Pokhara (Nepal) - the touristic center of the Annapurna Conservation Area, a city where starts the famous Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Pokhara - the city where Annapurna Circuit Trek starts....
Today it is hard to imagine that this bustling city until the end of the 1960s was a small place almost completely unknown to the international community.
Accessible only by foot it was a mystic, hidden on the maps little spot.
The massive influx of tourists and trekkers to Pokhara seems to be unstoppable despite the fact that the Siddhartha Highway since long lost not only its appearance but also in many places its form, shape and pavement.
On top of the challenging climate (pouring monsoonal water), the biggest impact on the road have heavy trucks (Tata and Mahindra Motors alike) used to carry merchandise between India, Nepal and Tibet.
Although Pokhara has a small airport having daily connections with Kathmandu, given the current state of the Nepalese aviation, like most tourists I took the road. Not because it was a “safe heaven”, but rather expected as a lower risk path.
That assumption was later seriously challenged not only by the fact that the road was closed for few days due to the massive mudslides blocking the section of the road but also by a general feeling that traveling by car in Nepal is an adventure by itself.
Add to that thick clouds of “dark matter” or if you want exhaust gases from almost “anything that moves on the wheels” and you can qualify any road trip in Nepal as a “heroic” achievement.
However once you reach Pokhara you will quickly forget “nuisances” on the road….You cross the gate to the heavenly place…..