After the harrowing scooter adventure from Kathmandu to Pokhara, we spent 2 exhausted hours trying to find a decent hotel for the night. After that ride I was willing to go a step above standard guesthouse. After a few misguided attempts ($260 a night?!?! you have to be joking) we settled on a spacious and comfy room in the heart of the tourist strip for about $35. We had a few celebratory beers to celebrate still being alive and slept like two very sore logs.
I was sure to be up at the crack of dawn, as I wanted to catch a glimpse of the Himalayas which Pokhara is so famous for. Unfortunately it was extremely foggy, and even the hilltops around town were obscured. I was still determined to get some decent shots, and so hired a taxi to shuttle me around for a few hours to some scenic spots.
Still being extremely tired from the ride the day before, I was tempted to go back to the hotel and get some more sleep. I decided against it knowing my time here would be limited. I sat down for breakfast at a welcoming looking restaurant and noticed a lone girl trying to take photos of a heart shaped cardboard sign with Chinese characters written across it. I asked if I could help, and she explained it was her wedding gift to her friends back home. She had been taking pictures of it all across her 42 day bicycle journey from Chengdu to Tibet. She had hitch-hiked from Lhasa in Tibet to Pokhara. I was smitten, any girl that could do that solo deserves some serious respect. We made plans to meet that evening, and parted ways for the day.
I went back to the hotel to wake my still sleeping comrade. His father had suggested we go to the mountaintop World Peace Stupa (temple), which we could see from our hotel window. It was perched on top of a very steep mountain. Yet another worthy challenge for Black Stallion! The roads were steep, and you could just sense the scooter being pushed to it’s absolute limit. We made it to the parking area, where we then walked the remaining distance to the top. The World Peace Stupa is a relatively new structure, having been built in 1972 by the generous donation of Japanese Buddhists. It offered an extremely serene and amazing view of all of Pokhara city and the surrounding Phewa Lake.
One thing I had not expected off Pokhara was the heat. I had packed a bunch of cold weather gear, and now realized it was just more burden on poor Black Stallion. We descended back into town, and to our next destination, Devis Falls. This waterfall is unlike any I have ever seen, and probably unlike any other on earth. The reason for this is the fact that it falls not from above, but actually from ground level down into an underground cavern. Most tourists know only of the main entrance from where you get some amazing views of the torrent as it cascades into the dark cavern below.
The real magic of this place, and I am still unsure why it is not more readily signposted or talked about, is that you can actually go into one of the largest caves in South Asia and get a few hundred feet from the base of the waterfall. I will let the pictures do the talking, but suffice to say that it is a place on Earth completely unique unto itself. There is no other like it, and if you ever make it here, it will stay with you forever.