RRB in Nepal | Hiking in Pokhara


pokhara, nepal, hiking, pumdi kot view tower, lake fewa, himalayas, annapurna range, fishtail mountainSo I didn’t really understand the difference between “hiking” and “trekking” prior to our recent trip to Nepal. When I would tell people we were planning to take our first RRB in Nepal, they would always ask one of two questions, sometimes both: “Are you going trekking?” And “Are you going paragliding?” My replies were, respectively, “Yes” and “Maybe.” In reality? No and no.himalayas, annapurna range, pokhara, nepalIt’s not that I’m opposed to either activity. I’m just not a very experienced hiker or backpacker/camper, period, and had neither planned nor trained enough to go trekking, which is basically prolonged hiking broken up by overnight stays in lodges/hostels.pokhara, nepal, hiking, pumdi kot view tower, himalayas, annapurna range, fishtail mountainAnd paragliding? OK, I’m somewhat opposed to doing that. In theory it seems cool and I was tempted by the possibilities of getting great photo and video using my GoPro. But then I remembered that I’m kind of afraid of heights and that ziplining in Costa Rica was enough of a thrill for me.pokhara, nepal, hiking, pumdi kot view tower, lake fewa, himalayas, annapurna range, fishtail mountainSo we decided to go it on foot, for a couple hours at a time maximum, and sleep each night in our very nice hotel, which I will write about separately. While we might have covered more ground on a trek and seen better views paragliding high in the air, we still hiked enough to break a sweat, get sunburned and, most importantly, reach some vistas that took our breath away. For me, that’s good enough.pokhara, nepal, hiking, world peace pagodaOur first full day in Pokhara, we went on our longest hike, which was just over four and a half hours and took us up to about 1,500 meters above sea level and back down to 740 meters above sea level. We followed a rough itinerary and equally roughly hand-sketched map prepared by our hotel’s travel desk, beginning at the trailhead in Khade Khola and hiking up a steep hill of rice paddies past the village of Phumdi Bhumdi, whereupon we had to stop and ask directions of many villagers who confused us even more:

Kail: Excuse me, which way to the World Peace Pagoda?Villager [stares blankly]: …Kail [shows map]: Is Phumdi Bhumdi that way?Villager [points in one direction]: Phumdi? [points in other direction] Bhumdi?Kail [points at map]: Phumdi Bhumdi?Villager [nods]: Phumdi Bhumdi.Kail [points in one direction]: This way?Villager [nods]: Phumdi.Kail: Phumdi Bhumdi?Villager [nods]: Bhumdi.

Still confused and possibly lost, we continued in what we thought was the right direction. We had just stopped a third time to ask for directions when we rounded a curve in the trail and saw the World Peace Pagoda in the distance.pokhara, nepal, hiking, world peace pagodaWe took a slight detour to climb the Pumdi Kot View Tower (1,500 meters above sea level), from which you can see breathtaking, 360-degree views of the Annapurna range, Lake Fewa, the World Peace Pagoda and the valleys of Pokhara. This first hike, we arrived close to midday so the clouds had already blown in to obscure the mountain views. We returned a couple days later on a shortened version of this hike (about three hours), earlier in the morning, and were able see some gorgeous views of the Himalayas.pokhara, nepal, hiking, pumdi kot view tower, lake fewa, himalayas, annapurna range, fishtail mountainOh, and we also got sort of lost heading up the hill to the view tower, choosing one direction where the path diverged, only to backtrack about 20 minutes later and restart the steep climb in the opposite direction. It was worth it — and we knew the correct way to go the second time around!pokhara, nepal, hiking, pumdi kot view towerEventually we made it to the World Peace Pagoda, and hiked up another steep set of stairs to see the stupa up close. At this point it was just about the hottest time of day, when the sun is at its brightest, and both Kail and I — having neglected to properly protect ourselves against the sun — were, unbeknownst to us at the time, pretty sunburned.pokhara, nepal, hiking, world peace pagodaThe last stop on this hike, according to our map, was supposed to be Devi’s Fall, a small waterfall about a one-hour downhill hike from the stupa. We made it down a very tortuous and steep hill almost to Devi’s Fall but decided to call it quits and take a cab back to our hotel because of aforementioned heat/sun/sunburn and thirst/hunger (remember when I said I didn’t plan well for a trek? Well I didn’t plan that well for a hike either!). We did return to Devi’s Fall two days later, though, after our second visit to the Pumdi Kot View Tower.pokhara, nepal, hiking, devi's fallEven though we didn’t go trekking or make it to Base Camp, we did enjoy a couple nice hikes of moderate difficulty (for us, at least!) that afforded beautiful views of Pokhara and the Himalayan Mountains. And I learned a few things to make our next hike go a little more smoothly: Most importantly, map out your route in advance and wear sunscreen!Are you a hiker? Have you ever been trekking?See more photos from Pokhara.

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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