Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sarangkot that sounds like Love

Trekking up to the guest house in Sarangkot. Looking up to the sky full of paragliders and Mahfiz with his hangers.

20th February 2015 (Friday): Arriving in Sarangkot, Kaski District, Gandaki Zone, Nepal

I fell in love with Sarangkot. A small village above Pokhara. The name reminds me of  'Saranghae' which means love or a way to say 'I love you' in Korean. Hmm... something about Korea. I had a nightmare that lasted a lifetime. Okay, the name suits the feel of this place. I am writing an introduction to Sarangkot and shall write it slowly in phases. So much detailing and sentiment to be carefully put into words for my own record sake. This blog is more like a life journey. Old readers would know :) 

As for the new comers, hope you will find something educational and worthwhile. Well...

From where we started our trekking.
Back to Sarangkot Village, we took a private bus instead of a public transport. The road was a long winding road and sometimes we had to stop to give ways to other approaching vehicles. The bus stopped middle way, then we trekked up the remaining distance of 30 minutes going up to Sherpa Guest House. The guest house was located right on top of Sarangkot Village. Our itinerary was to watch sunrise the next morning at the View Point where supposedly you could catch the glorious sunrise and to capture the breathtaking view of Annapurna mountain range. We paid USD1 each for the experience but did we make it? A different story. 

The view during trekking itself was spectacular. My heart was jumping out of excitement and anticipation. The sky was beautifully decorated with colourful paragliders. They almost looked like a flock of birds. We missed our chance to go paragliding in Pokhara because it was fully booked. Many wants to do it as it gains popularity. And I had it in my bucket list! What a luck. I shall do it one day before I die. A note to self.

At some point during the trekking, we were lucky to capture, the Annapurna mountain range although it was cloudy. The weather was our challenge. Heavy clouds as you can see in the photos and the weather forecast said it might rain. Huhuhu... I managed to snap the famous Mount Machhapuchhre or better know as the Fish Tail Mountain right before reaching the guest house. See the picture above, it was almost covered by the clouds.

We passed by houses and many guest houses along the way. Our destination was Sherpa Guest House almost at the very top of Sarangkot Village. But it's worth our pain and sweat because the view was worth every penny paid for this trip. I snapped a photo of Mount Annapurna III from the window of my bedroom in Sherpa Guest House. A view you could die for, right. I've got the best side of the guest house overlooking the mountain scene. However, most of the time it was cloudy as you can see, heavy cumulus clouds. The photo was just a pure luck. Within a few minutes, it was gone hidden by the clouds. 

View from the back of our guest house.
We reached Sherpa Guest House in the afternoon. The cook was busy preparing food for us. It smelled amazing as everyone was hungry after the bus journey and trekking. We had our lunch around 2.00pm. Cooking in this side of the world was really really a slow process. Probably they were not used to cooking for large amount of people, i,e, 16 of us plus two guides.

The guest house is managed by a very nice and polite family. They were friendly and very helpful in all our needs. We have our guide, Ramji that constantly and diligently helping the family in all their cooking and serving for our group. Thank God for his efficiency. At first I thought he was one of the guest house's hand. Didn't even know that he's one of our guide until later when we departed and he was with our group. Hahaha!

From the bedroom window. Awesome!
After lunch, there was little to do but hang around took great photos and acclimatised a bit with the surrounding. Awang wanted to rest, so I wouldn't want to explore alone without my best friend. While resting on bed, I updated my travelling journal, then I saw a beautiful scene of Awang with the cattle. Lalala...  

The life in Sarangkot is pretty much peaceful. It has a population of about 5000+ of a variety of ethnicity that made up the population. Among them are the Magars and the Gurungs. Lots of agricultural plots we've seen along the way. The villagers made their livelihood via agriculture and tourism contributed a lot, obviously. Most, have their own livestock of poultry and cattle. They planted their own vegetables for daily use. I saw dried corns, plots of peas and many planted mustard for its oil. Yes mustard oil, not the mustard sauce that we are so familiar with. Nepali use a lot of mustard oil in their cooking. They put it on their hair as well and as a massage oil for body ache and other ailments. 

 We had a Chicken BBQ over a campfire at night. That was when had our very first ice breaking to get to know the whole team member for real. Hahaha! 

I shall reserve the story in the next posting. Till then, take care :)

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