March 3 - Pokhara
Our first plan for that day was hiking upSarangkot and trying to get a better glance at the mountain range than the day before. When our alarm clock rang at 7:30 a.m. Christoph looked out of the window and it was already misty:-( Thus we decided to stay in bed and sleep a little bit longer:-). Christoph got up at 8 a.m., I at 8:30 a.m. and we had breakfast on the balcony again til 10:30 a.m.
Our hiking companyWhen I searched the internet in Germany for some information about hiking in Nepal I found the 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking and liked their idea "Empowering women of Nepal" and "trekking with female guides" a lot:
Shortly before our departure I had written them an email and asked if they had time for the trek that Christoph and I had chosen. They replied immediately and sent us the requested itinerary and price list. Because the deposit had to be transfered in USD, our credit transfer hadn't been finished upon our arrival date in Nepal. Therefore we hadn't had any confirmation letter or the certainty that our trip could start as requested. BUT Nepal is much more relaxed in these things than Germany:-) So there was no hurry to arrange the final bookings and organize a guide plus porters 1 day before our hiking trip began.
March 3rd was a Saturday and the first thing we learned was: Friday and Saturday in Nepal are consistent with Saturday and Sunday in Germany (means: it was Sunday and we had to fill in the forms of our Trekking Permit and the Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS). This wasn't a problem because the receptionist at 3 Sisters dealt with the rest but the real problem was picture problem again:
I had only 1 picture left (at the airport I got 2 and needed 1 for immigration) but for trekking we needed 3 in total. In addition I didn't know my health insurance number and their hotline number. Thus I was allowed to use the laptop of the 3 sisters to find out my health insurance information but for the pictures Christoph and I had to walk a while til we finally found a photo store that was open on Sundays. I also bought a hat, then we took a nap and afterwards we were busy with packing our backpacks. We were asked if we wanna have 2 female porters or a female and a male porter. The difference was: a female porter was allowed to carry up to 12kg, a male porter 15kg. We borrowed a scales from them and after3 hours (!) of packing I finally had 11.9 kg and Christoph about 14kg => the decision was easy now: 1 female porter for me and 1 male porter for Christoph!
We were proud of having managed that problem when the next one occured: We were told that there was supposed to be a strike the next day and that there would be no chance to leave Pokhara by taxi/car the next day. We had 3 options: Starting our hiking trip immediately, starting at 4 a.m. the next morning (with another couple and their guide and porters) or postphoning our trip to the end of the strike. We talked with Silvia whose trip were supposed to started the same day (March 4th) as ours and we decided to leave at 4 a.m. the upcoming morning.
For dinner, Christoph and I tried another restaurant "Pizza&Food", we were served very obliging and when we were back at the guesthouse we met our female guide Chola and my porter Indra. Chola explained us our next day's route, we agreed to meet at 4 a.m. and afterwards we had a warm shower (!), I took some notes for my blog and we packed the remaining stuff that we could keep in the storage room of the guest house.