first of all, sorry for not updating more often. as everyone knows, i was on VACATION back in bear hill, so was a bit lazy to wanna do much writing. and now i’m back in sandland, i’ve been busy catching up with work that i just don’t feel like doing much writing. haha… anyway, i’ll try to finish writing about my trip as soon as possible.
the alarm went off at 4am in the morning, and i can hear that it’s raining quite heavily outside. i half hoped that they would cancel this part of the itinerary so that i can snuggle back into the bed. but then i thought, me coming all this way, paying all those money, all those effort… so i dragged myself out of bed to get ready.
when i came down to the lobby, there was only one person sitting there and when he saw me, he made a phone call to my guide to inform him that i’ve arrived. i guess the guide didn’t wait for me at the lobby because maybe he’s hoping i’d wanna sleep in in this weather?
anyway, when he appeared 15 minutes later, off we went in a bigger car than the one i rode in the previous day, something like a 7-seater mpv, but it’s smaller than our regular mpv and sits only 4. we drove in the dark along some path, turning here and there, and finally going uphill. it’s still very dark and because of the rain, the mist were very thick. i was quite worried the driver will drive us off the hill because he was going quite fast up the winding road even though visibility was only 1-2 meters! but of course that didn’t happen and we arrived at the top of sarangkot hill after 45 minutes drive.
we were the first to get there and my guide brought me up some uneven steps and dirt path and we arrived at a sort of clearing. everything was very dark below, with only some lights here and there. i was wearing shorts and didn’t bring a jacket, so i was quite cold. my guide said normally the coffee shop near the clearing would be open and went to check. i guess due to the weather, the owner decided to sleep in as well.
after a very short while my guide came back, followed by an elderly man who set about removing the wooden planks of a shack. we went into the shack out of the rain and sat down at the table. my guide ordered chai (tea) but i didn’t want anything, because i wasn’t sure if the water used would agree with my stomach. so i just sat there shivering, staring out at nothingness.
30 minutes later, a chinese couple appeared. it was still raining, so they were standing about in their umbrellas. by then, the sky has lightened a bit, and i could see the green hills around pokhara. truthfully, i’m not a big fan of sunrise watching. and standing up there at sarangkot hill, cold and sleepy, it all looked not much different from the sunrise viewed from panorama hill in sungai lembing (also another rainy trip!) and broga hill. so i was like, “okay, whatever”. but of course, i still hung around because by then, more people has arrived and the rain has tuned down to a drizzle.
slowly, we saw more and more of the annapurna himalayan range revealing itself and it was spellbinding. of course, it was still very cloudy and the machapuchare peak (a.k.a “fishtail”, the sharpest peak near the middle in the photo below) was completely hidden behind the clouds. but standing there, with more than a 180 deg view of the majestic himalayan mountains in front of you, bigger than life, it can only take your breath away.
initially i had wanted to stitch up a series of photos of the range, but since it were too cloudy and i don’t think you’ll be able to see anything, i’ll just post up this shot of a postcard that i bought.
i lingered around for quite some time, hoping that the clouds that enveloped machapuchare would dissipate. i even initiated conversations with a bunch of tourists from hong kong while waiting, something that is so not my style! :D but in the end, i had to leave without seeing the “fishtail” peak.
ok, i think this post is getting a tad too long, so i’ll just leave it here and continue the rest in another post. and anyway, since this is a one-of-a-kind experience, it deserves a post by itself, dun’cha think? ;)