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We Flew to Pokhara to Begin our Hike to Sanctuary Lodge, Oct. 16

We had an early breakfast and headed to the airport to fly to Pokhara to begin our hike. Neta, accompanied us as far as he could into the airport. After he left us we negotiated the domestic flight part of the airport on our own. In ways it is a contact sport because so many men would like to help carry our luggage and assist us. Our flight was delayed, but eventually we arrived in Pokhara after a smooth flight.

Arriving in Pokhura

Ashok, our hike leader, Ram and Reban our porters met us at the airport. After an orientation at Ker and Downey offices, we were driven to the village where we began our hike. We stopped at A temple located in an a Tibetan refuge camp. The temple is called “The house where God lived. ” We had opportunity to interact with many Tibetans selling souvenirs. It was lovely, so peaceful.

We started our hike in the same village where the Annanpurna treks begin and end. It was nice for me since this was where I began my first trek years ago.

Beginning our hike

We began our walk through the village (lots to see) following a ridgeline in the lower foothills of the Annapurnas with surrounding views of the Pokhara Valley. I loved just walking along with the porters soaking in the incredible beauty around me.

Ashok playing

After a couple of hours, the trail dropped to the Modi River Valley, where Ker & Downey’s Sanctuary Lodge is located at 3470 ft/1060 meters. The lodge has magnificent views of the sacred and unclimbed Fishtail Mountain, or Machhapuchhre, as it is locally known.We were glad to get there.

Sanctuary Lodge entrance

It was so beautiful. We had time to explore the trail down to the river and rest before dinner. I took a shower and just laid on my bed for awhile appreciating being “unplugged, ” far away from my usual beaten path, and feeling free. Word can’t describe what it is like to hear nothing but birds singing, insects chirping, and the river flowing. At dinner we met Mala and her great uncle. She works for Tricare near Washington, DC and her uncle is a math teacher at the University of Chicago. We enjoyed talking with them.

The next morning, Ashok made sure we were up at six to see Fishtail Mountain. I’d seen it before when I trekked, but never this clearly and from this perspective. All of us were thrilled!

“Fishtail” Machapuchre mountain

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