it with the random little papers with Steve's name on them? It's lucky that we ever find these guys anyways because their writing is so small haha

The taxi took us to a road that was in the process of being blocked off. He explained that  we would have to walk the rest of the way becuase the street was being closed for the New Years festival. We were fine with that so we grabbed our bags, paid the taxi driver and started hiking down the road. The street was bustling with all sorts of activities but no cars or motorcycles. There were shops along one side and booths and carnival games along the other. 

The Grand Holiday hotel sign and building.

Got to our hotel, The Hotel Grand Holiday. The room was nice and the location was great. We met our guide, Nim. He is going to be our trekking guide for the next three days. He was a really nice man and knew English really well. We weren't supposed to leave for trekking until the next morning so we discussed some options for activities to do that night. 

I had read about Davis Falls in the Lonely Planet guide book and asked Nim the best way to get there. He said he would come along to show us. We caught a cab and rode up a mountain to Davis Falls. The water fall was pretty crowded because there were a bunch of school groups there but it was still really neat to see.

An over view shot of the outside part of Davis Falls.

 The legend of the waterfall's name is somewhat of a grey area. The posted historical background reads exactly as follows:
"On the 31st July 1961 A.D. at afternoon sudden flood from phewa lake swept away a swiss citizen Mrs. DAVIS having bath with her husband beside the fall. Finally she was dead, her body has been recovered after a long time. Since that time the fall has been taken it's new names as DAVIS FALLS."
I know, loving that english grammar haha. No matter what the legend, the water fall was awesome. 

Me and Steve at Davis Falls. Nim was so worried that we were going to fall off the rocks during this picture. I don't think he understood A.We aren't huge klutzes and 
B.we had new trekking shoes with epic rock gripping abilities.

Turns out it's not only an awesome water fall thing at that site but also a cave that you can explore. The cave was so humid and spooky and crowded but totally worth the hike down the slippery stairs. There was this temple thing half way down the cave path. I would have photographed it but there were strict rules against it because it is a religious sight.
Nim explained that when the people were digging out the cave they found this temple statue thing so now it is a Hindu holy place. There were gifts and flowers surrounding the statue and in order to get closer to it you had to remove your shoes.

The dark, spooky, humid cave underneath Davis Falls.

Our first good glimpse of some snow capped mountains when 
Nim took us for a walk around the cave area.

On the way back to Lakeside (where our hotel is located) we picked up some cold medicine for Steve. It was really cheap and apparently he said it worked perfectly. We made plans to meet Nim tomorrow to go see the World Peace Pagota early in the morning and then head out to start our trekking through the Anapurna mountains. Nim left. Steve went to watch some intense ping pongers. I went to look at the shops.

Remember the disasterous story earlier in my Nepal posts about how Steve and I had matching jackets? Fixed that problem because on the ride into Pokhara I saw and AWESOME jacket and just decided I needed to get it. Matching jacket or not I would still have bought this thing. It was a bright orange Northface winter jacket gortex outter shell thing. I bargained with the lady and got it down to about 20 bucks. I was pumped.

Steve wanted to try this pizza place for dinner. After a few minutes of convincing I decided pizza would be fine. Turned out to be a great restaurant. The pizza was great and we sat right on the porch so we could see all the events going on in the street. It made for some quality people watching.

Steve super siked about having pizza for dinner!!

Packed up for tomorrow's trekking adventure. We had two bags the hotel would be storing for us during our trip. Everything we needed for trekking we fit into our new hiking backpacks. So pumped for trekking!! It's gonna be an early morning tomorrow!!


  1. I love the picture of the girl giving her monkey the orange! Sooo cute!


  2. Thanks for sharing this with us. I've quiet enjoyed the experience of reading your blog so far. Maybe some cliff notes at the bottom would be a useful addition to summarize the lessons...regardless i will be checking back here so keep up the delightful work,your readers appreciate it...

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