Monday, May 2, 2016

The Terrifying Flight to Pokhara, Nepal

After enjoying the view, I headed to the airport to fly to Pokhara with Buddha Airlines. The taxi ride extremely beautiful. I had told them I was flying domestically to Pokhara, but the taxi driver got confused and dropped me off at the international terminal. I pointed out that it was the international terminal and he told me I needed to find the domestic terminal myself because he didn't know how to get there....


I wandered aimlessly around for a bit, was pointed to a very official looking government building, until finally someone was able to tell me that the domestic terminal was within walking distance. It was within walking distance, but I had to leave the airport completely and follow the street in a zig-zag pattern to get to the domestic terminal, walk through a parking lot with no signs, until I finally arrived at the completely demolished, with debris everywhere, domestic terminal.

Aka it was being remodeled. The entrance to the terminal was covered in bricks and appeared to be falling apart.

I was doubting the presence of the terminal, but continued walking because I was following the signs. Entering through the demolition was correct.
 I walked up to these check-in booths,

discovered I couldn't check in until an hour before my flight, so I had to wait around for a while. I bought water for 20 cents and sat down and read my book (I was re-reading Harry Potter, of course). I chatted for a bit with a girl named Pema from Tibet, who was working for an Indian family as a nanny and travels with them all over the world. It seemed like a great job! But, she was far away from her family and was going to visit them for a couple weeks and it would take almost 48 hours to get there.

This is my very official looking boarding pass for Buddha airlines.
I finally checked in and wandered around looking for my gate. As you can see, it was a small space, but none of the gates were labeled with flight numbers. I eventually asked each desk and found the one I was looking for. I'm sure I was a very annoying foreigner that day.
When I finally got onto the plane, I discovered it was a 52 person + crew plane that was about as tall as I was and took 5 steps to get inside.
As in, it was extremely small. It was a 25 minute flight at 12,500 feet. The view from the plane was beautiful, but I couldn't take pictures because the windows were dirty and my window looked straight out onto the propeller.

The flight was terrifying. I spent much of my time imagining the propellers flying off and chopping the plane in half right in front of me, leading to my immediate demise.

Then, we hit turbulence and, I'm guessing due to the size of the plane, it felt like the plane was falling apart.

I was watching the Himalayas that you can see clearly in the picture move in and out of sign because the plane was wobbling so much.

Children were screaming as I thought, "This is it. This is how I die."
Somehow, we landed in one piece and I managed to get off the plane and walk up to the very official baggage claim.

This was baggage claim. It was 10 feet from the plane. The crew members drove all our baggage to us and handed it to us.
I took a taxi to the hotel, which was very nice. The owner, Indira, was very helpful and nice. Also, as I had been living without hot water for 3 1/2 days, I was very excited to hear that they had generators so, even when the power was out 12 hours a day, I would have hot water and one working light at all times.

Nepal's electricity is on a grid system. They turn the electricity on and off throughout the day on a specific schedule, so each place has electricity for about 12 hours a day.
I wandered out into town. The hotel was located near the lake, which is so majestic.
I walked along the water surrounded by cows, buffalo and birds. It was wonderful.

Pokhara is the 2nd largest city in Nepal, with a population of about 250,000. It used to be on an important trade route between Tibet and China. It was actually only accessible by foot until well into the 1960's.

This lake is Phewa Lake, which is freshwater and the 2nd largest lake in Nepal. The altitude here is about 2, 450 feet.

This cow shocked me when I looked over and he was 2 feet away from me, staring.

You can see how close the cows are to the path.

He's so elegant and arrogant.

I then ate dinner at a restaurant. The following pictures are the pictures of the view I saw as I ate outside. It was pretty amazing.

I had intended to go to a cafe or something to meet people, but decided that showering was more important, as it had been about 4 days. So I headed back to the hotel, showered and went to bed.

But not before enjoying this lovely view!

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